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21 Popular Scottish Drinks Everyone Needs To Know

Scotland is a country bordering England and a part of the United Kingdom. One of the well known scottish drinks is whiskey.

Well, besides Whiskey, there are various other interesting drinks in Scotland.

Check this out!

21. Rapscallion Soda

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Rapscallion Soda is a brand of soda made in Scotland. The drink looks unique with a packaging that seems like part of a science experiment.

Rapscallion Soda is made with natural ingredients and contains low sugar.

This soda drink is actually still young. Rapscallion was introduced in 2016.

One of its manufacture’s initial goals was to make soft drinks with the best selection of flavors and without using artificial ingredients.

The use of a minimalist design and attractive colors on the packaging is one of the factors that makes Rapscallion Soda so unique.

Each packaging label begins with the letter C or S and a certain number that indicates the difference in taste.

There are several flavors made by Rapscallion Soda, such as Ginga Ninja with code C_01, Rhubarb which has code S_01, Burnt Lemon with code C_02, Strawberry which is S_02, Dry Lime with code C_03, and Cranachan which code is S_03.

The production is done by extracting the natural flavors and aromas of the fruits using special pressure and cooling.

Sugar is used as a flavor binder and vitamin C. After the taste is balanced, it is carbonated.

20. Crabbie’s

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Crabbie’s is a drink brand in Scotland that is traditionally known as green ginger wine.

The drink is produced by John Crabbie & Co in the Leith area, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Currently, the brand has been bought by Halewood International Limited.

Crabbie’s original has a golden yellow color with a spicy and sparkling flavor. The alcohol content in it is about 4%.

Meanwhile, other flavors also include seasoned orange, strawberry, lime, and other flavors outside the UK.


The history of Crabbie can be traced back to 1801, when Miller Crabbie was a trader in Edinburgh.

The business was bequeathed to his son John Crabbie who later founded John Crabbie & Co and then continued in the mid-19th century.

At that time, John Crabbie acquired the former porter’s brewery located between Yardheads and Great Junction Street in Edinburgh’s Leith port.

Crabbie became famous for its green ginger wine, which continued to be made at Leith until 1980.

In short, in 2007, Crabbie’s brand was later sold to Halewood International Ltd., and currently, its green ginger beer is produced in Liverpool, England.

There are several variations of Crabbie products, such as original flavors, Scottish raspberry, Indian Pale Ale, and Stout.

19. Heather Ale

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Heather Ale or Fraoch Leann is an ancient Scottish style of beer that is believed to have been drunk since around 2000 BC.

Heather Ale was reintroduced after being forgotten, one of which was through several beer producers in Scotland.

Heather Ale is made from the tips of wild purple heather flowers simmered together with Scottish malt and wild myrtle leaves to extract flavor and nectar.

It is generally described as a ‘full body‘ with the characters ‘floral,’ ‘peaty fruity,’ and dry.


The history of Heather Ale goes back to Rhum Island in 2000 BC, as evidenced by traces of the fermented drink made from heather flowers.

Then it continued in 325 BC in the Pictland area north of the Forth-Clyde valley, where the locals brew Heather Ale.

In 1843 the Scottish King Kenneth MacAlpine defeated the Picts and Gael territories to form ‘Scotland’ or ‘Alba.’

At that time, there were various stories related to Heather Ale being brewed by the Highland clan on cold nights.

Heather Ale was lost along with the Gaelic culture ban in 1707 during The Act of Union events.

The drink reappeared in about 1986 in a home brewing shop in Glasgow, then began selling as Fraoch Leann.

18. Scottish Gin

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Do you know that some of the most famous gins in the world come from Scotland?

Like Gordon’s, Tanqueray, and Hendrick.

Although the drink made from juniper berries originated in the Netherlands, Scottish Gin has also attracted attention.

Like gin production in other parts of the world, some gin manufacturers are always looking for and using plants that can be taken from the surrounding environment.

So there are many styles from Scottish Gin, such as London Dry, Old Tom, Cask Aged, and many more.

