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 different species with 100% certainty – but notwithstanding, it is foraging tutor Mark Williams’ top plant family for food and flavour.

Although Mark is firmly in the business of educating about foraged flavours rather than supplying foraged “products”, he is responsible for a sensational bitters made with 9 different members of the carrot family. An atomiser of the herbal elixir makes regular appearances at the pitstops on Mark’s walks, finessing such cocktails as a sea buckthorn whisky sours, or a foraged negroni, or even adding enigmatic tones to a gin and tonic.

Mark Williams: “Many members of the carrot family have pungent aromatics, which vary from species to species. Anise, dill, parsley, fennel and caraway are some of the better known flavour profiles, but there are richer, deeper flavours than these, often with bitter components that make them particularly appealing in the drinks world.

“Angelica is a core ingredient in The Botanist, offering musky, herbaceous bass notes and fresh, peppery top notes. It is almost certainly one of the “mystery ingredients” in Benedictine, Chartreuse and many amaros. Traditionally the root is used, but I’ve had great success infusing the seeds and leaves into tinctures. Less fashionable members of the carrot family have produced some superb ingredients and finished drinks.”

Read Mark’s full article about The Carrot Family here.

Here’s Andy Hamilton’s angle on carrot family member Sweet Cicely too.

Remember to be careful and conscientious about identification; some common members of the family are deadly toxic.

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