MasterChef finalist launches ‘no-nonsense’ gin

Finalist of the BBC’s Masterchef: The Professionals and St Andrews restaurateur, Dean Banks, has launched his own “no-nonsense” Scottish gin brand called Lunun.

Inspired by Banks’ travels to over 40 countries, the gin is flavoured with botanicals including kaffir lime leaf, kombu kelp, seabuckthorn, lemongrass, Sichuan pepper and ginger.

Created using a single-fold distillation process in the chef’s hometown of Arbroath in Angus, the gin takes it name from Lunan Bay, located three miles south of Montrose.

It is available online and in local retailers priced at £38 per 70cl bottle, with both the packing and distribution process being plastic-free.

Commenting on the launch, Banks said: “I’ve always wanted to create my own gin and it seems like the next natural step for me after establishing my restaurant in St Andrews.

“I wanted to create something that people judge solely on the taste and not the ‘hype’ that often comes with contemporary artisan gins – in fact, Lunun is the opposite to an artisan gin. There’s no smoke and mirrors with Lunun. People who appreciate a quality-tasting gin without any of the other nonsense, will enjoy this one.

“Although our chosen botanicals give Lunun an Asian twist, all can be sourced in Scotland, keeping the distillation process straightforward, just like the gin. Customers will only require a slice of lime to garnish – it’s about keeping gin-drinking simple and accessible and focusing the entire experience on the taste.

“Chefs will appreciate this too, and it will hopefully become the chef’s choice of gin in restaurants across Scotland.”

Banks opened his restaurant called Haar earlier this year, located on main floor of St Andrews’ Kinnettles Hotel on North Street. Dishes include Fife rare bread pork belly with kimchi purée; smoked lobster with mirin butter; spiced octopus, citrus barley and burnt tomato; and sea trout and kohlrabi with café de Paris hollandaise.

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