Orkney Food & Drink Awards 2018 WINNER - Best Drink-Based Product (Johnsmas Gin)
Orkney Gin Company is a family run business based at our home in Burray. Making gin began as a hobby, and our recipes have been perfected over years of practice, originally a homemade Christmas present for family and friends. We have used botanicals found locally combined with ingredients from around the world to create a distinctly Orcadian gin.
At Orkney Gin Company we handcraft our gin in order to retain the full flavour of our botanicals and to ensure the highest quality end product. From the offset we knew we wanted to create unique, unconventional gins with an original taste; this led us to begin cold-compounding our ingredients, for a different product that set it apart from distilled gins. Our bathtub style method involves blending carefully selected botanicals with seven times premium distilled spirit – a modern take on a traditional method. We chose this method over the standard practice of distillation, as we believe this serves to retain the character of our finely selected botanicals and creates balanced, seasonal gins. It also allows us to take time to put as much care and attention into every batch as we can, this labour intensive method requires ultra-small batches to be filtered, repeatedly sampled then carefully bottled and labelled by hand, creating two unique gins with distinct flavours reflecting the islands we are proud to call home.
Mikkelmas: The Mikkel Feast, or the Feast of St Michael was traditionally celebrated by Orcadians from the 29th of September to the 12th of October. This celebration marked the end of the harvest and the end of the summer. This celebration still lasts today, with each island hosting its own Harvest Home, a traditional meal and dance that lasts long into the night. Mikkelmas Gin captures the warming autumnal spirit of Mikkelmas in a spicy, silky smooth gin.
Johnsmas: During Johnsmas, the Orcadian midsummer, the sun barely disappears below the horizon. This time of year is steeped in tradition and folklore and was traditionally marked by bonfires. Our Johnsmas Gin is inspired by the long, clear days of an Orkney summer. Fragrant, fresh and light, we have hand-picked the finest seasonal botanicals to capture the clean floral notes of midsummer.
At present Orkney Gin Company is a partnership run by husband and wife team Gary and Andrea. Erin their youngest daughter designed our labels and logos, Michael their son designed the web site and deals with the IT side of the business, their eldest daughter Kelsi has recently had a baby but still finds time to assist with labelling and marketing.
Our future aspirations are for a continued steady growth supplying a premium product throughout the country, we also have plans for an online shop and a small purpose built premises. If demand continues we hope to employ our son Michael full time in the near future.