A north-east drinks business was enjoying some screen time for the second time in as many weeks at the weekend in the company of Alan Titchmarsh.
Walter Gregor’s tonic featured on the popular television host’s Love Your Weekend show on Sunday when its apple and cinnamon tonic water was sampled along with some rum.
Claire Rennie, head of fizz at the firm which is based near Fraserburgh, was thrilled to hear that her products were going to get national television exposure – only a few weeks after they were on BBC’s Saturday Kitchen.
“TV programmes are like buses, nothing comes along for years then you get two in a fortnight or so,” joked Claire.
“This time it’s our Walter Gregor’s apple and cinnamon tonic water. Ian Burrell who is the rum ambassador and runs rum festivals in London came across our tonic about 18 months ago. He has used it and really loves.
“He got the opportunity to showcase some drinks with rum on Alan Titchmarsh’s programme and he particularly likes our apple and cinnamon with rum so that was how it came about.”
Rum and tonic is not what many people would regard as a natural pairing, but Claire says they really do work well together.
“Folk would think rum and coke is your go-to rather than tonic with the quinine and would ask ‘How does that work with rum?’ But what I think works well with rum is the apple and cinnamon really complements the rum flavour. The apple in it really drives it and it is a good pairing, although it is quite a leftfield choice.
“I think rum is having a bit of a renaissance at the moment. Dark Matter rum who are in Banchory really started it off in Scotland. They do a fantastic rum, I absolutely love it. Summerhouse Drinks mint lemonade and Dark Matter rum is a ready to go Mojito.”
Ian Burrell, showcased five different British rums on the show including Scotland’s Mattuga Rum.
Serving the rum in a highball glasses, Ian paired it with Walter Gregor’s tonic. Starting the tasting with Scottish produce, it was the first drink Alan Titchmarsh and his guest actress Sarah Hadland sampled.
Ian paired the two together to show that people can drink spiced rum and tonic, instead of having a gin and tonic.
Sarah said it was ‘gorgeous, strong and really nice’ and that she would happily ‘drink more of that’. Alan Titchmarsh agreed with her, adding it was ‘delicious’ and also noted that the rum gave him the same kick gin as gin.
The appearance at the weekend came only a few weeks after Walter Gregor’s tonic was handed some exposure on Saturday Kitchen when their limited edition neep tonic was given a taste test paired with Ogilvy Vodka which is produced in Angus.
And that has led to an increase in orders for Claire’s Walter Gregor tonic range.
“The response we have had was amazing, we have had a great response.
“It was amazing exposure for quite different approaches to gin and tonic so I am quite excited. You couldn’t ask for better exposure especially at the moment when everyone is stuck at home people are watching TV and you really have got a captive audience.
“It is great to hear that they are wanting to support the more artisan producers. It’s amazing what comes from it. We have had a couple of enquiries in this past week and you think that can’t have come from the TV appearance so it’s amazing it stays in people’s thoughts and it’s amazing what triggers their memories.”