Masterchef finalist Dean Banks creates Scottish gin

Dean Banks, restaurateur and Masterchef: The Professionals finalist, has launched a Scottish gin, called Lunun.

The gin was inspired by Banks' cooking and his travels to more than 40 countries. Lunun contains six botanicals: kaffir lime leaf, sea buckthorn, Sichuan pepper, kombu kelp, ginger and lemongrass. It is recommended served with tonic and a slice of lime to complement the gin’s “citrus essence”. “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,” said Banks. “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.” The expression was created in a single-fold distillation process and was distilled in Banks' hometown of Arbroath in Angus, Scotland. The gin takes its name from Angus’s secluded beach, Lunan Bay. “Lunan Bay is one of my favourite places in Scotland and a place close to my home,” said Banks. “This gin reflects that and my travels, but it is also a drink that will be appreciated by those who are just looking for a high-quality gin to enjoy, whether at home or in a restaurant or bar.” The first batch of Lunun Gin has been priced at RRP £38 (US$49) per 700ml bottle.