The Botanist.

Wild. Foraged. Distilled.

22
Foraged Island Botanicals
The first and only Islay dry gin

22 FORAGED ISLAND BOTANICALS. HAND-PICKED LOCALLY AND SUSTAINABLY HERE ON ISLAY BY OUR OWN BOTANICAL SCIENTISTS.

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wild angelica growing on Islay

Carrot Family Bitters

by Jane Carswell on 5th October 2017 in Know Your Plants, Recipes.

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

Andy Hamilton and wormwood tinctures

Wormwood - A love affair & DIY Absinthe

by Andy Hamilton on 2nd October 2017 in Know Your Plants, Recipes.

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.

Scratch foraged Islay grenadine

A Scratch Grenadine

by Jane Carswell on 6th September 2017 in Recipes, Our Foraging.

Flicking through Harry Craddock's Savoy

Nori Chips

Porphyra - wild nori

by Roushanna Gray on 25th August 2017 in Know Your Plants, Recipes, Real Food.

There are about 150 different types of Porphyra species growing around the world.

homemade sherbet ingredients in the grinder

Homemade Sherbet

by Kate Hannett on 15th August 2017 in Recipes.

Childhood sweetie memories. Remember sherbet dib-dabs or flying saucers.

Yao Lu gin cocktail competition winner

From China to Islay

by Jane Carswell on 12th July 2017 in Recipes.

The Botanist Gin launched in China in October last year.

Seaweed and citrus cordial

by Roushanna Gray on 25th May 2017 in Recipes.

Seaweed cordial...sounds fishy? Tastes sublime. The subtle infusion of seaweed adds a unique umami layer to this citrus drink.

Umami Icecream

Kelp and Cocoa Ice cream

by Roushanna Gray on 15th May 2017 in Recipes, Flavour Science.

This is the trifecta of kelp recipes. Unusually, this particular seaweed recipe is for sweet treats and not a sea veg dish.

ellen zachos foraging in winter

Mushroom Bitters

by Ellen Zachos on 5th April 2017 in Techniques, Recipes.

Ellen Zachos: Turkey Tail mushroom,

gin and tonic with sour fig vermouth

Sour Fig

by The Botanist Editor on 1st March 2017 in Know Your Plants, Techniques, Recipes, The Devils Nettle Society.

"Leaves are eaten by tortoises... Flowers are eaten by antelopes and baboons.

Seaweed and mussel soup recipe

Mermaid Soup Recipe

by Roushanna Gray on 21st February 2017 in Thinking Wild, Recipes.

This seaweed and mussel broth recipe takes just 15 minutes to make and is very healthy and comforting - a perfect chicken noodle soup sub

gin and tonic with watermint garnish

Mint

by Andy Hamilton on 31st January 2017 in Thinking Wild, Know Your Plants, Techniques, Recipes.

Mint - the drinkers herb

ling heather, Islay

Heather - one of the 22

by Andy Hamilton on 20th December 2016 in Thinking Wild, Know Your Plants, Recipes, Our Foraging.

Ca' them where the heather grows, Ca' them where the burnierowes,

Sea Scones

Sea Lettuce Sea Scone recipe

by Roushanna Gray on 8th December 2016 in Recipes.

This is an easy to make, delicious and nutritious coastal take on the tea scone.

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

Climbing for the fruits of the Blackthorn, Galloway

Recipe: Sloe Vermouth

by Danny Whelan on 24th October 2016 in Recipes, The Devils Nettle Society.

The Blackthorn bush is a hedgerow mainstay, synonymous with foraging in the UK for it's autumn sloeberries.

Roushanna Gray on set

West Coast flavours

by Roushanna Gray on 16th September 2016 in Thinking Wild, Recipes.

Springtime on the West Coast of South Africa

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, 

Tansy at its riverbank home

Tansy - A MISCELLANY OF THE 22 BOTANIST BOTANICALS

by Andy Hamilton on 8th August 2016 in Thinking Wild, Know Your Plants, Recipes.

Tansy is one of those plants that you smell before you see.

foraged negroni, Andy Hamilton

Limonene

by Andy Hamilton on 4th July 2016 in Recipes, The Devils Nettle Society, Flavour Science.

At the end of a night when you just want that final drink, and the drinks cabinet has run dry, you don't reach for the flash liquid/lysol

Creeping thistle flower used in the botanist gin

Creeping Thistle

by Andy Hamilton on 21st June 2016 in Know Your Plants, Recipes, Our Foraging, Real Food.

In a crowded and noisy pub many moons ago I was asked what I'd been up to that day by a friend of my partner's mum.

Wild mint and Berry gin and tonic

WILD MINT – Mentha longifolia

by Roushanna Gray on 11th May 2016 in Know Your Plants, Recipes.

As there are three different types of mint in the 22 foraged botanicals found in the The Botanist Gin, I thought I would introduce you to

Osyris berries infusing

Osyris compressa

by Roushanna Gray on 1st April 2016 in Know Your Plants, Recipes.

