A recent trip to stormy beaches of Scotland’s West Coast proved fruitful in the search of added spice, umami and wasabi.
For an unexpected hit of Scottish spice, I was introduced by foraging guru Mark Williams to Water Pepper (Polygonum hydropiper).
Known commonly as Smartweed, or less appealingly Arsemart, it’s medicinal uses have been heralded by herbalists for centuries, particularly for it’s aid in digestion and in soothing rheumatism, hypochondria, chest pain and even lethargy. Perfect for a hair-of-the-dog morning! Its flavour profile is intensely hot, lingering spice, and not dissimilar to that of the Tabasco found in your modern Bloody Mary recipes.
The best results for transferring this into drinks, was a simple maceration infusion, in this case directly into the Botanist Gin:
- 40g Freshly picked & washed Water Pepper
- 700ml Botanist Gin
Macerate for three days and strain through fine cloth