Most of the gin produced in Scotland also uses natural sources of water in Scotland.

Even some manufacturers filter the water again before it is distilled, and some of them choose to heat it so that the water quality is very well maintained.

Apart from that, juniper also came from special places in Scotland. Like Loch Ness Spirits, it is a type of gin made with black gold juniper with a rich flavor profile.

Not a few are also mixed with local plants such as Nettles, Milk thistle, and Wild Mint.

So that each Scottish Gin has its own character and variety.

This makes it different from whiskey in that it has fixed production and flavor identification.

Scottish Gin has a wide variety of distinctive and unique flavors.

17. Atholl Brose

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Atholl Brose or Athol Borse and Athole Brose is a Scottish drink obtained by mixing brose oatmeal, honey, whiskey, and sometimes cream especially on special occasions.

When added with cream, it looks like Baileys Irish Cream.

There are various recipes in making Atholl Brose, ranging from adding eggs, cream, or honey, some are very modern, and some are hundreds of years.

In general, Atholl Brose is a rich-flavored drink with a character that tends to be sweet.

Atholl Brose has also become a brand for Dunkeld Atholl Brose, the best whiskey in the world with a mixture of whiskey, spices, and honey.


According to one story, the drink is named after John Stewart, the 1st Earl of Atholl, who suppressed a Scottish Highlands rebellion in 1475.

He poured Atholl Brose into a well and made his drunken enemy defeated.

Another folklore relates to the terrifying giant Atholl. The giant likes to terrorize the humans who live around him.

Dougal the Brave then makes an intoxicating concoction from wheat and whiskey to knock Atholl out and kill him.

In fact, the name comes from the Scottish word for raw oatmeal, ‘brose.’

16. Long Vodka

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Long Vodka is a very popular cocktail in Scotland and is also known in parts of the UK.

To make Long Vodka, the ingredients used according to its name are Vodka mixed with Bitters Angostura, lemonade, and lime.

One of the most common serving styles for Long Vodka cocktails is ‘on the rock‘ or poured over ice.

Meanwhile, the glass most often used is the Highball. Long Vodka has a ratio of Bitters Angostura to 1 or 2 “shots” of Vodka and other ingredients.


It is said that the cocktail recipe is claimed to have originated from Lancashire, England, in 1978 by Jacky Bevan.

Instead of using gin in his cocktail recipe, he is a bartender who accidentally mixes the drink with vodka.

Bevan tried the recipe and found it too bitter, and he finally added lemonade to the cocktail. When Bevan visited a pub in Inverkeilor, Scotland, in 1981 and asked for his cocktail, the bartender was intrigued.

Finally, his cocktail recipe was added to the cocktail menu at the Scottish pub.

It didn’t take long for the drink to take off near Aberdeen and Montrose and quickly catch on in Scotland. After that, he started to be known as Long Vodka.

15. Scottish Cider

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While many Cider fans are familiar with the apple cider tradition in England, France, and Spain, that doesn’t mean Scottish cider is bad.

Although the locals consider cider a “British good,” it is also widely produced in Scotland.

Scotland does not have a Cider-making tradition like England. Originally apple cider was introduced to Scotland by monks in medieval times.

The main reason was to take advantage of the excess apple crop at that time.

Usually, apple cider is made by Scottish farmers relying on the best workers.

Therefore, Cider was made for fun after the harvest, and the profits from his sales were used as gardening capital and buying Cider’s equipment.

The various cider producers in Scotland are such as the Nøvar Cider, Thistly Cross Cider, and Waulkmill Cider.

The cider produced is mostly sold near the place of production. For example, Thirstly Cross Cider produces flavored Ciders and is sold on the Scottish Waitrose.

Meanwhile, Waulkmill Cider only produces apple cider from apples in Dumfries and Galloway for sale at the festival and ‘farmers market.’

Other small Scottish Cider producers include Cairn O’Mohr, Scruffy Dog Cider, and Caledonian Cider Co.

