For the second year running, Orkney Gin Company (Orkney Spirits Limited) were in for the running for the ultimate prize in the Scottish Retail Food and Drink Awards - with Aatta scooping the best prize possible - Platinum.
The Scottish Retail Food and Drink Awards recognise the best Scottish products on the market and they also do their best to spread the word of the fantastic winners too!
The Awards are judged by an extensive list of 40 experts in the industry. They work in a set of stages, with shortlisted products potentially moving forward to win bronze, silver, or gold in their category. The lucky winners of gold in each category then move to the next heat. This year, the judges were tasked with choosing a mere 7 platinum overall winners in an exciting two day tasting event at The Corinthian in Glasgow. There, the venue's executive chef prepared foods as described on the packaging or in its entry - in Aatta's case, its perfect serve.
We were sadly not in attendance at the awards, but the wonderful Antonia from the Scottish Gantry managed to snap a photo of the moment we won gold - which was very kind of her. It looks like a busy ceremony with lots of fantastic producers waiting to see if they win a prize.
Find out more about the awards and other winners here: https://www.scottishretailfoodanddrinkawards.com
More about Aatta - it's called "Aatta' because it means 'eight' in Old Orcadian, which was once a widely used language here, but sadly isn't known anymore. We love to teach folk about Orkney's history and folklore so it seemed the perfect name. Eight is often known as a lucky number, with many connections to happiness and prosperity. Aatta is also distilled eight times - which is an exceptional amount of distillations when comparing many other gins on the market (which are often distilled around three or four times). Each distillation makes the end product even smoother, so you can see why we pay particular attention to this detail. Eight botanicals are hand-picked and carefully chosen for our Aatta gin. These include; Orkney rose-hips, whole oranges, Madagascan Vanilla, and (my personal favourite ingredient) tonka bean.
Aatta is a bright and fresh gin with distinct summery notes coming through from rose hips. They are a very special ingredient to us as they are rich, velvety, but also have a bright fruity dimension too. We keep the seeds in to infuse the spirit, which creates another level of complexity - more earthy and grounding. Bright, marmalade zing can be found from the juniper and whole oranges, and you can expect a silky smooth finish from the gentle hints of vanilla and tonka bean - sublime!
We love to drink Aatta in as simple a state as is possible in a longer drink - so we always search for a plain Indian tonic. This way, we can really enjoy each level of flavour and complexity. We are a family of orange lovers, often finding lemon a little overpowering in G and T's, so definitely go for whole orange and add a little juice from another slice if you'd like. If you're looking to freshen it up to the next level, I would certainly recommend a sprig of rosemary this summer!
Find out more about Aatta here: https://www.orkneygincompany.com/aatta
Excitingly - this isn't our first win at the Scottish Retail Food and Drink Awards! Last year our Orkney Akvavit was crowned a Platinum winner too. So, you might say we are 'double platinum' now! We sometimes can't believe that our little family run gin company from Burray is so well recognised in awards. It is a lovely feeling though, after all the hard work we put into our gins and other spirits. We are delighted and thrilled!
We would like to say thank you to those who organised the awards, the judges, and also all the other amazing entries. It makes us feel proud to be from a place that makes so much good food and drink!
Shop Aatta here: https://www.orkneygincompany.com/product-page/aatta-gin-70cl