Tonic for gin lovers as world’s first diploma in “mother’s ruin” starts in Scotland


THE world’s first “diploma in gin” is being offered in Scotland for fans of “Mother’s Ruin”.

Edinburgh Whisky Academy is offering the SQA-accredited diploma to cater for the growing demand of gin lovers everywhere.

The one-day course will allow lovers of the spirit to learn about the history, styles and making of gin – interspersed with tasting opportunities.

The course, held once each month, costs £480, including a £60 SQA fee and VAT, and comes with an optional botanicals workshop the following morning for an extra £199.

The course also includes lunch and assessment, ending with a cocktail session.

But gin gurus will have to book fast as each monthly course has a cap of 15 students.

Earlier this month it was revealed that a record-breaking 51 million bottles of gin – worth £1.4bn – were bought in the UK last year.

Ian McKerrow, Head of Business Development at the Edinburgh Whisky Academy, today said: “It’s very exciting. We already had our whisky course and now we’re the world’s first accredited gin education course.

“It’s great for Edinburgh, Scotland and the tourists visiting and we welcome everyone whether it be people working in hospitality to people who just have a genuine interest in gin.

“In April we had our first open course which went really well – we had eight or nine people there.

“We have already had quite a few requests for our next course in June.

“Essentially it’s a one day SQA accredited diploma which is held at the Vaults building in Leith and run by Geraldine Coates who has written many books on gin.

“There’s essentially six modules which cover the history of gin, styles of Gin and distillation.

“We have a guest distiller who comes on each course and then we have a taster session of four different gins, mainly Scottish but not all of them.

Geraldine Coates (L), an leading authority on gin, teaches the diploma

“Then there is an assessment followed by a cocktail session to end the day on a lighter note.

“We encourage people to also attend the botanical workshop the following day with the expert, Hamish Martin too who takes you on a trip around the herb garden.

Advertised on their website, the company state: “New for 2018, we are responding to the growing demand for gin knowledge by launching the world’s first Diploma in Gin, offering a fun, insightful and interactive journey into the wonderful world of gin.

“The Diploma includes six modules covering the History of Gin, Definitions & Styles of Gin, Gin Now, Distillation, Sensory and Cocktails.

Botanicals workshop

“Whether you are new to gin, a gin lover or work in spirits or hospitality, this course offers something for everyone and is guaranteed to expand your knowledge of gin.

“Taught by gin guru, Geraldine Coates, this is a course designed to immerse and excite in equal measure. Offering the knowledge and experience of a leading expert, the Diploma is also awarded by the SQA so will be formally assessed.

“Each course will also feature firsthand knowledge from a guest gin distiller, who will share practical details on specific distillation methods and how they extract the flavour from their chosen botanicals.

“Who is it aimed at? Brand Ambassadors, Bar Staff, Mixologists, Spirits Retailers and Gin Enthusiasts.”

Figures released by the Wine and Spirit Trade Association in March this year shows that gin sales in the UK had broken records last year.

The WSTA’s latest market report has revealed that over 16 million bottles of gin, worth £413 million, were sold in the 12 weeks to 31 December 2017.

Sales were up by 28% in volume, the equivalent of 3.5 million bottles, over the festive period, it was revealed.

Edinburgh Whisky Academy are due to hold their next “Diploma in Gin” course on June 12 and 13th.