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Explorers raising funds for arctic expedition with Northwest Passage Gin

Want to help fund a arctic maritime navigation while sipping your gin and tonic? Northwest Passage Expedition Gin can help.

The craft gin from the Orkney Distillery, producer of the award-winning Kirkjuvagr gin brand, has been created to raise awareness of ocean conservation and help finance a row of the Northwest Passage in 2021. Also known as the Last Great First, this arctic route between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans was opened up by intrepid maritime explorers searching for a sailing passage to Asia.

Northwest Passage Expedition Gin is made by the Orkney Distillery

Flavoured with botanicals from the shores of Orkney and the Hudson Bay in Canada, the gin pays homage to the chilly climes that inspired it and the explorers who risked their lives on the ocean to carve a new route to the Far East. The botanical bill includes sugar kelp for a salty edge, angelic archangelica, Asian Ramanas rose and European burnet rose.

Ocean rowing Guinness World Record holder Leven Brown, who will be leading the Last Great First expedition, said: “We are thrilled to launch Northwest Passage Expedition Gin to support our 2021 expedition and raise awareness for ocean conservation. This is our first step towards making history.”

The Northwest Passage ocean rowers

Stephen Kemp of the Orkney Distillery said: “The creation of Northwest Passage Expedition Gin has been inspirational and we are thrilled to have been part of something so exciting. The result is a high-quality gin, created using a selection of botanicals rooted in history and from the same water source that supplied the ships of Captain Cook and Sir John Franklin. We hope existing and new gin drinkers will enjoy it.”

Northwest Passage Expedition Gin is available to purchase at, priced at £39.95 per 70cl bottle.

The rowers in action

The team of experienced ocean rowers will be the first to navigate the Northwest Passage by rowing boat. Climate change has caused the retreat of sea ice in the passage, which means it is now open and navigable by boat for longer periods each year; it is now open from July to September, which is when the rowers will be making their journey.

Whilst rowing the 2,300-mile route, the team will take part in data collection for The Big Blue Ocean Cleanup, a nonprofit organisation which protects marine wildlife, helps keep oceans clean and researches ocean pollution for policy change.

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