We have been exploring Islay this week in spring bloom. Many of the botanicals we use in the distillation of the Botanist are at their best right now. Some already departed, others are yet to come. The weather has been extraordinary recently. Growth is afoot.
Water mint, red and white clover, bog myrtle in abundance; creeping thistle is just beginning to show its purple flowers, lady’s bedstraw will be a week or two yet. Heather we expect in late July. Each plant has its seasonal rhythms. Our botanicals are temporal, fleeting and we must be ready for each one.
We use 22 of these local botanicals here on Islay in our distillation of The Botanist, but this is not all about us. What you use locally, seasonally in your drinks is as much a part of the story. We thrive on creativity and celebrate the extraordinary and simple alike.
This week we have been in good company – joined by Mark Williams, local forager from Galloway Wild Foods, Glasgow bartender and drinks creator Danny Whelan from Hawthorn Drinks and local Helensburgh chef Johnny Aitken, who have been out roaming the coastlands, meadows, bogs, hills and cliffs with us in search of foraged flavours.