14. Cock o ‘the North

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Cock o ‘the North is a whiskey liquor containing blueberry juice that belongs to the Gordon Clan of Aboyne Castle, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

The drink has been produced under contract at the Speyside distillery in Kingussie, Scotland.

The name itself comes from the nickname of the Gordon Clan head, which has been known for centuries as’ The Cock o ‘the North.’

According to family legend, the Gordon Clan used to make drinks made from whiskey and blaeberry, a blueberry native to Scotland.

Together with other special ingredients, these drinks are used to welcome guests or to accompany them during long trips, battles, and other social events.

Today Cock o ‘the North is made in Scotland’s smallest distillery.

Speyside Distillery is a manufacturer that makes whiskey with an alcohol content of 35%.

Blaeberry was blended with single malt whiskey according to a long-standing Gordon Clan recipe known only to the Marquis of Huntly and his son The Earl of Aboyne.

Its clean and fresh character comes from a single malt whiskey from Speyside Distillery’s youngest distillery.

The build is still very classic in pre-industrial style, with one of the smallest ‘stills’ in Scotland. The location is also secluded on the banks of the Tromie river.

13. Glayva

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Glayva is a liquor originally produced in Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland by Ronald Morrison & Co. Ltd. before being taken over by Whyte and Mackay Ltd.

Glayva is made from a mixture of aged Scotch whiskey, selected spices, almonds, and honey.

Other unique ingredients include tangerines native to the Mediterranean and cinnamon.

The liquor has a golden color with a distinctive taste. Glayva was first produced and sold in 1947 by a wine and whiskey merchant, Ronald Morrison.

Like Drambuie, Glayva also uses natural ingredients such as honey and spices mixed with Scotch malt whiskey.

The name itself comes from Gaelic’s phrase, namely “Glè Mhath,” if translated means “Very Good.”

Glayva has a sweet character from honey, which is quite obvious, even included in the aroma.

Besides, other aromas are strong herbs and citrus accents. Not only that, but there is also a hint of cinnamon and a hint of tangerine flavor.

While the taste that is created in the mouth is rather thick, like syrup with a strong sweet taste.

The herbal taste and warm cinnamon will be more pronounced in the throat. Due to its strong sweetness, Glayva is also very suitable as a mixed drink.

12. Red Kola

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Red Kola is a carbonated soft drink made from fruit extracts and may include a flavoring made from kola nuts.

Red Kola is made by companies such as Currie’s, Solripe, and AG Barr, all of whom come from Scotland.

Despite its name, this soft drink actually bears no resemblance to a traditional cola drink, both in taste and appearance.

It is bright red in color, while the fruit’s taste is strong, unique, and much sharper than regular cola.

Red Kola is made with different recipes depending on the manufacturer. Like Red Kola made by Currie’s using tartaric acid in it.

Meanwhile, the Red Kola produced by AG Barr’s company, Barr’s Red Kola, uses citric acid.

Meanwhile, the appearance is also different, Barr’s Red Kola has a Safflower Anthocyanin color, and Currie’s Red Kola has a saffron color.

There is also a Red Kola product, which has a black carrot color. The drink is distributed by Dunns Food & Drinks Limited.

Most Red Kola can only be found in Scotland. Although in the southern region bordering England and parts of northern England, it still exists, the stocks are very limited.

So that Red Kola is an original drink from Scotland.

11. Rusty Nail

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Rusty Nail is a Scottish cocktail made from a mixture of Drambuie and Scotch. The drink is included in Difford’s Guide Top 100 Cocktails.

Rusty Nails can be served in vintage glasses ‘on the rock,’ ‘neat‘ styles, or in a glass with frames.

Also, the Rusty Nail is most often served on ice, so when drunk without ice, it is sometimes referred to as a Straight Up Nail.

Other Rusty Nail variations can be made using any type of alcohol, although Scotch whiskey blends are the most traditional.

Some other variations of Rusty Nail include The Rusty Bob, which uses Bourbon. The Rusty Ale, made from a Drambuie ‘shot’ and beer without ice, The Smoky Nail with smoky Islay whiskey, and The Clavo Ahumado is a Spanish variant.

