SCOTTISH scientists have created the first gin that reduces climate changing carbon emissions every time you have a snifter.

Nadar, which means “nature” in Scottish Gaelic, is made from peas, rather than wheat, and experts from Abertay University, Dundee, say each litre drunk has the potential to cut the world’s COs emissions by 2.2 kilogrammes.

The “fresh and fruity” tipple has a negative carbon footprint because peas, as every gardener knows, “fix” nitrogen from the air rather than requiring it to be applied as fertiliser, and because the waste-products of making pea gin are so rich in protein they can be used as highly-nutritious animal feed.

This avoids the high environmental costs of importing animal feed, currently often derived from soybeans sourced from cleared rainforest.

In addition, during harvesting, some nitrogen is left behind in-field in crop residues, improving soil fertility and function for the next crop in the rotation, so further reducing the need for synthetic fertilisers.

Saving the climate one G&T at a time won’t come cheap, though – the new gin will retail at £43 per 70cl bottle.

The gin’s release today follows five years of research by scientists at Abertay University and Scottish crop research group the James Hutton Institute, and the family-owned Arbikie Distillery, near Lunan Bay, Angus.

In a research paper published last autumn, Abertay plant scientist Kirsty Black, who is also Arbikie’s Master Distiller, says the pea gin’s environmental performance, “significantly better than traditional wheat gins”, is mainly achieved by utilising all useful components of the peas from the dehulling (de-skinning) and distilling process, to create the home-grown animal feed.

The paper, in the journal Environment International, says the process “could reduce Europe’s protein deficit whilst potentially avoiding deforestation in Latin America”.

Gin may just be the first pea-based libation: The researchers say there is “great potential to scale the innovation out to other alcoholic beverages, such as vodka and beer, and to scale it up to industrial bioethanol (biofuel) production, with considerable global mitigation potential, particularly in terms of climate change and nutrient leakage”.

During distilling, a waste product known as “pot-ale” is created from the leftover pea protein and spent yeast, which forms the highly nutritious animal feed.

The first batch of Arbikie pea gin pot-ale is currently being fed to cows on a farm near the distillery. The research team is also working to investigate whether pot-ale protein can be isolated and used as a source of food for humans.

Nadar gin itself is flavoured using natural botanicals, plus lemongrass and citrus leaf.

Ms Black said: “At Arbikie, everything we do is dictated by the seasons and our geographical location.

“Year on year we see the weather, harvest timings and crop quality change –- all highlighting the need to address the climate crisis now.

“By producing the world’s first climate-positive gin, we are taking initial steps towards improving our environmental impact, while demonstrating what can be achieved when like-minded researchers and businesses come together.”

Agroecologist at the James Hutton Institute Dr Pietro (Pete) Iannetta said: “The climate change crisis demands far greater respect for natural resources that has previously been afforded. We must be more efficient, and the best place to start is locally.

“This is not simply a story of a new gin but is in fact another great example of Scottish teamwork and ingenuity.

“Nadar is fully provenanced as a sustainable Scottish product, and when purchased consumers can be assured they are also encouraging more-practical crop rotations, helping to reduce artificial fertiliser use, improve soil qualities, and most importantly, to directly reconnect the values of local consumers and farmers to help realise the most respectful and sustainable of agricultural operations at home.”

Graeme Walker, Professor of Zymology (fermenting) at Abertay, said: “ This project is an excellent example of what can be achieved with the right blend of academic expertise and industry know-how.”