The Botanist Gin & Foraged Cocktails
Wild speaks of many things. Of nature. Of remote lands. Of freedom. On the wild and remote Scottish Isle of Islay, the essence of the landscape itself has been distilled to create a remarkable spirit. Born at the world-renown Bruichladdich whisky distillery, The Botanist Dry Islay Gin is challenging boundaries. This unique offering to gin connoisseurs is made with 22 hand-foraged, sustainably sourced local botanicals. These authentic Islay botanicals delicately augment nine berries, barks, seeds, and peels during an achingly slow distillation, delivering a gin of layered complexity.
The first and only Islay dry gin, The Botanist is the epitome of a growing movement. The trend to hand-foraged ingredients in leading kitchens worldwide has now crossed over to the bar, with foraged berries, leaves, and roots making their way into the cocktail shaker.
Innovative mixologists create bold, striking new cocktails crafted from foraged ingredients, lending unique natural flavours to the final concoctions. Embodying its makers’ obsessions with terroir and sustainability, The Botanist is a gin ahead of its time.
“22 hand-forged botanicals are the Botanist’s connection to Islay, and it was really a case of bringing these to the fore,” says James Donaldson, Bruichladdich Distillery’s in-house forager.
The Isle of Islay includes landscapes of incredible diversity, from wild heaths to beaches to mountains, which are reflected in The Botanists complex and subtle flavours.
It takes James 7 months every year to personally pick the ingredients for The Botanist. He is particular about the flowers he chooses – leaf-by-leaf, flower-by-flower, he finds the most sustainable way to pick what is needed.
He then fills a cotton bag with enough of the carefully prepared botanicals for one batch of gin at a time and hands over the fruits of his labour.
“While there is a certain scientific precision required… there is also an element of ritual, of alchemy, to it all,” says James, “It’s what first attracted me to the industry, the subtle interplay of science and magic, industry and craft.”
The Botanist is crafted by hand, eye, and nose by people like James, who pour their hearts and souls into every drop.
Bruichladdich Distillery, located on the fabled island of Islay on the ‘whisky coast’ of West Scotland, had been independently verified by the B Lab as ‘using business as a force for good’. A strong sense of responsibility to Islay and the people who live there continues to Bruichladdich refuse to outsource their warehousing and bottling. This makes Bruichladdich the largest private employer on the island.
Bruichladdich has creates as little impact and waste as possible. They use ZERO single-use plastic at all their sites have gone 100% recyclable for all their packaging. To reduce their carbon footprint, they’ve installed a circulatory heating system to recycle all hot wastewater. They have also switched to 100% renewable electricity.
As a certified B Corp. company, Bruichladdich meets the highest social and environmental impact standards while contributing to a more inclusive and sustainable economy.
This makes The Botanist Gin the first gin in Europe to be B Corp.-certified, from makers who embody sustainability in every bottle produced.
Discover a Seasonal Taste of the Wild with The Botanist Cocktails
Let’s have a look at some Foraged Gin Cocktails using The Botanist, created by bartenders and enthusiasts from around the world.
This pomegranate martini balances the tartness of winter fruit with the aromatic earthiness of thyme. The tannins of the birch leaves and bog myrtle within The Botanist complement the pomegranate, while the fresh thyme pulls out the wild herbal notes of the gin.
• 50ml pomegranate-infused The Botanist Gin
• 10ml Bianco vermouth
• Sprig Thyme
Muddle a teaspoon of pomegranate seeds into The Botanist and leave to rest for 2 hours. A dash of pomegranate juice will also do the job. Strain. Add vermouth and stir with ice in a mixing glass until chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with a sprig of thyme.
Spring – Grapefruit and Thyme Gin & Tonic
A super-aromatic serve to wake up your senses in spring. The Botanist contains wild thyme picked on the hills of Islay, so this garnish using its more widely available cousin brings out those flavour associations. Grapefruit is about half as sour as a lemon or lime and half as sweet as an orange. Its slight bitterness lends some satisfying extra depth.
• 35ml The Botanist Gin
Top with premium tonic and garnish with Grapefruit and Thyme. So simple, yet so utterly delicious!
Summer – Chamomile & Orange Martini
We’re in Aperol Spritz territory for this summer variation on the martini. The kick of orange oil lifts the floral notes of the chamomile, echoing the Islay chamomile used in The Botanist’s distillation. Both flavours combine well with the vanilla flavours of the Bianco vermouth.
• 50ml chamomile-infused The Botanist Gin
• 10 ml Bianco vermouth
• Orange peel
Add a chamomile tea bag or a spoon of fresh or dried chamomile flowers to The Botanist and infuse for 5 minutes. Strain. Stir ingredients in a mixing glass with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with an orange peel twist.
Autumn – The Rose Martini
This martini fits autumn – poised between high notes of zest and flowers and the more poignant depths of approaching winter. The citrus and the rosemary have wild botanical cousins within The Botanist; you can taste their affinity here.
• 50ml The Botanist Gin
• 15ml Rosa Americano
• Dash grapefruit bitters
Pour ingredients over ice in a mixing jug and stir slowly and thoroughly. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a sprig of fresh rosemary.
Here at Spirits Platform, there’s nothing we love more than foraging new cocktail recipes for you to try. Here are two The Botanist Gin Cocktails that work for any season.
The Botanist Citrus Breeze
The Botanist Citrus Breeze cocktail is a super delicious Aperitivo-style cocktail perfect for any season. The smooth taste of The Botanist Gin, combined with the fruity and floral notes of Fiorente elderflower liqueur, creates an inviting drink that is sure to tempt your taste buds.
• 50ml The Botanist Gin
• 15ml Fiorente Elderflower Liqueur
• 25ml Freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
• Sprig of thyme & grapefruit twist to garnish
Mix the gin, grapefruit and elderflower cordial in a mixing glass. Pour into an ice-filled highball and top up with tonic water. Garnish with a sprig of thyme and a grapefruit twist wheel. Top with Tonic water.
Bartender’s Tip: Experiment with different tonic waters.
Finally, let’s celebrate the foraged cocktail in all its glory, with the aptly named…
The Botanist Forager Fizz
Love the Tom Collins? Try its frothy, bubbly cousin, the Gin Fizz. The Botanist Forager Fizz is a sweet gin-based cocktail, balanced beautifully by zesty lime and orange bitters. The secret to creating the perfect creaminess and froth is to shake, shake, shake—and then shake some more.
• 50ml The Botanist Gin
• 30ml Lime Juice
• 20ml Syrup of Angostura orange bitters
• 1 Egg white
• Kaffir lime leaf
Shake with ice strain and shake again. Garnish with Kaffir Lime leaf or your choice of foraged leaves.
Bartender’s Tip: Slap the leaf to bring out the aromas.
At Spirits Platform, we offer a curated selection of brands in line with the latest spirit trends, like The Botanist Gin – a genuinely unique handcrafted spirit with unmatched sustainability credentials. If you’d like to stock The Botanist Gin, contact your local Spirits Platform State Manager.
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