Christmas is coming and that means festive feasts are being planned across the country.
Here in Orkney, we have an incredible range of food and drink – from cheese and chutneys, to bread, beer and beef – that could make your Christmas menu extra special this year.
Many of our fantastic producers have launched special seasonal products, just in time for the holidays. Take a look at what’s on offer this year.
Make gin from Orkney your festive tipple
Did you know that Orkney has three award-winning gin producers? And did you know that all three have special bottlings available over the Christmas period? There is plenty of choice if you’re looking for something different to celebrate with over the festive period.
The Deerness Distillery has introduced its new ‘Scuttled Gin’, a special edition gin created to mark next year’s centenary of the scuttling of the German High Seas Fleet in Scapa Flow. A percentage of the profits from the sale of each bottle will go towards supporting the Scapa 100 initiative, which is organising a series of events to mark the scuttling. Find out more from the Deerness Distillery website.
The Orkney Gin Company has also been busy creating its own limited-edition gin with a connection to the scuttling of the German High Seas Fleet. Only 1000 bottles of ‘Johannistag Navy Strength Old Tom’ are available, with the first 500 out now, and the remaining bottles for sale in June 2019. It’s Scotland’s first ever Navy Strength Old Tom and the botanicals used reflect Orkney’s summer climate, with the smooth Old Tom finish sweetened with Orcadian honey. A percentage of the profits will be donated to the RNLI. Visit the website to buy your bottle.
Aurora gin from Orkney Distilling Ltd Meanwhile, Orkney Distilling has launched a gin perfect for the wild winter months. ‘Aurora’ is the winter edition of the distillery’s Kirkjuvagr Gin and the first spiced gin produced at its new base in Kirkwall. Featuring ground cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, it really is a cracking choice for Christmas. You can order now on the Orkney Distillery website.
Fading Light shines bright
Fading Light rum from VS Distillers Not to be outdone, Orkney’s only rum distillery is also launching a new product this month. VS Distillers has enjoyed great success with its J. Gow Spiced Rum recently, and it will add to its range with ‘Fading Light’, a chestnut cask-aged rum. It’s an ultra-smooth drink with notes of dried fruits, vanilla, cream and spice. It will be available on December 5th – find out more via the official website. The distillery will also be opening its doors for the first time on December 15th, with guided tours and tastings on offer. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for ticket information.
Shine a light in December
The Swannay Brewery is looking very festive at the moment, with its old entrance arch decorated in beautiful fairy lights. Inside, the team has been busy brewing its now traditional batch of Christmas Light. Described as a hoppy pale ale, this 3.8% sessionable festive beer is available in cask only across Orkney.
Cherish this Christmas relish!
Orkney Isles Preserves has come up with a Christmas cracker for the festive period. The team in Shapinsay has launched a delicious Beetroot, Cranberry and Red Onion relish - the perfect addition to any Christmas meal, not to mention the plate of leftovers you'll be picking at until Boxing Day! The new relish was inspired by a request from a local butcher and, after taste testing trials, it's now available in 100g and 200g jars from shops across Orkney.
Something softer for the morning after!
If you’re sampling all of our festive gins, rum and beer at parties this year, then you might be looking for something a bit less potent during the day! The Orkney Roastery has the answer, with the return of its delicious Christmas Carol coffee. It has dark chocolate and caramel qualities with a clementine fruit finish. Perfect for Christmas (and it even goes great with a shot of your favourite tipple added, if you must)! Visit the Orkney Roastery website for more details.
Say cheese this Christmas
Everyone loves a cheeseboard during the festive season, and Orkney’s Island Smokery has just the thing to make your selection extra special. It’s Christmas Spice cheese features mixed fruit and cinnamon, blended with smoked Orkney cheddar. The perfect taste of Christmas! Cheese gift boxes are also available – pick your perfect pack via the official website.
Those are just some of the new products from Orkney you’ll find on the shelves and online this Christmas. Orkney Food and Drink will definitely help you eat, drink and be merry!