A couple of days ago, we took advantage of the sunshine and began harvesting the first ever crop of Angelica Archangelica from our planted bed right outside the Orkney Distillery here in Kirkwall!
A key botanical for all of our gins, it was when developing the original Kirkjuvagr Orkney Gin recipe that we discovered a local legend that spoke of a variety of Angelica brought to the islands by Norse sailors centuries ago.
This Angelica can still be found growing wild, on the Island of Westray today, indeed our healthy crop of plants were grown from seed taken from Westray by the UHI’s Agronomy Institute.
In gin making, we use the root of the angelica plant, and so Nikki can be seen here painstakingly unearthing every strand of root from the soil, before taking it inside for a thorough clean with fresh water. From there it will be dried and shredded in preparation for use as a botanical ingredient.