Those who visited us at the local County Show and Dounby Show, and folk watching our stories recently with a keen eye may have spotted something a little different in our range. It's something new and exciting - and those who visited may have even had the chance to try it before it's release!
You may have noticed the name of our company on our new Aatta bottles, Orkney Spirits Limited. We still continue to trade as Orkney Gin Company, so as not to cause too much confusion, however - more confusingly, we don't just make gins. We also make Orkney Akvavit, which is a different spirit originating in Scandinavia, and we are branching out further into the other spirits world soon!
Many have asked us to make it, so we thought - why not give the locals and visitors a 'peedie' taste of our new spirit at our bar at the agricultural shows this year!? The new spirit was welcomed with open arms, so much so that we ran out! The owners, Gary and Andrea had to nip back to the distillery in Burray and label a few more bottles for the bar. It was a busy few days, and the favourite cocktail was our 'Selkie on the Shore' - which was a little bit like a woo woo. Cocktail enthusiasts reading this might recognise the spirit required in a woo woo. It's probably about as simple and stripped back as you can get, but nonetheless very tasty - that's right, it's vodka.
We have our first batch ready, and used temporary labels at the shows. As per usual, I am working hard on the label design in the background, so it's just me you're waiting on (sorry)! Our new vodka will be presented in the same beautiful bottle as our Aatta Gin, with different patterns and colours so you can clearly differentiate between the two spirits and the stunning prism shapes will reflect and refract light into the crystal clear spirit perfectly.
Like our Orkney Akvavit and Aatta Gin, our vodka is distilled a jaw-dropping eight times in our 250 litre custom built intelligent still. Each distillation creates an even smoother spirit, which is a successful technique with many top awards our other distilled spirits have won proving that. Most vodkas you see on the market are distilled three or four times, so imagine the clarity and smooth finish we have created in our vodka - it dances on your tongue!
We have been working at bottling our vodka at 41.5%ABV, which may seem a little higher than the usual brands, however, creating the spirit to sit at a slightly higher ABV is common in craft vodkas.
You may be interested to know that all our spirits are made using grain spirit, and our vodka is no different.
The feedback on our vodka has been fantastic, with those chatting to us reiterating just how smooth and silky it tastes, with little to no harshness. Popular serves were with Franklin and Sons Rhubarb Lemonade, classics with Franklin and Sons Cola and Lemonade, and of course our Selkie on the Shore cocktail. It was a very tasty drink, and it was very easy to make. Time was very important to us, as the queue for drinks was often out of the tent into the show park.
Selkie on the Shore Cocktail
It's really simple, the kind of cocktail you can make at an unexpected get together.
Orkney Spirits Limited Vodka (we used 25ml to keep the price the same as the other cocktails, however 50ml is great too)
Peach Schnapps - 25ml
Cranberry juice (to taste)
A squeeze of orange
Garnish with a wedge of orange
(Optional - add orange juice to create more of a 'Sex on the Beach' style cocktail).
Add all ingredients to a glass with lots of ice and stir, add more fruit juice if you like a longer drink, that's it!
We don't actually know the official launch date for our new vodka just yet. It can often take a lot of trial and error between my design work and the label company to get the perfect look and finish, but rest assured it will be soon, hopefully a 'peedie' bit before Christmas - perfect timing for the festivities and gift ideas!