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The Coastal Spirit
Posted on: 6th April, 2018
Image © Jim Richardson. www.jimrichardsonphotography.com
Spring is here, and while new life and lambs are making an appearance on land, there is much happening around our island shorelines too. The better weather brings with it an influx of migratory seabirds, as many begin their annual breeding season on the cliffs and coastlines of Harris and our offshore isles.
Guillemot, Razorbill, Kittiwake, Fulmar, Manx Shearwaters and Petrels are just some of the wonderful bird species that breed here. To the west of our distillery lies the incredible islands of St Kilda, which hold the world’s largest Northern Gannet colony, while to our east are The Shiants, home to thousands of cheerful Puffins.
A key element of our island’s precious ecosystem, we were delighted to hear the news last month that the Shiants have been declared clear of non-native rodents which had been feeding on eggs and chicks. Thanks to a four-year project, these isles are now a secure haven for our favourite seabirds once more, ensuring the colony's future success.
Closer to home, the new Harris Marina project has now established floating pontoons in the harbour, just yards from our door. It’s the perfect point to set off and explore these magical places, affording visitors to our distillery a chance to deepen their love of our Sugar Kelp infused spirit, and its connection to the natural, maritime world.
Two local companies, boasting modern boats and a wealth of sailing experience and local knowledge, now offer tours from this excellent facility. Isle of Harris Sea Tours and Sea Harris, operated by Angus Campbell and Seumas Morrison respectively, promise a memorable wildlife adventure on the waves. Just add a wee hip flask of Isle of Harris Gin to make for the perfect trip.
We look forward to exploring more pelagic tour possibilities in the near future, but meantime let’s keep the sea theme going with the latest recipe in our ongoing The Martini Project. Today, we present ‘The Coast To Coast Martini’, created for us by Adrian Gomes, the brilliant bartender behind 10 Dollar Shake, The Tippling House and Rye & Soda in Aberdeen.
His unique take on the classic Dirty Martini is a delicious olive-oiled mix of Isle of Harris Gin, Wermod Vermouth and Cardamom tincture. The addition of smoked sea salt and presentation in a copper vessel completes this cocktail's connection to our little gin still “The Dottach”, and the waters she watches over from our home on the edge of East Loch Tarbert.
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Our thanks to Adrian Gomes at 10 Dollar Shake.
10 Dollar Shake, 4 Belmont Street, Aberdeen, AB10 1JE / www.10dollarshake.com
Photography by Conor Gault at Northern Light Creative / www.northernlightcreative.com