The Botanist.

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Foraged Island Botanicals
The first and only Islay dry gin


How to Make Infused Gin

25th September 2017
by Hannah Carmichael in Techniques, Our Foraging.

Our homemade rose petal-infused gin has been a hit as of late on the Laddieshop's Botanist tours, having been used in a couple of our featured cocktails.

The word "infused" might make it sound like the result of a complex process, but adding your own flavours to your gin is very simple.

Before you start, you need to decide on what you want the gin to taste like. We like our rose variation, so for our tutorial we opted for rose petals; if you’re not a rose fan, there’s a wide range of other flowers, herbs, mushrooms, or fruits to experiment with – think sloe gin!

Overall, you’ll simply need two ingredients: gin, and whatever you’re wanting to flavour it with. A kilner jar for the process and a bottle for the finished gin would be handy, too!

When picking our rose petals, we weren’t entirely sure about the variety we’d chosen - it was a small, fragrant, fuscia-coloured flower with quite an open cup which was growing in the distillery garden. With over 100 species of rose, they’re fairly common and recognisable, but if you're not too sure, go by the smell, first off, then the stems having “prickles”, or thorns. The leaves will also have a serrated edge. 

We collected enough rose petals from the bush to fill a 0.5L kilner jar and then took them back to be washed and chopped up. (Chopping up the contents of the jar is optional, but we find that it helps to speed up the process in which the gin takes the flavour and colour due to an increase in surface area.) We then added our gin to the jar - just enough to cover the rose petals - and closed the lid. Once this step is done, it's up to the contents in your jar to do the hard work!

hannah in the kitchen, making rose-infused botanist gin

The amount of time for the jar to be left varies, just keep checking and tasting; apparently the general rule is the more tough the plant material the longer you can leave it, so seeds or barks could be weeks, flowers probably 24 hours or less. If you've chopped things through, they'll "go over" more quickly, so keep an eye on your jar, especially if you want to capture colour, as that degrades quickly, pinks going tawny and greens going black.  

We stored this batch overnight in the fridge to ensure it kept a bit better, filtering out the petals after about 18 hours altogether using a sieve and funnel. The end product had a light floral taste (amongst all the other floral notes in The Botanist!) and quite a strong colour which worked well in mixed drinks.

By the way, keep the petals, they are quite fleshy and delicious like a lychee and really gin-y, so you could use them for something else, such as decorations on your next iced cake, or freeze them and throw into your next gin and tonic as a garnish.

Some examples of cocktails we've made up this summer using rose-infused gin:

Rosehip Highball

The Ogilvie

The Jenna McEachern


Watch Hannah's video tutorial 'How to Make Rose-infused Gin' here >>



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