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Discover everything you need to know about Kirkjuvagr Yuletide Gin, Craft Gin Club's December 2021 Gin of the Month!

Discover everything you need to know about Kirkjuvagr Yuletide Gin, Craft Gin Club's December 2021 Gin of the Month!

Dec 7, 2021
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Discover Craft Gin Club’s December 2021 Gin of the Month, Kirkjuvagr Yuletide Gin, from The Orkney Distillery. Distilled in Kirkwall on the Orkney archipelago and inspired by Orcadian Christmastime traditions, it’s a truly special Christmas gin!

In this feature, you can find out how Kirkjuvagr Yuletide Gin is made, its key botanicals, what it tastes like, how to drink it and everything else you could possibly want to know about this beautiful tipple.

Orkney Distillery Kirkjuvagr Yuletide Gin, Craft Gin Club's December 2021 Gin of the Month

Kirkjuvagr Yuletide Gin

A special edition craft gin distilled exclusively for Craft Gin Club by The Orkney Distillery

Distilled in Kirkwall, Orkney

40% ABV


How is Kirkjuvagr Yuletide Gin made?

Kirkjuvagr Yuletide Gin

Inspired by Orcadian traditions, and the archipelago’s Viking heritage, this fabulous gin is distilled by The Orkney Distillery, which was founded by Stephen and Aly Kemp.

It is made by distilling botanicals that have the ability to tell their own story about Orkney, making each sip a wonderful expression of those islands off the northernmost tip of Scotland.

Here is the full list of Kirkjuvagr Yuletide Gin’s botanicals: Juniper, angelica root, Aronia berry, borage, calamus root, cardamom, cassia bark, cinnamon, clove, coriander seed, frankincense, ginger, lemon peel, liquorice, milk thistle, myrrh, nutmeg, orange peel, orris root, black pepper, pink pepper, rose hips, Burnet rose, Ramanas rose and red rose.  

Angelica and Aronia berry, also known as the Viking berry, have been selected as botanicals to pay homage to the Norse heritage of Orkney.

The Christmassy spices – the cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg – capture the warmth of the tightly-knit local Orcadian community.

The bouquet of floral notes from the Ramanas and Burnet Rose capture the provenance of the isles.

The aromatic myrrh and frankincense are the ultimate celebration of Christmas – an occasion that draws Orcadians from all over the world back home.

When we were making this gin, the whole distillery was full of the aromas of Christmas. It was this amazing sensory experience that immediately made me think of what makes Orkney special during Christmas – the wonderful community spirit, the sense of family and friends coming together again.

— Stephen Kemp, The Orkney Distillery co-founder

Where is Kirkjuvagr gin made?

Kirkjuvagr gin is made on the Scottish archipelago of Orkney. The Orkney Distillery can be found in Kirkwall, on the island of Mainland, Orkney.

The Orkney Distillery

What does Kirkjuvagr mean?

Kirkjuvagr is the Old Norse for ‘Church Bay’, referring to the area now known as Kirkwall in Orkney.

You can still feel our ancient Viking heritage in Orkney today. Look at a map and you’ll see that many of the local place-names are Norse. Our brand name, Kirkjuvagr (pronounced kirk-u-vaar), is Old Norse for ‘Church Bay’ – indeed ‘Kirkjuvagr’ gradually transitioned to ‘Kirkwall’ over the centuries.

— Stephen Kemp

What does The Orkney Distillery’s Kirkjuvagr Yuletide Gin taste like?

Kirkjuvagr Yuletide Gin has aromatic touches of clove, citrus, cinnamon and cardamom on the nose, accompanied by a subtle yet inviting sweetness. On the palate, this sumptuous craft gin has floral fragrances and hints of frankincense and myrrh. Bursts of nutmeg and ginger lead onto the long, elegant finish.

How do you serve Kirkjuvagr Yuletide Gin?

We recommend serving Kirkjuvagr Yuletide Gin with citrus-led tonic water like The London Essence Co. Pomelo & Pink Pepper Tonic, garnished with orange slices and redcurrants. You can find the perfect Kirkjuvagr Yuletide Gin & Tonic recipe at this link or by clicking on the image below:

Perfect Kirkjuvagr Yuletide Gin & Tonic recipe

And you just have to try Kirkjuvagr Yuletide Gin in a cocktail or two, starting with Craft Gin Club’s Fireside Fizz, of course - it’s our December 2021 Cocktail of the Month!

Craft Gin Club’s Fireside Fizz brings Kirkjuvagr Yuletide Gin together with Bibite Polara Melograno, a beautiful pomegranate-flavoured fizzy soft drink, and our bespoke Fireside Fizz cocktail syrup. Garnished with fresh pomegranate seeds and a twist of orange peel, it is utterly delicious. You can find the full recipe here or by clicking on the image below:

Best Kirkjuvagr Yuletide Gin cocktail recipe

What other gins does The Orkney Distillery make?

Kirkjuvagr Origin Gin

This London Dry Gin is made with hand-harvested Orcadian botanicals, including Ramanas rose, Burnet rose, borage, angelica and traditional Orkney bere barley. This gin is available to buy at the Craft Gin Club online shop, here!

Kirkjuvagr Origin Gin

Kirkjuvagr Arkh-Angell Gin

This remarkably smooth navy strength gin is cut at a whopping 57% ABV. Its name not only pays homage to the angelica root used in the gin (an ingredient brought to Orkney by Norse sailors centuries ago), but also is a nod to the seafaring traditions in co-founder Aly’s family: her late father’s fishing vessel was called the Arkh Angell, and the local Angelica Archangelica used comes from her Orkney island of birth, Westray.

Kirkjuvagr Arkh-Angell Gin

Kirkjuvagr Aurora Gin

This gin is named in honour of the Aurora Borealis, locally called the Merry Dancers, which appear in the Orcadian sky in the cold months of winter. The recipe features warming spices, perfect for chilly nights. You can buy Kurkjuvagr Aurora Gin at this link!

Kirkjuvagr Aurora Gin

Kirkjuvagr Beyla Honey & Raspberry Old Tom Gin

This gin is named after the Norse goddess of the bee. A sweeter expression, it’s made with Scottish raspberries and honey from local hives, from bees that pollinate the very plants sourced from The Agronomy Institute where many of Orkney Distilling’s botanicals are hand-picked. This gin is available on the Craft Gin Club shop right here!

Kirkjuvagr Bayla Honey & Raspberry Old Tom Gin

Where can I buy The Orkney Distillery’s Kirkjuvagr range of gins?

Each of the gins in the Kirkjuvagr range can be bought directly from The Orkney Distillery in their online shop or by visiting their distillery on the Orkney archipelago.

The Kirkjuvagr gins are also available on the Craft Gin Club online shop at this link. There you can find lots of other items from Craft Gin Club’s December 2021 Gin of the Month box too!

Kirkjuvagr Yuletide Gin box
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