From Scotland comes an eco-friendly gin made from peas

It's called "Nadar" which means "nature" in Gaelic. Created by a team of scientists, it ensures that it has less of an environmental impact than gins distilled from wheat.

Gin is among the world's most popular and widely used spirits and the main element of many famous cocktails. A team of Scottish scientists has now created a new, highly original version, using peas instead of traditional grains. The product has been created by researchers of Abertay University and of James Hutton Institute and has the name of "Nadar" which in Gaelic means "nature". The reason for this appellation? Producers say it has less of an environmental impact than traditional gins by reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

How is gin made from peas

Nadar bottles are 700 ml each and have a carbon footprint of -1.54 kg of carbon dioxide. "It avoids more CO2 emissions than it produces," they said from the University of Abertay. Traditional gin is usually made with juniper berries, a grain base and the addition of plant extracts. Graeme Walker, professor of zymology at the University of Abertay and supervisor of the pea gin project, explained that beverages made from grains require a lot of artificial fertilizers. ""This has an impact on greenhouse gas emissions and climate change,"" he said.

The low environmental impact of gin made from peas depends on the fact that all parts of the legume are used as feed for farm animals. Making pea gin took five years of research and the collaboration of a farm on the east coast of Angus, Scotland: the Arbikie Distillery, which is already distributing the gin in various parts of the world. The project's principal researcher, Dr. Kirsty Black, pointed out that most crops require "the use of fertilizers to provide the nitrogen needed to produce the desired quality and quantity of crop," but fertilizers have a negative impact on the environment.

Peas, on the other hand, have a natural ability to procure the nitrogen they need using a process called "biological nitrogen fixation" and that does not require the use of fertilizers. In addition to being self-sufficient, they release residual nitrogen into the soil which reduces the need to use fertilizers in subsequent crops. During the distillation process, a product, called "pot ale," is also created that can be used as a highly nutritious feed for animals.

About the flavor, Dr. Black assures that it tastes like gin and that the use of peas does not affect its final taste. The recipe includes flavors from the original distillate such as juniper, coriander and lime leaves, and pea gin can be used to create cocktails just as it is with classic gin. The bottles are sold online by Arbikie at a cost of £43, about 50 euros, and it's a more sustainable way to drink your favorite beverage.

On the topic of sustainability, researchers have also discovered how to turn plastic into vanillin.

Stefania Bernardini