No one is entirely sure who brought distilling to Scotland but whoever it was would surely be very impressed by how well we’ve mastered it. A short drive from us, in Newburgh in neighbouring Fife, some clever people have recreated a drink from our distant past. Aqua Vitae is a spirit that was being distilled by monks in Lindores Abbey in the 15th Century.
Today, in a site very close by, it’s being recreated to some critical acclaim. Now, when most people hear of an ancient spirit being faithfully recreated using hand foraged herbs and traditional methods, they are curious to know what it will taste like, but at Clootie McToot our first thought is ‘I wonder what that would be like in a Clootie Dumpling”!
Well, wonder no more, because we’ve tried it and the result is fantastic. So good in fact that we’ve made a batch of them and put them on sale. We’ve used a cherry and date dumpling, soaking the fruits in Lindore’s Aqua Vitae, adding ginger and a sprinkle of dark chocolate to complete the flavour sensation
Aqua Vitae is Latin for ‘Water of Life’. In Scot’s Gaelic that same phrase is ‘uisge beatha’ a term that is better known today as ‘whisky’. Perthshire, our home, is renowned the world over for its whisky. Some of the best known and most popular whiskies originate from Perthshire, so introducing one to our clootie dumplings seemed like a perfect marriage.
We’ve soaked sultanas and apple in a dram or five of fine Scottish whisky, before creating a clootie dumpling that’s gently spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and ginger and sweetened with sugar and treacle. It’s a wonderful combination of flavours and one that’s sure to become a big favourite.
Scottish whisky is, of course, popular all over the world and increasingly we’re discovering clootie dumplings are too!
It’s this popularity that saw us in Canada recently for the launch of Clootie McToot’s clootie dumplings in ‘Pete’s Frootique & Fine Foods’ in the city of Halifax in Nova Scotia. We’re so excited that our products are finally going to be available locally in Canada and we’re really looking forward to visiting Halifax and meeting the team at Pete’s.
Closer to home, we know that some of the country’s top chefs love and serve Clootie McToot in their hotels and restaurants. So we were really pleased when we were approached recently by a new boutique hotel in Edinburgh who were keen to work with us.
However, we were even more intrigued when we discovered that this hotel is a little unusual because it’s situated inside a football stadium. It’s a new hotel that’s opening inside Tynecastle, the home of Heart Of Midlothian football club. That’s a great result!