The Botanist.

Wild. Foraged. Distilled.

22
Foraged Island Botanicals
The first and only Islay dry gin

22 FORAGED ISLAND BOTANICALS. HAND-PICKED LOCALLY AND SUSTAINABLY HERE ON ISLAY BY OUR OWN BOTANICAL SCIENTISTS.

Our Foraging

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Our Foraging

Foraging for edible weeds - broad leafed dock Rumex obtusifolius

The Rumex Cube

by Jane Carswell on 12th December 2017 in Know Your Plants, Our Foraging.

It was only recently that I discovered you could eat dock. My way in was through the stems. 

The Botanist gin rosehip irritant

Kate's Wild Rosehip Syrup

by Kate Hannett on 2nd November 2017 in Our Foraging.

Rosehips are one of autumn and winter’s brightest hedgerow bounty.  In the UK, our gardens, school yards and pathways

easy recipe for rose-infused gin

How to Make Infused Gin

by Hannah Carmichael on 25th September 2017 in Our Foraging.

Our homemade rose petal-infused gin has been a hit as of late on the Laddieshop's Botanist tours, having been used in

Scratch foraged Islay grenadine

A Scratch Grenadine

by Jane Carswell on 6th September 2017 in Recipes, Our Foraging.

Flicking through Ha

Hannah Carmichael's daisy tincture

Beginner's Cocktail Syrups

by Hannah Carmichael on 29th August 2017 in Our Foraging.

While a traditional gin and tonic tends to be my drink of choice, I do have much love for cocktails - so I was very e

Set to make seasonal bitters at Bruichladdich

Beginner's Tinctures

by Hannah Carmichael on 28th July 2017 in Our Foraging.

Despite having grown up on Islay, I was never one to take an interest in the wildlife around me - something that beca

batched and bottled absinthe v1

Academy Garden Absinthe - v1

by Jane Carswell on 25th July 2017 in Our Foraging.

There's a spirit of DIY permeating this distillery...

here and now foraging blog at bruichladdich

Here and Now - a lunchtime walk

by Jane Carswell on 20th June 2017 in Our Foraging.

A lunchtime stroll around the distillery perimeter yesterday revealed all sorts of edible plants, at an interesting i

Foraged pickings from Bridgend

Here and Now - Spring

by Jane Carswell on 25th April 2017 in Our Foraging.

Elder in Leaf

Winter

Here and Now - Winter

by The Botanist Editor on 4th March 2017 in Our Foraging.

Hairy bittercress

Sea lettuce, an easy seaweed

Sea lettuce

by Roushanna Gray on 13th January 2017 in Mindful Foraging, Our Foraging.

 

ling heather, Islay

Heather - one of the 22

by Andy Hamilton on 20th December 2016 in Thinking Wild, Know Your Plants, Recipes, Our Foraging.

Ca' them where the heather grows, Ca' them where the burnierowes,

Douglas fir harvest resin wild food

Drinker's Guide To Conifers

by Mark Williams on 5th December 2016 in Mindful Foraging, Thinking Wild, Know Your Plants, Recipes, Our Foraging.

While juniper is the only conifer that must legally be present in gin, many of its evergreen cousins can als

harvesting pepper dulse on Islay

Pepper Dulse

by Jane Carswell on 28th November 2016 in Our Foraging.

While all seaweeds to be found on the shores of the British Isles are edible (there are some toxic ones but they are

hogweed wild carrot and angelica seeds and leaves

Season of the Seedheads

by Jane Carswell on 16th November 2016 in Know Your Plants, Our Foraging.

This is the time of year when plant volume ebbs to reveal some of the architecture of the undergrowth.

lime blossom linden infusion

What Does Here Taste Like?

by Ellen Zachos on 29th September 2016 in Thinking Wild, Our Foraging.

It's not a question everyone asks themselves, but I bet most foragers do, 'What does here taste like?'.

Creeping thistle flower used in the botanist gin

Creeping Thistle

by Andy Hamilton on 21st June 2016 in Know Your Plants, Recipes, Our Foraging, Real Food.

In a crowded and noisy pub many moons ago I was asked what I'd been up to that day by a friend of my partner's mum.

Hawthorn bush taken by Roy Hunt

Hawthorn - A MISCELLANY OF THE 22 BOTANIST BOTANICALS

by Andy Hamilton on 7th March 2016 in Mindful Foraging, Know Your Plants, Our Foraging.

Without being too much exaggeration I can safely say that the Hawthorn has been crucial in helping to shape the world

Gorse -  A Miscellany of the 22 Botanist Botanicals

Gorse - A Miscellany of the 22 Botanist Botanicals

by Andy Hamilton on 1st February 2016 in Know Your Plants, Our Foraging.

