Botanical Talk In Istanbul


Botanist brand ambassador Joanne Brown travelled to Istanbul late last month to spread the word about our Islay-made gin. Joanne, who grew up in the island’s village of Port Charlotte, had a hectic schedule for her 24-hour tour of the historic city.

Her first venue was a top-floor photography studio, where set-up began for the bartenders’ session.

Joanne admitted delivering seminars to some of Istanbul’s finest bartenders was somewhat daunting, but felt the philosophy, complexity and creative potential of The Botanist makes Islay’s first and only dry gin a provocative choice.

She said: ‘Taking on presentations on the history of gin, and of gin-based drinks and cocktails, with high-level bartenders is no small task as they are drinks-making experts, but they were really interested to learn about the background of The Botanist and what makes it unique.

‘We then took on some Botanist-specific training. Bartenders experimented with their own Botanist and tonic using foraged or local garnishes, and explored our new tincture kit.’

‘We also did a blind tasting to show the diversity in flavour of premium gins, and the Botanist went down really well.’

‘In the early evening we conducted an off-trade tour, visiting an independent store and a department store.  We ate at La Boom, a New York-neighbourhood-inspired eatery, which is really enthusiastic about The Botanist, before visiting four other bars.’

The Alexandra Bar named a new Botanist cocktail after Joanne. The “Miss Islay”

Their first was Gizli Klasin; a secret speakeasy bar hidden behind a pizza parlour, which sees customers enter through a fake drinks fridge;  then Lucca, a lively bar in the upmarket district of Bibek, where the group enjoyed a Botanist and clementine cocktail; and Any, where the bartenders have been experimenting with Botanist infusions.

Finally the group visited Alexandra – a new bar run by Osman F Baycan – who named a new Botanist cocktail after Joanne. The “Miss Islay”


  • 5cl The Botanist
  • 2.5cl apple Earl Grey
  • 8cl citrus
  • 3cl vanilla roiboos
  • 0.5cl bergamot

She added: ‘I really enjoyed my short time in Istanbul – it was a lot bigger than I imagined and it was fantastic to see and be part of the growth of The Botanist in Turkey.’


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