Osyris compressa

Joanne-Brown-Turkey-Botanist-Visit

Botanical Talk In Turkey

by John McCallum on 9th March 2016 in Recipes, People, The Botanist News.

Botanist brand ambassador Joanne Brown travelled to Istanbul late last month to spread the word about our Islay-made gin.

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

How to make Alexanders bitters

Alexanders and How to make Alexanders bitters - Video

by Andy Hamilton on 20th January 2016 in Know Your Plants, Techniques, Recipes, Our Foraging.

The Romans can't have travelled light as it often seems they bought much of the naturalised flora and fauna to the UK and Alexanders is n

botanist-gin-belgrade-serbia-launch

Going Places: The Botanist Launches in Serbia

by John McCallum on 12th January 2016 in Recipes, The Botanist News.

It was uncharted territory for The Botanist last month, when the gin was officially launched in Serbia.

 The Botanist Foraged Cocktail Competition - Japan

The Botanist Foraged Cocktail Competition - Japan

by John McCallum on 7th January 2016 in Recipes, The Botanist News.

The Botanist Japan held its first foraged cocktail competition, comprising a host of bartenders from across Tokyo.

Cheese infused with citrus Buchu

The Botanist South Africa - Wild Food and Cocktail Pairing

by Roushanna Gray on 18th December 2015 in Thinking Wild, Know Your Plants, Recipes.

Dreaming up the menu is always the romantic part of a wild food dinner for me.

Botanical drawing of mugwort

Mugwort - A MISCELLANY OF THE 22 BOTANIST BOTANICALS by Andy Hamilton

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.

Andy hamilton - the 22 - Chamomile

Chamomile - A Miscellany of the 22 Botanist Botanicals

by Andy Hamilton on 2nd November 2015 in Techniques, Recipes.

There is a patch of Chamomile growing in my adopted city of Bristol; it grows in a park near the M32 motorway.

White clover

White Clover - A MISCELLANY OF THE 22 BOTANIST BOTANICALS

by Andy Hamilton on 15th September 2015 in Know Your Plants, Recipes.

As a small child in my first year at school I can remember spending ages scouring a grassy bank near our school for four leaf clovers.

Apple mint growing in France

Apple Mint - A Miscellany of the 22 Botanist Botanicals

by Andy Hamilton on 27th July 2015 in Know Your Plants, Recipes.

aka  Egyptian Mint, Mojito mint.  

A medievil depection of a woman gathering herbs - creative commons licence

Sambocade - Elderflower and Rosewater cheese tart

by Andy Hamilton on 7th July 2015 in Recipes, Real Food.

Serves 8 or 2 very greedy people

Escargot á la Kelvin

Escargot á la Kelvin

by Craig Grozier on 2nd June 2015 in Recipes, Real Food.

Following my recent battle with our new Gastropod friends, I

 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.

Meadowsweet in flower

Drinker's Guide to Meadowsweet

by Mark Williams on 20th May 2015 in Know Your Plants, Recipes.

One of the prettiest and most fragrant of all hedgerow plants, meadowsweet's creamy yellow clouds of tiny flowers are rich in honey, hay

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.

Sweet cicely, flower and seeds

Drinker's Guide to Sweet Cicely

by Mark Williams on 20th May 2015 in Know Your Plants, Recipes.

Sweet cicely offers many sensual pleasures to the forager.

elderberry vinegar

Elderberry Shrub Recipe

by Mark Williams on 20th May 2015 in Techniques, Recipes.

Elderberries should not be eaten raw in any quantities, and the small twigs they hang from are toxic.

Elder in full flower

Drinker's Guide To Elder - Flowers and Berries

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

We were delighted to spot the first elderflowers of the season on Islay last week.

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

graveyard foraged toinic water

Foraged Tonic Water - The Graveyard B & T

by Mark Williams on 30th March 2015 in Thinking Wild, Know Your Plants, Techniques, Recipes, Our Foraging.

I may be drummed out of The Guild of Foragers for saying this, but I'm not a huge fan of eating dandelion leaves.

Sloes, sloe berries, blackthorn fruit, sloe gin, foraging, basket, harvest, wild food, drinks, cocktails

Sloe Reactions

by Mark Williams on 13th January 2015 in Thinking Wild, Know Your Plants, Techniques, Recipes, Our Foraging, Real Food.

As we re-engage with forgotten wild ingredients, its always interesting to note those which have never dropped out of favour.

Common hogweed, shoots,  heracleum sphondylium, foraging, drinks, cocktails, wild food, gin, identification, leaf

Common Hogweed

by Mark Williams on 12th December 2014 in Thinking Wild, Know Your Plants, Techniques, Recipes, Our Foraging, Real Food.

“Weed (n): A plant that has mastered every aspect of survival except growing in straight lines”

Area Hopping - A tincture of Wild Hops

Area Hopping - A tincture of Wild Hops

by Danny Whelan on 21st November 2014 in Our Foraging, Recipes.

