World Gin Day falls on the second Saturday of June each year. The idea of this is to give a legitimate reason (not that Arbikie need one) to join people across the world in celebrating the magic of gin and drink some, of course. In the Arbikie white spirits family we have three different gins; Kirsty's, AK's and Nàdar.
Kirsty's Gin was the first gin created by and named after our master distiller, Kirsty Black. Kirsty carefully chose each botanical to represent the land, sea and rock; carline thistle, kelp and blaeberries, that surround our distillery in Angus. Alongside these, juniper is very close to our hearts. Not only does it provide a home for birds, mammals, insects, fungi and lichen but it is also critical in the production of our gin. The juniper plant is endangered, so Arbikie have pledged to plant one Juniper bush for every bottle of gin purchased from the website. Since 2015, we have planted on average 600 bushes a year, with this extra contribution everyone is helping us do our bit!
The second addition to our field-to-bottle gin range is AK’s Gin, which is distilled using wheat farmed on Arbikie Estate. It is then flavoured with unique botanicals including fresh honey, black pepper and smoked cardamom. The botanicals grown in the fields and our polytunnel are just a stones-throw away from our distillery. The honey originates from nearby bees that forage the local area and our beehives are managed by the team at the East of Scotland Beekeeper Association. Bees are such a fundamental part to our environment and it's crucial that we protect and encourage them to pollinate our fields and local area.
There is also great sentimental value behind this gin. Like all Arbikie products the name plays a part, it is all significant and even more so with this bottle. It is a homage to the late Alexander Kirkwood Stirling, the father of Arbikie founders, who worked on the farm for over 60 years passing on his skill and knowledge. So today, we would like to raise a glass of AK's in honour of Mr AK Stirling.
The most recent to our collection is Nàdar, which is Gaelic for ’Nature’. The name reflects how we harnessed the power of nature and science to create this world-first climate positive spirit. With a carbon footprint of -1.54kg CO2eq per bottle, Nàdar Gin is at the forefront of fighting climate change and biodiversity loss - the biggest challenges humankind has ever faced.
As a field-to-bottle farm and distillery, Arbikie are uniquely able to experiment and innovate by distilling unexpected crops as a base spirit and assessing their carbon impact. With the amazing help and research from the James Hutton Institute and Abertay University, this is when the unassuming pea became hero.
Growing this crop means no nitrogen fertiliser is needed, avoiding the negative environmental impact of its production and use. As well as growing peas on our farm also benefits the ecosystem by supporting pollinating insects and improving soil quality - aiding subsequent crops. The residue left over from our distillation processes can also be used as a protein rich animal-feed, reducing the dependency on imported feed - it’s wider use could even solve Europe’s animal-feed eco-challenges!
- During lockdown, Arbikie's brand ambassadors from across Scotland have formed the A Team Takeover to release a weekly episode of their favourite product and shaking together a cocktail. In celebration of World Gin Day and everyone watching at home we are hosting a GIVEAWAY on our Instagram...
All we want to know is out of the three gin cocktails made on the A Team Takeover, what is your favourite?