Other names: Furze, Whin Latin name: Ulex europaeus

How to make Alexanders bitters

Alexanders and How to make Alexanders bitters - Video

by Andy Hamilton on 20th January 2016 in Know Your Plants, Techniques, Recipes, Our Foraging.

The Romans can't have travelled light as it often seems they bought much of the naturalised flora and fauna to the UK

Juniper in the fog

Juniper - one of the 22

by Andy Hamilton on 18th January 2016 in Know Your Plants, Our Foraging.

Juniper - A MISCELLANY OF THE 22 BOTANIST BOTANICALS

Ladies Bedstraw image CC Benjamin Zwittnig

Lady's Bedstraw - A Miscellany of the 22 Botanist Botanicals

by Andy Hamilton on 4th January 2016 in Know Your Plants, Our Foraging.

Bedstraw's is a low scrambling plant native to Europe, Asia and of course the Hebrides.

Botanist Fragers Summit 2015

In Pursuit of Foraged Flavours: The First Islay Foragers’ Summit

by Lynton Davidson on 27th July 2015 in Thinking Wild, Our Foraging, People.

Over the last few years we have begun to explore the flavours of our island home in ever greater depth; tasting the b

 crab apple verjus varieties

Drinker's Guide to Crab Apples: Get Over Your Citrus Addiction

by Mark Williams on 20th May 2015 in Mindful Foraging, Know Your Plants, Techniques, Recipes, Our Foraging, Real Food.

In Northern climes, we have become addicted to the citrus fruits of warmer places and this is most obvious in the dri

Cloveroot in the kitchen

Drinker's Guide to Wood Avens

by Mark Williams on 20th May 2015 in Mindful Foraging, Thinking Wild, Know Your Plants, Recipes, Our Foraging.

Wood avens (geum urbanum)  is also commonly referred to as herb bennet - which always makes me imagine a 195

Elder in full flower

Drinker's Guide To Elder - Flowers and Berries

by Mark Williams on 20th May 2015 in Know Your Plants, Recipes, Our Foraging, Real Food.

We were delighted to spot the first elderflowers of the season on Islay last week.

graveyard foraged toinic water

Foraged Tonic Water - The Graveyard B & T

by Mark Williams on 30th March 2015 in Thinking Wild, Know Your Plants, Techniques, Recipes, Our Foraging.

I may be drummed out of The Guild of Foragers for saying this, but I'm not a huge fan of eating dandelion leaves.

Sloes, sloe berries, blackthorn fruit, sloe gin, foraging, basket, harvest, wild food, drinks, cocktails

Sloe Reactions

by Mark Williams on 13th January 2015 in Thinking Wild, Know Your Plants, Techniques, Recipes, Our Foraging, Real Food.

As we re-engage with forgotten wild ingredients, its always interesting to note those which have never dropped out of

hemlock, conium maculatum, cow parsley, anthriscus sylvestris, comparison

The Carrot Family

by Mark Williams on 27th November 2014 in Thinking Wild, Know Your Plants, Our Foraging.

If I were forced to choose only one plant family to rely on for food and flavour it would be the carrot family.

Area Hopping - A tincture of Wild Hops

Area Hopping - A tincture of Wild Hops

by Danny Whelan on 21st November 2014 in Our Foraging, Recipes.

Mark found hops growing wild on the Galloway coast near his home.

Delivers a pleasing foam

Rapid Infuse Your Walk

by Mark Williams on 14th October 2014 in Thinking Wild, Know Your Plants, Techniques, Recipes, Our Foraging, Real Food.

I have grazed, nibbled and browsed my edible landscape for many years, but never imagined it would be possible to dri

Elf Food. Cally Woods, Gatehouse of Fleet, February

Taste your Walk

by Mark Williams on 13th October 2014 in Thinking Wild, Know Your Plants, Our Foraging, Real Food.

When people think of foraging, generally they imagine baskets of berries and fungi being filled during long afternoon

The Foraged Red Snapper

The Search for a Scottish Bloody Mary

by Danny Whelan on 3rd October 2014 in Recipes, Our Foraging.

Inspired by the creativity of bartenders throughout history with this classic 'hair-of-the-dog' cocktail I set myself

Bramble jelly

Bramble Jelly

by Kate on 29th September 2014 in Recipes, Our Foraging.

Most days along Islay’s winding single track roads you can be sure to find a local knee-deep in a roadside ditch, gin

Foragers feasting

Scallops in a Scottish Thai Broth

by Craig Grozier on 15th September 2014 in Recipes, Our Foraging, Real Food.

After a hard day's foraging Kate kindly invited us to use her house and kitchen with its amazing views out across Loc

Eat straight from the pan for the freshest experience.

Forager's Eggs - on the beach

by Craig Grozier on 15th September 2014 in Recipes, Our Foraging, Real Food.