Mark found hops growing wild on the Galloway coast near his home.

Carbonated Wild Botanical Iced Tea

Carbonated Wild Botanical Iced Tea

by Danny Whelan on 21st November 2014 in Recipes, Techniques.

This can be used as a base recipe for making foraged sodas, no matter what the ingredients or season you may be playing with!

Delivers a pleasing foam

Rapid Infuse Your Walk

by Mark Williams on 14th October 2014 in Thinking Wild, Know Your Plants, Techniques, Recipes, Our Foraging, Real Food.

I have grazed, nibbled and browsed my edible landscape for many years, but never imagined it would be possible to drink as well as eat a

The Foraged Red Snapper

The Search for a Scottish Bloody Mary

by Danny Whelan on 3rd October 2014 in Recipes, Our Foraging.

Inspired by the creativity of bartenders throughout history with this classic 'hair-of-the-dog' cocktail I set myself the task of replica

Water pepper

Water-Pepper Infused Botanist

by Danny Whelan on 3rd October 2014 in Recipes.

A recent trip to stormy beaches of Scotland's West Coast proved fruitful in the search of added spice, umami and wasabi.

Waulkmill Cider Vinegars

Tomato, Lovage and Lemon Balm Shrub

by Danny Whelan on 3rd October 2014 in Recipes.

Stemming from the Arabic term 'sharab', meaning 'to drink', making a shrub preserves the flavours of in-season produce using sweeteners a

Soaking the dried mushrooms in neutral spirit

Porcini Mushroom Tincture - Scottish Umami

by Danny Whelan on 3rd October 2014 in Recipes.

Umami flavours can be found across the Scottish landscape, and it only took a trip to my local woodlands to find the perfect umami additi

Bramble jelly

Bramble Jelly

by Kate on 29th September 2014 in Recipes, Our Foraging.

Most days along Islay’s winding single track roads you can be sure to find a local knee-deep in a roadside ditch, gingerly reaching into

Foragers feasting

Scallops in a Scottish Thai Broth

by Craig Grozier on 15th September 2014 in Recipes, Our Foraging, Real Food.

After a hard day's foraging Kate kindly invited us to use her house and kitchen with its amazing views out across Loch Gruinart.

Eat straight from the pan for the freshest experience.

Forager's Eggs - on the beach

by Craig Grozier on 15th September 2014 in Recipes, Our Foraging, Real Food.

This is a simple dish inspired by the Gypsy eggs of Andalucia, which we decided to name Forager's Eggs.

Rose hip syrup

Rose Hip Syrup

by The Botanist Editor on 10th September 2014 in Our Foraging, Recipes.

Rose hips are abundant at this time of year.

Picnic at Port Ban, Islay

Wild Sushi

by The Botanist Editor on 10th September 2014 in Our Foraging, Recipes.

It is apparently possible to make your own nori sheets by collecting laver from the seash

Steeping the cordial in a Kilner jar

Apple Mint Cordial

by The Botanist Editor on 10th July 2014 in Our Foraging, Recipes.

Striking up the camping stove in a nearby lay-by we boiled equal parts of water and sugar (1 litre and 1kg) until the sugar was dissolved

A fizzy glassfull

Meadowsweet Fizzzzz

by The Botanist Editor on 10th July 2014 in Our Foraging, Recipes.

Walking, cycling or even driving along with the windows open, the sweet almond, honey and slight medicated aroma wafts around you.

Delicious with The Botanist gin

Foraged Mixers - A Light Sparkling Elderflower Wine

by The Botanist Editor on 4th July 2014 in Techniques, Recipes, Our Foraging.

The recipe we used for this delightfully light elderflower champagne was adapted by Mark Williams from Roger Phillips book “Wild Food”.

Whin syrup

Whin Syrup

by The Botanist Editor on 28th May 2014 in Our Foraging, Recipes.

Collect 750 (approx.) grams of whin flowers.  Add equal amounts of sugar and mix together in a kilner jar (or similar).

The Botanist, violet syrup and slimline tonic

Wild Violet Syrup

by The Botanist Editor on 21st May 2014 in Our Foraging, Recipes.

The common dog violet (Viola viviniana) is abundant on Islay in spring.

Add chopped nettles to syrup and bottle

Stinging Nettle Syrup

by admin on 7th May 2014 in Our Foraging, Recipes.

This really is delicious – both as a mixer for The Botanist and as a cordial.  It is incredibly easy to make.  Pick about a carrier bag f

Japanese knotweed syrup

Knotweed Syrup

by The Botanist Editor on 26th April 2014 in Our Foraging, Recipes.

The dreaded Japanese knotweed was once imported as a garden exotic, but it escaped into the wild and has spread like crazy over much of t

Articles

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.

Read more

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

Read more

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.

Read more

Foraged Drinks
Nettled Tom Collins

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

Read more

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

Read more

A Scratch Grenadine

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

Read more

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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Events

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

Read more