Groundbreaking news in the world of Scottish Gin today comes from Arbikie Distillery based in Angus, who has announced the arrival of a truly innovative, carbon-neutral gin. The gin is named Nàdar (nature in Gaelic) and it harnesses the power of nature and science to create the world’s first climate-positive gin made from… wait for it… peas.
Each bottle of Nàdar carries a carbon footprint of -1.54 kg CO2e per 700ml bottle (yes, that IS a negative amount), so this revolutionary spirit is at forefront of the fight against climate change and biodiversity loss – the biggest challenges humankind has ever faced.
Five years of research, through Master Distiller, Kirsty Black’s, PhD studentship between Abertay University and The James Hutton Institute, have cumulated in the production of Nàdar Gin, which avoids more carbon dioxide emissions than it creates.
And it’s all down to the most innovative and surprising ingredient – the humble pea. Most gins are made from spirit distilled from cereals such as wheat, barley or maize. But growing peas means no synthetic nitrogen fertiliser is needed, and so the negative environmental impact on waterways, air and soils is avoided.
Kirsty’s PhD at Abertay University and the James Hutton Institute is focused on exploring the potential of pulses such as peas and beans as an environmentally sustainable crop to the brewing and distilling industries.
She added: “Peas are a part of a unique set of plants known as legumes that are able to source nitrogen, which is critical for plant growth, from the air. This removes the need for synthetic nitrogen fertilisers and, therefore, avoids the negative environmental impact its production and use has on our waterways, air and soils.”
Professor of Zymology at Abertay University, Graeme Walker, is supervisor on the PhD project.
He comments: “This project is an excellent example of what can be achieved with the right blend of academic expertise and industry know-how”.
“Creating real-world impact through our scientific research is part of Abertay’s core mission and I’m delighted to see that coming together in this genuinely innovative project.”
With the base spirit made from peas, Nàdar Gin is silky smooth to drink and uses lemongrass and citrus leaf as the botanicals, which instantiate the fresh and fruity aroma. These natural botanicals can be locally grown on Arbikie Estate, inside their polytunnel.
John Stirling, Director of Arbikie Distillery said:
“Our ethos at Arbikie from our inception has been to try and create world-class premium spirits where all ingredients are grown on our Single Estate farm. Minimising our carbon footprint and working with the wonderful homegrown ingredients to create one of the world’s most sustainable distilleries. Our Nàdar Gin goes one step further and looks to make a positive, instead of neutral impact, in terms of long-term sustainability. It also tastes fantastic which is a credit to our distilling team – I hope you enjoy.”
We’re incredibly excited at this true spirit of innovation and sustainability (and can’t wait to taste this exceptional gin either!) Find out more about Nàdar here.