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Check out these new Scottish artisan rums that offer a refreshing alternative to the malt whisky that the country is much more famous for.

The LHH Guide to Rum Production in Scotland

If the prospect of a Covid winter is getting you down, how about cheering yourself up with something a little tropical. Scotland has a long history of rum production, its naval history coupled with its sugar refining tradition century lead to a boom in rum production in the 18th century. From that peak, popularity steadily waned but a new breed of artisan distillers, inspired by the runaway success of locally produced gins, have succeeded in making rum fashionable again.

Scottish rum is at home in everything from a toddy to a Caribbean cocktail so check out these small batch producers from all over the country and settle back to relax, while daydreaming of where just one sip can take you.

Ice and Fire Distillery, Caithness

Ice and Fire Distillery, in Caithness, have managed to develop a spiced dark rum that echoes the traditional taste of the tropics while still relying heavily on local ingredients. A hint of coconut comes from golden whin flowers, which are handpicked on the croft, while local honey provides a delicate base layer of sweetness. In a nod to local history, their flagship product is named Caithness Raiders Rum, smooth enough to drink neat, but something that can also be enjoyed with ice and elderflower tonic for a refreshing summery pick me up.

Hill House is a comfortable family home not far from the Caithness coast. It’s a brilliant base for exploring the wide-open spaces of this remote corner of the highlands and for road tripping north. Lybster is quiet, peaceful and unspoiled and ideal for sundowners and aurora spotting. Hill House also has a woodburning stove for you to cosy up to with a hot rum toddy in the evening.

Strathearn Distillery, Perthshire

Strathearn Distillery has paid homage to Murdina, the Scottish sea warrior with the striking packaging of its Dunedin Golden Rum. This is claimed to be Scotland’s first golden rum and is hand crafted in small batches in Perthshire. It has a fruity aroma and flavours of vanilla, dark chocolate and caramel which really shine through when mixed in a cocktail.

Ardchyle House sits just a short drive from the distillery, right in the heart of Perthshire. The big draw at Ardchyle is the outdoor hot tub and where better to relax and sip something exotic you have just mixed yourself. This area is stunning in the winter and you can see the outlines of snow-capped hills as you settle into the tub with your mojito.

Ninefold Distillery, Dumfries and Galloway

Ninefold is the south of Scotland’s only rum distillery. Its signature award-winning rum is a classic white single rum, distilled from molasses in the tiny village of Dalton. Deliciously smooth and creamy, this has flavours of butterscotch and citrus with a long and spicy finish. Unusually for a distillery this small, tours and tastings are available and have been rejigged to be Covid safe.

Westerkirk Mains is a short drive from here and is one of the best places for an extended family gathering in ‘normal’ times but also for a smaller party of 6-8 during the Covid affected months.  The garden is massive and when the sun is out it is perfect for informal al fresco dining. Pack your punch bowl, stock up on ice and mix something tropical to get everyone in a relaxed mood.

Seawolf, Angus

Seawolf white rum is distilled in Angus by the award-winning Ogilvie Spirits. The fermentation of the spirit’s base ingredient, cane molasses, is done at low temperature for four weeks using Champagne yeast, resulting in a distinctive, full-bodied flavour profile that is the perfect base for mixoligists. Notes of unripe banana and sugar cane on the nose give way to tropical fruits on the palate, with a faint citrus and spice finish. It’s probably unfair to the Caribbean to keep comparing their beaches to the Hebrides. Although both boast of white sands and crystal clear waters, the Hebrides win every time with their combination of remoteness, emptiness and natural unspoiled backdrops. Caribbeans do know how to party though, so inject your beach holiday with a bit of a West Indian flavour with some Seawolf daquiris. Remember lots of crushed ice and fruit for maximum refreshment, sparklers and umbrellas for extra presentation points.

Scotisay View Cottage is a short drive from some of the best beaches on the island. This luxury home will appeal to all the family and has fab views, a peaceful location and is pet friendly.