Next up is The Railroad Spike, often served at brunch using coffee and Drambuie in a glass high on the ice.

Lastly, Rusty Nail’s version, The Donald Sutherland, uses Canadian wheat whiskey as a substitute for Scotch.

The appearance of Rusty Nail took a long time, according to historians. The combination of Drambuie and Scotch whiskey first appeared in 1937.

Its name was only patented in 1963 when the Drambuie company chairman authorized it in The New York Times.

You may also like 21 Popular British Drinks You Have To Know About

10. Bovril

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Talking about a drink that seems strange, maybe you can get it from Bovril.

The name is actually the trademark of a thick, salty meat extract paste similar to yeast extract. Interestingly, Bovril can be made into a drink if diluted.

Bovril is diluted with hot water or sometimes also with milk, although it is very rare as a drink.

Other uses of Bovril include flavoring in soups, broths, stews, or as a spread.

Bovril’s name comes from the Latin ‘bovinus‘, which means ‘ox.’


The brand, created and invented by John Lawson Johnston, is also inspired by Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s novel, “The Coming Race,” which tells the story of a power called “Vril.”

Initially, Bovril served as a war food during the Napoleonic Wars up to World War I. But the history of making Bovril as a drink comes from British football fans.

To overcome cold, Bovril dissolved in hot water.

The Bovril solution is still sold in stadiums throughout Great Britain today. The Bovril beef tea was also the only hot drink Ernest Shackleton’s team had to drink during the Endurance Expedition as it was warming.

9. Scottish Tea

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There are a variety of Scottish teas, but they are generally the strong type of black tea. Also, compared to English Breakfast tea, Scottish tea feels stronger.

There are two kinds of Scottish tea, Scotland Breakfast tea, and Scottish Blend and Brodies tea.

Scotland Breakfast tea is a black tea with a ‘full body’ character with a malty taste, best served with sugar and milk.

One of the well-known producers of Scotland Breakfast tea is The Taylors of Harrogate Scottish Breakfast in England.

Meanwhile, Scottish Blend was introduced in 1990 and is one of the favorite brands in Scotland.

In 1998, Scottish Blend became the number 2 tea brand in Scotland. Its popularity is increasingly widespread throughout the world especially produced by Unilever.

Even so, Brodies still produces tea today mainly marketed to tourists visiting Scotland.

Brodies is still a family business, having started in 1867 at Leith before moving to the Edinburgh area.

Each Scottish tea has a unique taste according to individual tastes. One way to find out a suitable taste is to drink it without sugar or milk. When you have determined the right tea, then you can add milk or sugar.

8. Bouvrage

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Another popular Scottish soft drink is Bouvrage. Produced by Ella Drinks Limited in Brechin, Angus, Scotland, Bouvrage is originally made with raspberry juice.

Other ingredients include lightly carbonated water, sugar, flavorings, and more. There are also other flavor versions.

Like blueberry flavor and strawberry flavor, however, the strawberries’ taste isn’t possible initially as the color can change over time.

But the company finally managed to ensure that the strawberry color can be retained as a pink color.

Actually, there are still many Bouvrage products that are sold in 250 ml and 750 ml bottles.

Like variants of apple juice and elderflower juice, apple juice and rhubarb juice, pure Scottish apple juice, apple, and berry juice, all of them offer a distinct taste of freshness.

Ella Drinks Limited is a company founded by Anne and John. They have been producing fruit juices for about 20 years.

The original idea was to make raspberries that thrive in certain seasons in Scotland so that they can be drunk all year round.

The drink is often used as a sample at food and beverage product exhibition festivals in Scotland.

Besides, most of the bouquets are sold at independent liquor stores in the country. Bouvrage is a healthy alternative to fruit juice.

7. Camp Coffee

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Camp Coffee is a concentrated syrup flavored with coffee and chicory.

The drink was first produced in 1876 by Paterson & Sons Ltd. in Glasgow. In 1984, it was purchased by McCormick UK Ltd. and combined with the Schwartz brand.

