Meet the Blogger

Euan Harris, From the Gin Shelf.

Published: 21st March 2018

There are a number of contributors to the story of Scottish Gin and gin as a wider topic. We wanted to introduce our audience to some of people in the gin community who contribute their own take on the world of gin, through their websites and blogs. With such a rich and diverse selection of gin commentators, we wanted to provide our audience with a chance to get to know the people behind the blog. With our very first ‘Meet the Blogger’ interview, we caught up with Euan Harris, who runs his blog and website From the Gin Shelf.

When and where was your first Gin & Tonic?

I honestly can’t remember – it was a very long time ago and before I developed my love of gin. My first few experiences were Gordon’s and Bombay Sapphire – neither of which are really to my taste. The early days weren’t helped by the lack of quality tonics generally available, but I didn’t realise this at the time.

It wasn’t until I tried Hendricks for the first time that I really opened up to how nice (and different) gin could be. For me it was where my love of gin started.

This grew further with gins such as Westwinds, an Australian brand I came to love whilst living in Melbourne.

The availability of premium tonics was also critical as most G&Ts you’d get out in bars would be draft. Thankfully, a good quality tonic is no longer a rarity!

What started you off on your blogging journey?

I started blogging in 2013 and my first site was an alternative music blog. I work in digital marketing and wanted to see if I could carve out a niche for myself in a hugely competitive market.

I managed to do that to some extent and loved discovering new bands, and attending and photographing gigs – it was a great experience.

After the birth of my first child, I had much less time on my hands to attend gigs etc. Also, given the industry, reviews needed to be up before anyone else to really get traction. It was something I just didn’t have the time to commit to anymore.

A year or so later I decided to start writing about another of my passions – gin. It’s something I can do at my own pace with no real restrictions on deadlines for maximum impact.

What’s the day job?

I work in digital marketing, with a strong focus on search engine optimisation. I’ve worked in various industries including NGOs, software, travel and agency.

Part of the reason I started blogging was to give me the full freedom to do what I want with a site. It allows me to test things that I might otherwise not be able to.

What do you do to stay abreast of the latest gin news?

I spend far too much time on social media than is good for me (and my wife would agree!). I follow a range of gin and spirit-related accounts and find that’s easiest for me. Most gin brands appear on social media well before they’re launched so you generally see most things.

Who’s your favourite gin blogger?

There a lots of great accounts out there and there’s a good sense of community amongst gin bloggers. I really enjoy reading Gin Foundry and The Gin Lord, however.

Tell us something about yourself outside the world of gin…

Football and music were my first loves. Whilst I have less time for both of these hobbies now, they’re still a big part of my life. Otherwise, I lead a simple life centred around by my wife and children – and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Would you admit to having a favourite gin!?

There are so many great gins now. Much like my favourite album, it tends to change on a fairly regular basis. My current favourites include Hernö, Nordes, Martin Miller’s and Isle of Harris. The latter, for me, is an absolute pioneer of how a modern gin brand should be – time, care and attention in the process, a stunning bottle, a great story, and of course a beautiful drink. The community spirit behind the project is the icing on the cake!

My current favourite however is Ginerosity, made at Pickering’s Summerhouse Distillery – it’s absolutely delicious!

What’s your personal perfect serve?

G&T is my drink of choice but the serve depends on the gin really. Hendricks, for example, can only be cucumber.

I tend to lean towards drinks with orange as a garnish and more recently mint. I really like floral notes too and anytime I’ve had lavender as a garnish I’ve enjoyed it. Looking forward to my plant blooming in the garden this year so I can experiment!

What’s the best and worst thing about being a gin blogger?

Best thing is the variety of gins I get to sample. Worst thing is that I don’t sample them as fast as I would like!! I’m not a heavy drinker by any stretch so it takes me a little more time to get round to everything. Gin is a drink that should be savoured and enjoyed in moderation!

Who’s supported you in your gin journey?

Definitely my wife who listens to more facts about gin than she’d care to! My brother, Iain, was probably the one who influenced me the most in my early gin-loving years. And of course my children, who put me in the mood for a Saturday night drink!

What Scottish gins are you looking forward to trying next?

I’ve got a lovely bottle of Kirkjuvagr waiting to be opened that was kindly sent to me by the team there. Also love the sound of Garden Shed Gin, made in my home city!

What plans do From the Gin Shelf have in 2018?

I’m looking to further establish the blog. We’ve only been up and running for 6 months or so, so the plan is to keep writing when time is available to me, sampling new brands and promoting Scottish and craft gins. Getting additional writers on board is also under consideration.

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