The Botanist Gin launched in China in October last year. We were thrilled to have a group of elite bartenders and opinion-formers and our brand ambassador Perry Zhou with us on Islay last week – the first such visit dedicated to The Botanist from three cosmopolitan milieu 5000 miles away – Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou. It seems that many of the herbs the bartenders customarily use in their work are familiar to us from culinary purposes in the West, but there were many novel foraged flavours to explore – pineapple weed, Douglas Fir and Islay House Community Garden‘s gooseberries were notable discoveries.
On the last night of their stay, the bartenders experimented with Islay’s palate of seasonal ingredients we’d found during the week, creating the nine original cocktails pictured above for an informal competition, prior to a fabulous foraged meal prepared by Craig of Fallachan Dining.
The accolades went to Yao Lu of Union Trading Company for most creative and tasty drink of the night. Details of each of the cocktails are below.
Yao Lu – ‘Rain Drop Droptop’. Botanist Gin, Lime, Apple Mint Syrup, Mustard
Jackael He – ‘Double 22’. Infused Botanist Gin, Dry Vermouth, Fino Sherry, Soda
Alvin Hu – ‘Islay 22’. Botanist Gin, Dry Vermouth, Lemon Juice, Infused Herbs Syrup, Soda
Terry Huang – ‘Islay Forest Negroni – Earl Grey Cooler’. Forest-infused Botanist Gin, Earl Grey Tea Botanist, Cocchi Vermouth, Campari, Soda
Kevin Song – ‘Nature’. Botanist Gin, Mint/Berry Syrup [Raspberry 1 : 2 Sugar + Mint 1 : 1 Water], Lemon, Soda
Theo Watt – ‘Ode 2 Legends’. Ice Plant Jelly, Gooseberry & Rhubarb Jam, Elderflower & Rose Petal Syrup, Lemon Juice, Botanist Gin
Carson Xie – ‘Fly Me to Islay’. Lime Juice, Maraschino, Lavendar Rose Syrup, Botanist Gin
Eddy Yang – ‘Super Fresh’. Botanist Gin, Rose, Sage & Mint Water, Irn Bru, Lime, Mint & Gooseberry Garnish
Paul Hsu – ‘Islay Garden Martini’. Botanist Gin, Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth, Sherry, Tansy and Wood-Sage Infused Oil, Garnish with Dry Water Mint Powder
Thanks Perry and your interesting friends for sharing your time and talent with us.