Currently, Camp Coffee, or Camp Chicory & Coffee, contains 25% sugar, water, chicory extract, and 4% dry coffee extract. The liquid is dark brown like syrup and has a chicory taste and a soft but lovely coffee.

This drink is generally mixed with hot water or warm milk such as chocolate. It can also be added to cold milk and ice to make iced coffee.

Camp Coffee is also widely used to make coffee cakes and confectionery.

Campbell Paterson created camp Coffee in 1885 through the Paterson & Son company.

Initially, Camp Coffee was made as instant coffee for military purposes. The label also looks classic and depicts the romanticism of the King of England.

Camp Coffee is a nostalgic drink in Great Britain and Scotland as it remembers childhood.

At the end of 1975, Camp Coffee even became an alternative to instant coffee in England, especially when coffee prices soar because of the climate.

6. Swats

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Swats is a traditional Scottish drink that originates from the manufacture of Sowans. Made from flour that is left in the husks or wheat after grinding.

The flour is then soaked and fermented for several days then the liquid is filtered.

The liquid is presented as Swats, sometimes also added milk. The taste tends to be sour, so that many people try to cover up the sour taste by adding sugar.

Meanwhile, the Swats deposit is known as Sowans.

Sowans can be made in different ways. Some are made into pasta, and some are poured into water and added with butter called ‘douchera.’

One of Sowans’ interesting things is the residual liquid called Swats, which is high in probiotics.


The word Sowans comes from the Gaelic ‘subhan‘ and first appeared in Scotland in the late 16th century in the classic work of George Ridpath.

Besides being used as a drink, Sowans is also a type of traditional Scottish diet food.

Sowans was even included in the food list at the Dundee Royal Infirmary in 1798.

Even if Sowans is cooked into porridge, it will kill the probiotic culture, but the body can still digest its nutrients like what is found in yogurt.

5. Rose’s Lime Juice

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Rose’s Lime Juice, often referred to as Rose’s, is a fruit juice concentrate.

The drink was successfully patented in 1867 and became the first commercially produced fruit concentrate in the world. The first factory was L. Rose & Co.

The factory was located on Commercial Street in Leith, Scotland, in 1868, adjacent to the Old East Dock.

Due to its proximity to a major Scottish port, the plant is helped by a lime supply, which does not grow in Great Britain.

The lime that entered Britain mostly came from Dominica in the West Indies region.

To help supply for its production, L. Rose & Co. bought a plantation on the premises plus another in the region of Ghana, Africa.

Currently, Rose’s trademark is owned by the company Coca-Cola Enterprise Ltd.

The majority of limes are now sourced from Mexico and Peru. Other ingredients in it include corn syrup.

Rose’s Lime Juice has a fresh taste and is commonly used as a cocktail mix.


L. Rose & Co. was founded by Lauchlan Rose, a ship lamp maker in Leith. He started lime preservation in 1865 and patented a method of making orange juice without alcohol.

Eventually, the product became famous in a much wider market.

4. Irn-Bru

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Irn-Bru is a carbonated soft drink from Scotland, often referred to as Scotland’s national drink after whiskey.

Irn-Bru is produced in Westfield, Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire by AG Barr of Glasgow. First introduced in 1901.

The drink is known for its bright orange color and unique taste. The name itself translates to “iron drink.”

This most likely comes from the iron content in it, especially since Irn-Bru contains 0.002% ammonium iron citrate.

Irn-Bru is made from carbonated water, sugar, citric acid, and various other ingredients.

There are several variants of Irn-Bru products such as Irn-Bru 1901, Free Sugar Irn-Bru, Irn-Bru Xtra, Irn-Bru Energy, and others.

You could say Irn-Bru tastes like a liquid gum.


Its history begins with a soft drink made in New York under the name IRONBREW in 1889.

Then in 1898, a similar drink was launched into Great Britain by British beverage producer London Stevenson & Howell.

