Here’s some more detail about our ingredients:
From the Asteraceae (daisy, or sunflower) family, we have tansy, thistle, camomile, and mugwort (pictured above). This is the biggest plant family in the world with 23,600 species of herbs shrubs and trees on its current roster. We also have a strong showing from the third largest plant family in the world, another with 20,000 species, the Fabaceae, or pea family. The clovers and gorse that are picked on Islay and the licorice root we use in the base of the still belong to it. And it’s funny, when you know that gorse is in the pea family, you can taste it!
From Lamiaceae, the dead nettles, mentioned above, we have apple mint, water mint, thyme, wood sage, and lemon balm. From the rose family, Rosaceae, we have hawthorn and meadowsweet. The carrot family, Apiaceae, contains a lot of edible members, like parsley, parsnip, fennel, and three that we use in making the gin – coriander, angelica, and sweet cicely. It’s a family you have to be extremely careful with, however, see The Carrot Family >. We have a bedstraw in the gin (rubiaceae), a laurel (cinammon), an iris (orris root), an Adoxaceae (in elder) and a Betulaceae (in birch). Orange and Lemon whose peels we use are in the rue family (rutaceae). Bog myrtle is from the small family of Myricaceae. And our final ingredient, heather, is in Ericaceae, the heath family, along with blueberries, cranberries, lingonberries and huckleberries and co.
It would be predictably arrogant of us as a species to assume that ours were the only global systems worth caring about. The cool thing is, if we can tune into the plant world’s organising principles too, we stand to benefit in terms of flavour. And if we value flavour, we value the plants, and if we value the plants, we value the environments they grow in, and if we value the environment, we value the planet. So there’s some context, and some hope, to have with your next Botanist cocktail…