Ray Clynick is the founder and distiller at Oro Gin in Scotland. After studying biochemistry at university and post-graduate level, Ray changed tack to pursue a career in distilling. He studied at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh and found premises to start his Dalton Distillery. With his Oro spirits range, including the Oro and Oro V gins and Oro Rum, Ray is putting his chemistry knowledge to use through innovative techniques such as nitrogen extraction.
We asked Ray which gins he would pack for a trip to our desert island.
Gin #1: Oro Gin
I know I’m biased, but my first choice would be Oro Gin. We developed 27 recipes before we hit on just the right balance, so tasting the finished product always gives me a special sense of satisfaction. I love its classic juniper notes, citrus mid body and the dash of spice on the finish, which comes from pink pepper, cinnamon and cassia. I serve it with a twist of fresh orange and tonic.
Gin #2: Ki No Bi
I enjoy the freshness of Ki No Bi, which manages to be classical yet very unique. The yuzu, cypress and green tea make for a delicious and interesting gin that sits perfectly with a light tonic and a shave of yuzu peel (when I can get it!).
Gin #3: No.3 Gin
No.3 is a classic London dry gin and I like the brand’s focus on pursuing perfection, because I have a similar obsession with the details! No.3 is bright and crisp, with plenty of zest and zing. I enjoy it in a Martini, where its balance really comes to the fore.
My all-time favourite cocktail is the Negroni. You can’t beat that trinity of bitter orange, herbaceous vermouth and the citrus and juniper notes of gin. My current pour is 50ml Oro Gin, 45ml Hotel Stalino Vermouth – which has lovely cherry and orange notes – 40ml Campari and a generous curl of orange peel. If I really were on an island, I’d also seek out a sugar source, combine it with tree bark and desalinated water, and ferment myself an island tonic. Then I could also make a Negroni Spritz!