Scottish companies AG Barr & Co of Glasgow and Robert Barr in Falkirk did not want to be left behind.

They launched their version of Iron Brew in May 1899. Irn-Bru finally got the trademark in July 1946, which was high in iron.

3. Scotch Ale

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Beer has been produced in Scotland for about 5 centuries.

This is because the Celtic tradition of using bitter herbs has survived in Scotland more than in other parts of Europe.

One of the famous styles of beer from Scotland is Scotch Ale.

The term was first used as a designation for strong white beer exported from Edinburgh in the 18th century.

Like other strong beers, Scotch Ale tends to have a sweet taste from the residual fermented sugar, smell malty, and have a ‘full body‘ character.

Apart from being referred to as Scotch Ale, this Scottish beer is sometimes referred to as “whiskey ale,” especially by brewers in France.

However, the style is actually different from Scotch Ale because it looks clear yellow instead of brown and with a smoky taste.

Although the wide variety of beers produced in Scotland is often referred to as Scotch Ale, originally there are several categories, such as ‘light,’ ‘heavy,’ ‘export,’ and ‘wee heavy,’ based on the Shilling category, according to the alcohol content being under 3.5% – more than 6%.

Apart from that, Scotch Ale is sometimes referred to as “Wee Heavy” to describe his thick character.

Some of Scotch Ale’s well-known brands are Dark Island Reserve from Orkney Brewery, Scottish Ale from Black Isle Brewery Co. Ltd, and others.

2. Drambuie

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Drambuie is Scottish liquor that is golden in color and contains 40% alcohol. The drink is made from a mixture of Scotch, honey, herbs, and spices.

The MacKinnon family owned the Drambuie brand before it was later purchased by William Grant & Sons.

Drambuie has a strong Scotch character and is slightly sweet and rich in spicy flavor.


The name itself probably comes from a Scottish Gaelic phrase, ‘an dram buidheach‘ meaning ‘a satisfying drink.’

Drambuie’s history is often associated with Prince Charles Edward Stuart after the Battle of Culloden in 1746.

Prince Stuart fled to Skye’s island, where he found protection from Captain John MacKinnon of the MacKinnon Clan.

According to legend, after living with the MacKinnon family, the prince presented him with the recipe for this precious drink.

At that time, the recipe for the drink did not yet have a name. Clan MacKinnon gave the recipe to John Ross at the end of the 19th century.

In the 1880s, his son, James Ross, began developing the recipe and changing brandy to Scotch.

Drambuie finally began to be produced commercially in Union Street, Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1910. Until finally in 2014, it was bought by the William Grant & Sons company.

1. Scotch Whiskey

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One of the drinks that are most synonymous with Scotland is Scotch, or called Scotch Whiskey.

The liquor is malt whiskey, wheat whiskey, or made from a mixture of the two in Scotland. Scotch Whiskey must be produced according to law.

There are currently five types of Scotch categories: Single Malt Scotch, Single Grain Scotch, Blended Malt Scotch, Blended Grain Scotch, and Blended Scotch.

Also, Scotch is divided into four production areas, Highland, Lowland, Islay, and Campbeltown. Like Ballantine’s, Bell’s, Chivas Regal, Cutty Sark, Johnnie Walker, and others.

The taste varies greatly depending on the production process, including sour, sweet, rough, and flowering.

Meanwhile, the alcohol content in it ranges from 40% to 95%.


All Scotch was originally made from malted barley. Whiskey made from wheat and rye was introduced in the 18th century by commercial distilleries.

Additionally, all Scotch must be stored in oak barrels for at least three years or more.

According to the Scotch Whiskey Association, the word whiskey comes from the Gaelic word ‘uisge beatha‘ or ‘usquebaugh,’ which means ‘water of life.’

Scotland’s earliest distillery was at Lindores Abbey in 1949, documented in Exchequer Rolls.

Those are some of the drinks that come from Scotland.

So, apart from the famous Scotch Whiskey, many other drinks are worth trying, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, which depart from Scotland’s unique culture, climate, and geographical conditions.

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