The Botanist.

Wild. Foraged. Distilled.

Foraged Island Botanicals
The first and only Islay dry gin




mindful foraging

Japanese knotweed

Wild Plants and the Law

by The Botanist Editor on 24th August 2017 in Mindful Foraging.

The law governing foraging - the picking of wild plants for your personal use - varies from country to country around the world.  You sho

The Botanist Islay Dry Gin Meadowsweet

RSPB Foraging Walks along the woodland trail

by Carl Reavey on 28th July 2017 in Mindful Foraging.

Responsible foraging is at the heart of how The Botanist is made at Bruichladdich Distillery and

Sea lettuce, an easy seaweed

Sea lettuce

by Roushanna Gray on 13th January 2017 in Mindful Foraging, Our Foraging.


Douglas fir harvest resin wild food

Drinker's Guide To Conifers

by Mark Williams on 5th December 2016 in Mindful Foraging, Thinking Wild, Know Your Plants, Recipes, Our Foraging.

While juniper is the only conifer that must legally be present in gin, many of its evergreen cousins can also contribute to a gr

plum blossom close up

Ume No Hana

by Ellen Zachos on 13th September 2016 in Mindful Foraging, Recipes.

Ellen Zachos, who has worked with us on The Botanist for several years, gives us an interesting recipe using vodka from her new book, 

Sweet cicely seeds by Alfredo Claiz

Sweet Cicely the godfather of the carrot family

by Andy Hamilton on 19th August 2016 in Mindful Foraging.

I'm sure that most towns and cities across the planet will have a family whose power and influence spreads throughout the town.

Gin in a kilner jar

How to make foraged gin in three minutes

by Andy Hamilton on 17th May 2016 in Mindful Foraging, Know Your Plants, Techniques.

One of my favourite things about making drinks from foraged ingredients is that you can not only drink the seasons but you can design dri

Hawthorn bush taken by Roy Hunt


by Andy Hamilton on 7th March 2016 in Mindful Foraging, Know Your Plants, Our Foraging.

Without being too much exaggeration I can safely say that the Hawthorn has been crucial in helping to shape the world to its present stat

Lemon Balm - taken by Andy Hamilton

Lemon Balm - A Miscellany of the 22 Botanist Botanicals

by Andy Hamilton on 1st February 2016 in Mindful Foraging, Know Your Plants, Recipes.

Chamomile, lime blossom, and lemon balm can all be used by a herbali

meadowsweet growing in the Brecon Beacons


by Andy Hamilton on 18th January 2016 in Mindful Foraging, Know Your Plants.

Last autumn I went island hopping around Scotland with a fellow plant fan, a herbalist from B

Botanical drawing of mugwort


by Andy Hamilton on 2nd November 2015 in Mindful Foraging, Know Your Plants, Techniques, Recipes.

Beer without hops is rather sweet and therefore needs something to counter this.

New sensory experiences

Along the River Kelvin - Glasgow

by Carl Reavey on 7th July 2015 in Mindful Foraging, People.

There are some beautifully verdant, semi-wild areas of Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city.  The name Glasgow means "green hollow" and has o

 crab apple verjus varieties

Drinker's Guide to Crab Apples: Get Over Your Citrus Addiction

by Mark Williams on 20th May 2015 in Mindful Foraging, Know Your Plants, Techniques, Recipes, Our Foraging, Real Food.

In Northern climes, we have become addicted to the citrus fruits of warmer places and this is most obvious in the drinks industry.

Cloveroot in the kitchen

Drinker's Guide to Wood Avens

by Mark Williams on 20th May 2015 in Mindful Foraging, Thinking Wild, Know Your Plants, Recipes, Our Foraging.

Wood avens (geum urbanum)  is also commonly referred to as herb bennet - which always makes me imagine a 1950's trumpet player.

raw, skimmed japanese knotweed juice

Drinks uses of Japanese Knotweed

by Mark Williams on 23rd April 2015 in Mindful Foraging, Thinking Wild, Know Your Plants, Techniques, Recipes.

Mention japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica in the UK or Polygonum cuspidatum in the US) to most people and they are q

Some plants are fragrant rather than edible - such as these whin flowers

Identifying Plants Safely

by The Botanist Editor on 13th August 2014 in Mindful Foraging.

The Botanist actively encourages exploration but some folk are nervous about foraging because of a perception that wild plants might be p

The Countryside Code

The Countryside Code

by The Botanist Editor on 28th April 2014 in Mindful Foraging.

Please respect the working life of the countryside. Leave gates as you find them or follow instructions on signs.



by The Botanist Editor on 21st March 2014 in Mindful Foraging.

Ten thousand short years ago, foraging was the only way of life for everybody and everything.  Millions of years of human development had

Juniper Communis

Islay Juniper

by The Botanist Editor on 21st March 2014 in Mindful Foraging, Our Foraging, Know Your Plants.

Juniper (Juniperus communis ssp.nana), once abundant, is now rare on Islay.  This local variant is a low, prostrate variety that clings l


Richard and Mavis Retire

We enjoyed a very splendid cake last week, beautifully baked by Katie to mark the retirement of our botanical scientists Dr.

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Carrot Family Bitters

There are members of the carrot family growing wild and in abundance that are potentially fatal - you must be able to tell apart the diff

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Wormwood - A love affair & DIY Absinthe

A romance can last a few hours or a few decades. Short ones can burn so brightly that they forever brand themselves inside your soul.

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Foraged Drinks
Nettled Tom Collins

Nettle is a great flavour for sweetness and nose-tickling freshness.

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Hog Reviver

This is a basic corpse reviver number 2 but with hogweed seed tincture rather than absinthe, and finished with a hogweed seed garnish.

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Islay Bramble

We wanted to make a bramble cockt

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Our Foraging
How to Make Infused Gin

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

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A Scratch Grenadine

Creating a substitute for grenadine from five common native plants of the season. Try it! Full recipe here.

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Beginner's Cocktail Syrups

While a traditional gin and tonic tends to be my drink of choice, I do have much love for cocktails - so I was very excited to find out t

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London Cocktail Week dinners at Sager + Wilde

After a recent trip to see us at the distillery on Islay and come out foraging, Chris Leach, head chef at Paradise Row, and Marcis Dzelza

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Universal Works Present: Designability

Revolution is a catalyst for innovation: political, physical, intellectual and artistic.

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Mistress Madness

Join our brand ambassador for South Africa, Caitlin Hill, for a range of cocktails at the Orphanage Cocktail Emporium on August 8th at 7p

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