Hand Harvesting our Key Botanical!

We have just had the Spring tide we were waiting for enabling us to take to the rocky shores of Barra to collect our key botanical, Carrageen Seaweed by hand. When the tides are at their lowest, we find our delicate but at times very illusive Carrageen.

  • We took off just before the tide is on the turn to maximise the time, we have to gather the Carrageen. Found growing from the shores and on low lying rocks we simply hand pick each piece of Carrageen by selecting only the best and most mature of plants. Although this is the key botanical in our gin it is also key that we make sure our harvest is sustainable and by picking each piece methodically we can ensure that when the next harvest comes around, we will have an abundance to choose from.

    Carrageen is a small perennial algae that grows best in water that is between the low tide mark and 30 feet of depth. The plants thrive in water ranging between 5 - 15 Degrees Celsius. The life cycle of the plant begins in a seed form and these seeds are shed by the plant annually. The plant attaches to the ocean’s rocky shores in a way that resembles being glued to the rocks. The small plant reaches maturity in three to five years, at which time the many branches that cover its top may range in colour from a light yellowish green to an almost purple colour.

    The Carrageen Seaweed is the star of the show in our Gin and it contributes towards our fresh, Atlantic flavour and marine notes, allowing our Island Spirit to be moreish and quite simply smooth and easy to drink.

    We’ve created a Premium Gin with a distinctive taste, so it has been important to us that this is reflected throughout our packaging. Making the finished product as unique on the shelf and online as it is in the mouth. But it had to be relevant as we fundamentally believe in quality, style and substance.

    Jemma Lewis, a hand-marbling artist based in Wiltshire, England was commissioned by the creative team behind Barra Atlantic Gin to create a bespoke hand-marbled pattern to be used throughout the brand's activation.

    Jemma uses carrageen to help float the paints that create the marble designs, giving us a unique link between our gin’s key botanical ingredient and the creation of our packaging.

    Our brief for Jemma focused on referencing the Atlantic Ocean that surrounds the Isle of Barra, in particular the shores from which we source our carrageen. The aim was to create something organic and flowing; not immediately recognisable but reminiscent of the sea.

    So, there you have it, tales of our key botanical in and out of the bottle of our Barra Atlantic Gin!