A new premium Scottish tonic water has entered the market with a distinct proposition unlike any other tonic brand.
Cushiedoos (pronounced coo-she-doos) is uniquely made with natural artesian mountain water and a blend of Scottish heather, Scottish silver birch, yellow gentian and wormwood – no quinine, no artificial ingredients and 24% less sugar than the market leader.
The result is a tonic bursting with fresh, floral elderflower notes that delivers that trademark bitterness – without having to fly to another continent to source the quinine – and yet has a remarkable smoothness and clean aftertaste.
Andrew Ligertwood, founder of Drink Better Ltd and the creator of Cushiedoos tonic, explained that whilst Scotland is on the world stage when it comes to so much of its national produce, there was a glaring absence of any premium tonic made with Scottish ingredients.
He said: ‘Scotland has a reputation for excellence when it comes to our amazing natural larder.
‘Provenance, sustainable sourcing and supporting local are very high up the value index when it comes to marketing and promotion and buyer motivation. It struck me, as a I was enjoying a gin and tonic – the gin was made in Scotland but the tonic wasn’t – that there was a gap for a premium tonic water made using Scottish ingredients and research then showed me that there was a demand for it.’
The water – not from just any old spring – is drawn from ancient artesian springs, high in the Cairngorms National Park. It is one of the purest, softest waters in the world.
For 50 years it filters its way through the cracks and crevices in layers of granite until it emerges naturally.
The Scottish heather and Scottish silver birch are both wild-foraged in the Scottish Highlands, and the yellow gentian and wormwood are being cultivated at the Secret Herb Garden, a specialist herb nursery near Edinburgh. For now, Drink Better Ltd imports these botanicals from Europe but Andrew hopes to harvest the first plants in the near future.
He added: ‘Everything we use in Cushiedoos is natural: there’s nothing synthetic, nothing has been tampered with.
‘The botanicals provide the balance between bitterness and freshness, the lack of quinine and lower levels of citric acid means it has an extraordinary smoothness and clean aftertaste.
‘My aspiration is that we have as minimal a carbon footprint as possible and that our entire production process is managed within Scotland. At the moment I have to buy in yellow gentian and wormwood but the plants being grown by the expert team at the Secret Herb Garden will reach maturity soon and will be put straight into use.’
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