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Anna and Orla Snook O’Carroll are the wife-and-wife team proudly making Ireland’s very first vermouth from 20 different botanicals on Valentia Island off the Kerry Coast on the Wild Atlantic Way. Anna originally from Bristol and Orla originally from Greystones in Co.Wicklow, they moved to Valentia Island in 2018 and the epic landscape and scenery gave the space for Valentia Island Vermouth to be born. Locally foraged island plants and herbs including gorse are among the 20 different botanicals that go into every bottle of vermouth. The botanicals are collected and then steeped to bring out their flavours of bitter and sweet, then blended with a deep golden caramel and a Verdejo wine from the Rueda region northwest of Madrid, to create this fine drink. Vermouth can be drunk on its own as an aperitif, is used in lots of famous cocktails including the Negroni and the Boulevardier or simply with tonic or soda and a slice of orange.
SuperValu Food Academy really helped us with the stepping stones to turn our dream of creating a brand new product onto the Irish shelves into a reality. The programme gave us the hands-on support to develop our business from something that was born in our kitchen to the future plans of building a distillery and visitors centre here on Valentia Island. We are deeply committed to sustainable and cradle-to-cradle design principles in our foraging, packaging and environmental sustainability within our community. Valentia Island Vermouth is creating permanent jobs in distilling, business operations, logistics and marketing all here on Valentia Island, enabling people to thrive and live where they want to live and to support the community who supported us so well. These opportunities would have been so much harder to progress into reality without the support and network of The Food Academy Programme.