The Kirkjuvagr Gin range includes five core gins: Kirkjuvagr Orkney Gin, Arkh-Angell Storm Strength, Aurora Winter Edition, Harpa Summer Edition and Beyla Raspberry & Honey Old Tom. What I really enjoy about this collection is the clear presence of juniper in each style, the higher alcohol volume (they are all 40% or over) and the use of local ingredients.
The Orkney Distillery uses several local botanicals (angelica, Ramanas Rose, Aronia berries, Burnet Rose, borage, honey…) throughout the series. There is something quite special about seeing where the botanicals are grown and how they are harvested. It sure makes the gin taste extra special. If you’d like to learn more about the distillery, their Viking heritage and the gin range, check my previous article Orkney Distilling – Bringing You the Viking Spirit. On top of their core range, the distillery also offers some seasonal limited-edition bottlings created for special occasions and for various events hosted on the island.
For these wintery drinks, I have used the core range. Don’t worry if you don’t have all their gins at home, you can easily mix and match as most of the recipes are versatile enough to be made with any one of the Kirkjuvagr Gins. Or head over to their online shop to get the bottles you are missing.
Don’t Give a Fig
Kirkjuvagr Orkney Gin, 43% ABV, is a classic juniper-forward gin with a touch of spice, citrus and floral notes. It is a versatile gin. I decided to go with a winter G&T serve because no one can be bothered to shake cocktails every day. Some days, simple drinks are the best.
50ml Kirkjuvagr Orkney Gin
15ml Fig syrup
Premium tonic water
You can build this directly in the glass over ice. Add the gin and fig syrup and give it a stir. Add more ice if needed and top up with premium tonic water. Garnish with cinnamon, clementine and/or a fig.
Simply add sugar, water and figs to a saucepan. Muddle the figs gently to release more flavour. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Take off the heat, cover with a lid and leave to sit for 30 minutes to an hour. Strain and store in the fridge.
All-in-One Winter Fizz
Harpa Gin, 41% ABV, has an extra measure of juniper in the recipe, together with Aronia berries and lemon and orange peel. Aronia berries have a similar taste to cranberries so they are tart with a hint of sweetness. This cocktail is a mix of all the best winter flavours!
30ml Harpa Gin
25ml Fresh clementine juice (or orange)
15ml Fresh pomegranate juice
10ml Cranberry syrup (I used MONIN but you could easily make your own similar to the fig syrup recipe.)
Pomegranate seeds/Citrus slices/Thyme/Rosemary
Shake clementine juice, pomegranate juice, cranberry syrup and gin together with ice. Double strain into a large Champagne flute and top up with Prosecco. Garnish with your chosen ingredients.
Pink Is an Attitude
The core recipe of Beyla Gin, 40% ABV, is the same as Kirkjuvagr Orkney Gin, to which they add Orcadian honey and Scottish raspberries. The slight pink blush colour is natural and will fade over time, but this won’t affect the taste.
50ml Beyla Gin
15ml Starlino Rosé vermouth
20ml Fresh lemon juice
Fresh redcurrants, muddled
10ml Thyme syrup
Muddle the redcurrants in the cocktail shaker before adding the rest of the ingredients. Dry shake for a good while before adding ice and shaking again. This way the foam consistency will be better than if you only shake with ice. Strain into an ice-filled tumbler and garnish with redcurrants.
Simply add sugar and water to a saucepan. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Take off the heat, add the thyme, cover with a lid and leave to sit for 30 minutes to an hour. Strain and store. I removed the leaves because my thyme has quite woody stems. But if they are green, you can add the whole sprigs.
Kirkjuvagr Arkh-Angell, 57% ABV, is made to the same recipe as their classic Kirkjuvagr Orkney Gin, but with the extra strength the botanicals come through differently. As this recipe has added sugar syrup, I have adjusted the measurements slightly to avoid the drink becoming overly sweet. I used Starlino Rosso as the botanicals work nicely with fig, but feel free to use your go-to vermouth. Another good choice for this recipe would be Cocchi Storico.
30ml Arkh-Angell Gin
20ml Sweet vermouth (I used Starlino Rosso)
10ml Fig syrup (*see recipe above)
Orange or pink grapefruit peel
Stir all ingredients with ice in a mixing glass and strain into an ice-filled tumbler. Garnish with the citurs peel.
This recipe also works well with Arkh-Angell Storm Strength or Aurora Gin.
50ml Kirkjuvagr Orkney Gin
50ml Pear juice
20ml Spiced syrup (I made cinnamon & ginger, but you could use the fig syrup here as well)
5ml Fresh lime juice
First, coat the rim of the glass with vanilla sugar. Shake all but the soda with ice and strain into an ice-filled glass. Top up with soda and garnish with a pear slice.
Simply add sugar, water, ginger slices and cinnamon sticks to a saucepan. Stir gently until the sugar has dissolved. Take off the heat, cover with a lid and leave to sit for 30 minutes to an hour. Strain and store.
You could also use cardamom, star anise, cloves and/or black pepper in this recipe.
Clementine & Thyme Fizz
Aurora Gin, 42% ABV, gets its warmth from cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves and a touch of heat from pink and black peppercorns. It works well with so many winter flavours.
50ml Aurora Gin
15ml Fresh lemon juice
40ml Fresh Clementine juice
20ml Thyme syrup (see recipe above)
Combine all ingredients but soda in a cocktail shaker WITHOUT ice. Dry shake for a good while before adding ice and shaking again. Strain into an ice-filled highball and gently top up with soda. Let the foam set before garnishing with a thyme sprig.
Have you tried the Kirkjuvagr Gin range? Which one is your favourite?
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by The Orkney Distillery, but, as always, all words and photos are my own.