The Botanist.

Wild. Foraged. Distilled.

22
Foraged Island Botanicals
The first and only Islay dry gin

WILD ISLAY. THE HEBRIDEAN ISLAND HOmE OF THE BOTANIST CLINGS TO THE EDGE OF THE OCEAN IN THE TEETH OF ATLANTIC WEATHER SYSTEmS.

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

PROGRESSIVE HEBRIDEAN DISTILLERS. THE BOTANIST IS THE ESSENCE OF OUR PHILOSOPHY, OUR ART AND OUR PIONEERING SPIRIT.

The 22

No 17

BOG MYRTLE (SWEET GALE)

Myrica gale

Before the introduction of hops to Great Britain, and possibly as early as the 11th century, bog myrtle was one of the chief components of a herbal cocktail known as “gruit”, used to flavour and add bitterness to ale. Some believe that the subsequent use of hops was an imposition of Protestant hardliners on a Catholic populace who were given to wildness and excess - driven by the stimulating and allegedly aphrodisiac qualities of the perfumed gruit ale.  Hops tend to have a sedative effect, as any regular beer-drinker will attest. The truth may be more pragmatic and political, with the switch to hops actually designed to neuter the monopoly of the monasteries on gruit production.

Some believed bog myrtle to have magical properties when brewed with ale and it is said to have been a constituent of a drink concocted by Norse warriors to make them fearless and fearsome in battle. They became known as the Berserkers and were said to fight in an uncontrollable trance-like fury. These Úlfhéðnar were known as Odin’s own warriors: “[Odin’s] men went without their mailcoats and were mad as hounds or wolves, bit their shields...they slew men, but neither fire nor iron had effect upon them.”

Articles

Freezing Edible Flowers - Blossom

Tips for preserving blossom by freezing for later eating and cooking, from the founder of Forage Fine Foods.

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Kelp and Cocoa Ice cream

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

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Universal Works

Since 2014, we've been involved in celebrating Nottingham-based Universal Works' new seasons collections.

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Foraged Drinks
Sweet Cicely and Spruce Sours

This seasonal sours was created for The Botanist gin tours at the distillery.

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Two Tree Martini

The two tree martini was created for the botanist gin tours at the distillery’s Laddieshop.

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Cherry Blossom Highball

The cherry blossom highball was invented for visitors on our gin t

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Our Foraging
Here and Now - Winter

A rolling photo essay exploring what's about us at the distillery this week.

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Sea lettuce

Like a lettuce of the sea -  this is a great one to have one your foraging list whether you are a beginner or an experienced salty sea dog.

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Events

The Gin festival experience

Find us at The Gin festival experience at Abbay du Val-saint-Lambert in Seraing, Belgium.

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Gin Sunday

We'll be present at the second edition of the free festival Gin sunday which will take place in Havana distribution at Kontichsesteenweg

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Sampling at John Lewis, Oxford Street, London

Looking for the  chance to combine our two favourite things Gin and shopping?

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