An Ayrshire cider made from donated apples in flying off the shelves.

The new beverage was born in Troon and now is set to take the drinks scene by storm after a local deli sold out in less than a week.

Last week the first batch arrived in the shops with local deli Brodies scooping up a cut of the 2,500 bottles set to go on sale this year.

Named Ayrshire Riviera Cider, the idea was the apple-of-an-entrepreneur's eye, who took time off the day job to craft together a drink with the help of hundreds of enthusiastic orchard keepers across the region.

And with a six-month fermentation process the finished product packs a punch at 6 per cent proof.

Billy Malcolm, 54, put the ambitious project together with a group of friends who were keen to see their ideas come to fruition.

Testing the waters last year — the team first produced a small batch which went down a hit with friends and family.

A major drive for apples then started with Billy and the team reaching out to residents for donations of apples.

Dad Billy told Ayrshire Live: “It was only a year ago we decided to make it into a commercial operation.

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“Ayrshire is quite rightly considered a hot spot for high quality food produce so we set out to make a premium cider.

“We used our social media platforms and appealed to people locally to donate any unwanted apples that they might have.

“We thought there are so many apples that go to waste, there are only so many apple crumbles people can make.

"We thought we could take in some apples and give people back some bottles in return.

Billy Malcolm has seen his idea come to fruition
Billy Malcolm has seen his idea come to fruition

“It turned out people liked the idea too, we were just inundated and overwhelmed with the generosity of people.”

The Ayrshire Riviera Cider team ended up with two tonnes of apples bagged up and delivered.

With tonnes of apples arriving, the team got set to work with a painstaking job of individually cleaning each apple before milling it and bringing it down to a pulp.

The pulpy apples then have cider yeast added and nature does its work for six months.

Billy said: “The way we make it is really pure and it gives it a real depth of flavour, it really is a taste of Ayrshire will apples coming from all over.

“We don’t add anything at all, no water or sugar, any preservatives or chemicals.

The cider is proving a hit
The cider is proving a hit

“It is just pressed apple juice and yeast.

“At the end of the process the cider is absolutely crystal clear. It is 6 per cent by volume, it is a relatively strong cider.

“It is definitely one to be sipped and savoured."

Billy was inspired by the Ayrshire coastline in making the cider
Billy was inspired by the Ayrshire coastline in making the cider

Billy hopes the taste of apples from across gardens in Ayrshire can be savoured by many with plans to launch in some local watering holes.

Next year he hopes to scale up the operation and has recently moved the production line to a unit in Kilmarnock.

Brodies deli owners Georgina and Gordon Smith say their newest tipple has proved a hit.

Customers have rushed to Brodies in Troon to try the new tipple
Customers have rushed to Brodies in Troon to try the new tipple

Georgina Smith said: “It has gone down really well with the customers, we sell a lot of craft beers here but something has never flown off the shelf so quickly.

“It's just great all round for us, things have been tough for local business with Covid so it's brilliant to see something new and exciting come out of it.

“For us to be the first to sell it was a great honour.”

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