It was a pleasure to be working at the quietly sophisticated Dalmahoy Hotel & Country club, just outside Edinburgh, over the weekend.

For those who haven’t visited, Dalmahoy is set in acres of mature woodland with two golf courses, leisure club and friendly dedicated staff. It is 20 minutes drive from Edinburgh city centre.

They have recently announced an extensive multi million pound room refurbishment.

On Friday, a large corporate group were in for their conference. We were tasked to bring an interesting Scottish drinks offering for their meeting breakout in the afternoon. During the 30 minute breakout session we offered a craft beer and Scottish gin tasting.


Scottish Craft Beer tasting

Scottish craft beer tasting

We were lucky to have Dr Chris on hand for Friday’s beer tasting.

He chose 3 craft Scottish beers:

Guests enjoyed the variety of craft beers on offer which opened up new flavour profiles to those used to a standard pint of lager!


Scottish Gin tasting experience

Scottish Gin tasting experience

Our Gin Goddess, Timna, served up 3 of Scotland’s finest gins for the group who sampled the spirits and then tried the perfect serves with a selection of tonics.

The Scottish gins chosen were:

  • Rock Rose
  • The Botanist
  • Edinburgh Seaside gin

The idea was to present three contrasting Scottish gins to the guests, allowing them to taste the key differences between the brands.

Edinburgh Seaside was the most coastal of the gins and was finished with a slice of lemon. The citrus notes from both the gin and the garnish balanced the slightly mineralic yet sweet notes that came from the spirit.

Rock Rose was deliciously savoury and floral. The herbaceous notes were enhanced by the rosemary garnish whilst the hint of lemon from the spirit made this a well-rounded gin and tonic.

To finish, we had the Botanist which was the driest of all the gins showcased. The key wood and earthy notes of the spirit accentuated the notes of pepper spice coming through on the palate. Garnished with a slice of pink grapefruit for the perfect serve,  this makes a crisp, dry and classic gin and tonic.

Just the Tonic:

Cushiedoos tonic

This was our first time with Cushiedoos Premium tonic water on a tasting and it was great to have such positive feedback. Even the guests who don’t normally like tonic water, said they enjoyed the taste. This is testament to what it says on the bottle: “it’s good enough to drink on its own”.

The majority of people who say they do not like tonic water are usually referring to the bitter taste of quinine and this is one of the things which sets this tonic water apart from others; it uses no quinine at all! This makes this tonic less drying/sharp on the palate. Despite the fact that this also means the tonic tastes a little bit sweeter than others, it actually has no sweeteners or preservatives and has 24% less sugar than other leading tonic brands. Well worth a try if you are looking for a different Scottish gin accompaniment!


Pop up Cocktail Masterclass

Cocktail Masterclass

In the evening, as a prelude to dinner, the corporate client was looking for an interactive cocktail masterclass. Guests learned the skills required to prepare themselves 3 cocktails 🍸during dinner.

We set our pop-up bar up in the room as a cocktail demonstration station.  Mark, one of our mixologists, gave a cocktail demonstration assisted by members of the group.

Cocktail Masterclass

There were 8 tables for dinner and we set up a cocktail station for each of the guests’ tables. Each of the tables had all the ingredients and equipment to make the cocktails for themselves.

Our Reel Time cocktail experts were on hand to showcase the best way to make the cocktails.  They then worked the room during dinner answering questions,  helping guests to create the best drinks.

The cocktails the guests prepared were:

  • Tom Collins.
  • Mojito
  • Whisky Old Fashioned.


You can find out more about our pop up cocktail bar and cocktail experiences at


Thanks to


Cushiedoos tonic

Botanist Scottish gin

Edinburgh gin Seaside edition

Rock Rose Gin

Fever tree tonic