Meet the BloggerAimee Ironside, Aimee Talks Gin.
Published: 6th July 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. In our second ‘Meet the Blogger’ feature series interview, we talked to Aimee Ironside, who runs her blog and website Aimee Talks Gin.
When and where was your first Gin & Tonic?
I tried my first ever gin and tonic when I started my first job at a bar in Aberdeen – I did enjoy it but, I was a student so let’s face it, drinking out of a plastic cup, with one cube of ice and no lime isn’t the most amazing way to drink gin! I don’t think it was until I attended the launch of Porter’s Gin that I couldn’t believe I’d been missing out on so much (good) gin and, since then, it’s become a staple in my weekend diet!
What started you off on your blogging journey?
It was actually the Aberdeen Gin Fest last year that inspired me to do something more than just drink good gin and talk about it. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting all of the different distillers and hearing them talk so passionately about their products so, after the event, I did a series of posts on my personal Instagram page. I got so many compliments on my photos and ‘mini reviews’, and a few people did even suggest starting a blog! So within a week or so, Aimee Talks Gin was born.
What’s the day job?
I work in the oil and gas industry as a communications adviser – I love the diversity that comes with a job in communications; it keeps life exciting! Of course, the dream would be to end up as a professional gin blogger… is that even a thing?! But, for now, the blog is a really fun way to expel some of my creative energy outside of work!
What do you do to stay abreast of the latest gin news?
Instagram, Instagram, Instagram! It’s by far my favourite social platform and I follow so many gin companies and gin bloggers to stay up to date on new gins, releases, reviews, launches and more. I feel like nowadays people best consume information in bite size form, so Instagram is a great way for companies to relay key messages (with good, attractive photos!).
Who’s your favourite gin blogger?
I follow a few “ginstagrammers” who always appear at the top of my feed. Favourites include The Gin Room and The Gin Guide but, honestly, the photos posted by The Gin Cooperative are always amazing and the content that goes along with it is of such high (and independent!) quality.
Tell us something about yourself outside the world of gin…
I really enjoy taking photos. Most of the time I’m pretty terrible at it, but when I get that perfect shot, it makes me so happy! (It’s OK that it takes me 100 takes, right?!) I’m also diversifying my Instagram account a little to include more lifestyle pieces – I find that the accounts I follow are a mix of gin and travel and lifestyle and that’s what inspires me, so I’m going to dabble a little and see how that goes!
Would you admit to having a favourite gin?
How could I?! The gin market has exploded, for want of a better word. It’s almost impossible to keep up with the new releases, but that’s what keeps blogging about it so exciting. There’s always something new to try, to write about or to learn about. So, no, I wouldn’t say that I have a favourite, because I love too many of them, but I’ll generally always choose to drink a Scottish gin (because who can do it better than the Scots?!) and if it’s from Aberdeenshire, even better.
Current favourites are probably The Teasmith, Gordon Castle and Isle of Harris. But really, the list goes on and on (you should see my gin collection!) and I’ll generally always choose to try a new gin rather than go for a ‘classic’ (but make no mistake, the classics exist for a reason – they’re just as good as the new crafts on the block!).
What’s your personal ‘perfect serve’?
I’m a big fan of a classic serve – lots of big ice cubes (never scrimp on the ice!), a good quality tonic and, probably most importantly, a good ratio of gin to tonic (it makes me upset to see a good gin drowned out by the tonic!). I do love a garnish, but let’s be real… How many of us have an endless selection of fresh garnishes in our fridges?!
What’s the best and worst thing about being a gin blogger?
The worst thing is probably feeling the pressure from friends to help them choose their gin! It’s such a personal preference that I worry they won’t like something that I recommend! It hasn’t happened so far though and I seem to have earned my place as a trusted gin adviser.
The best thing BY FAR is being privileged enough to be able to try new gins and learn about new and upcoming distilleries. It might be a busy market but for a gin blogger, it’s so exciting! I’ve been invited to a distillery local to Aberdeenshire for a visit and to try their gin and, for me, that’s what it’s all about. I get to share my perspectives and experiences with those who follow my blog and it’s the best kind of hobby.
Also, as a gin blogger, I ALWAYS have an excuse to drink gin… (as if I need one).
Who’s supported you on your gin journey?
Everyone! I’m not going to lie, I felt a bit nervous creating my blog and then sharing it with the world (read: my friends and family). At the end of the day, I’ve never professed to be a gin connoisseur or expert – I am just a lover of good gin and everyone has supported that. They trust my views and opinions and that’s super important to me.
What Scottish Gins are you looking forward to trying out next?
I really want to get my hands on a bottle of the newly launched Red Door Gin! It sounds scrumptious and, also, that bottle… *heart eyes*. But there are still so many that already exist which I haven’t yet tried! I want to try the St Andrews Gin Co Pink Grapefruit gin and the Garden Shed Drinks Company gin. My friend got a bottle of the latter for her birthday, so I might need to invite myself round for a tipple.
What plans does Aimee Talks Gin have for 2018?
I would like to post more on my actual blog. As I said, Instagram is an amazing platform and I do get a lot of engagement, but the blog affords me the chance to write much more for the portion of people who are interested in reading more than a photo caption. So, that’s definitely on the agenda. And as part of that, I’d like to do a couple of features on distillery tours – I’d love to get to Isle of Harris and be able to write about the Harris gin distillery, but I’m not sure I’ll make it there before the end of the summer! We’ll see… Keep an eye out.
Images courtesy of Aimee Talks Gin.