Cushiedoos flies the flag for Scottish tonic

Cushiedoos, a new premium tonic water that contains Scottish botanicals and no quinine, is winging its way across the border from Scotland.

In April this year Andrew Ligertwood founded Drink Better Ltd and created a tonic water “unlike any other tonic brand”, using Scottish mountain water, indigenous Scottish botanicals and no quinine. The recipe uses less citrus acid than other tonics and therefore it needs less sugar, according to Ligertwood. The tonic, which is named after the Scottish wood pigeon, or Cushiedoo, as it is known locally, is 24% lower in sugar than many premium tonic waters.

Ligertwood explained: “If Scots are among the best in the world at making great gins as well as whiskies, then why on earth is there no tonic water made with Scottish ingredients worthy of their companionship?”

The botanicals include a blend of Scottish heather and Scottish silver birch, both wild foraged in the Scottish Highlands. Also in the mix is yellow gentian and wormwood, which provide the distinctive bitterness in the tonic, rather than sourcing quinine from overseas.

Cushiedoos is sold in 20cl bottles and it is distributed by Inverarity Morton, JW Filshil, Luvian’s, Royal Mile Whiskies and Huffman’s.

Ligertwood started his career in marketing at Scottish & Newcastle, followed by a stint at the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) as customer retention marketing manager, and then at Highland Spring as head of customer marketing, insight and data. Most recently he retuned to RBS as part of a tem developing brand propositions and strategic plans for existing and new customers across England and Wales. 

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