This is a simple dish inspired by the Gypsy eggs of Andalucia, which we decided to name Forager's Eggs.

Rose hip syrup

Rose Hip Syrup

by The Botanist Editor on 10th September 2014 in Our Foraging, Recipes.

Rose hips are abundant at this time of year.

Picnic at Port Ban, Islay

Wild Sushi

by The Botanist Editor on 10th September 2014 in Our Foraging, Recipes.

It is apparently possible to make your own nori sheets by collecting

Out foraging - London

We Call It Foraged Mixology

by Lynton Davidson on 14th August 2014 in Thinking Wild, Our Foraging.

We humans are a species of relationship, of connection. To each other. To the world. To nature.

Steeping the cordial in a Kilner jar

Apple Mint Cordial

by The Botanist Editor on 10th July 2014 in Our Foraging, Recipes.

Striking up the camping stove in a nearby lay-by we boiled equal parts of water and sugar (1 litre and 1kg) until the

A fizzy glassfull

Meadowsweet Fizzzzz

by The Botanist Editor on 10th July 2014 in Our Foraging, Recipes.

Walking, cycling or even driving along with the windows open, the sweet almond, honey and slight medicated aroma waft

Delicious with The Botanist gin

Foraged Mixers - A Light Sparkling Elderflower Wine

by The Botanist Editor on 4th July 2014 in Techniques, Recipes, Our Foraging.

The recipe we used for this delightfully light elderflower champagne was adapted by Mark Williams from Roger Phillips

Islay Water Mint

Islay Spring

by The Botanist Editor on 13th June 2014 in Thinking Wild, Our Foraging.

We have been exploring Islay this week in spring bloom.

Fifty Wild Foods

Introducing Mark Williams, Forager

by The Botanist Editor on 30th May 2014 in Our Foraging, People.

Mark Williams of Galloway Wild Foods is Scotland's only full-time foraging tutor.

Whin syrup

Whin Syrup

by The Botanist Editor on 28th May 2014 in Our Foraging, Recipes.

Collect 750 (approx.) grams of whin flowers.  Add equal amounts of sugar and mix together in a kilner jar (or similar

Two bowls of whin flowers with violets, sweet gale and spruce tips

Ellen Zachos - Backyard Foraging

by The Botanist Editor on 21st May 2014 in People, Our Foraging.

It was good to have Ellen Zachos from New York visit us recently.  Ellen is the author of a number of books, includin

The Botanist, violet syrup and slimline tonic

Wild Violet Syrup

by The Botanist Editor on 21st May 2014 in Our Foraging, Recipes.

The common dog violet (Viola viviniana) is abundant on Islay in spring.

The CBC video from LA Group Glasgow

The CBC video from LA Group Glasgow

by The Botanist Editor on 9th May 2014 in Our Foraging, People, The Botanist News.

This classy little video shows the lead up to the Caledonian Bartenders Cup which was held in Glasgow, Scotland on Tu

Add chopped nettles to syrup and bottle

Stinging Nettle Syrup

by admin on 7th May 2014 in Our Foraging, Recipes.

This really is delicious – both as a mixer for The Botanist and as a cordial.  It is incredibly easy to make.  Pick a

Japanese knotweed syrup

Knotweed Syrup

by The Botanist Editor on 26th April 2014 in Our Foraging, Recipes.

The dreaded Japanese knotweed was once imported as a garden exotic, but it escaped into the wild and has spread like

Juniper Communis

Islay Juniper

by The Botanist Editor on 21st March 2014 in Mindful Foraging, Our Foraging, Know Your Plants.

Juniper (Juniperus communis ssp.nana), once abundant, is now rare on Islay.  This local variant is a low, prostrate v

The Foraged Islay Botanicals

The Foraged Islay Botanicals

by Lynton Davidson on 14th March 2014 in Our Foraging, Distillation.

We are endlessly fascinated by the history of this wild Hebridean island, of its people, its distilling lineage.

Ingredients in gin The Botanist botanicals

What are the botanicals in The Botanist Gin?

by The Botanist Editor on 17th January 2012 in Our Foraging, Distillation.

Botanicals are the very essence of gin; its raison d'etre.

Scottish islands explorer - Botanist article

Islay Gin

by The Botanist Editor on 1st July 2011 in Distillation, Our Foraging.

Scottish Islands Explorer Magazine, July/August 2011:

Articles

Carbonated Spruce Gimlet

The recipe for a wild native twist on a classic Gimlet.

Read more

New sizes of The Botanist include a Magnum

We are delighted to be able to announce that we have introduced a number of new sizes for The Botanist, the first and only Islay Dry Gin.

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Richard and Mavis Retire

We enjoyed a very splendid cake last week, to mark the retirement of our botanical scientists Dr. Richard and Mavis Gulliver.

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Foraged Drinks
Gin Hog Zinger

An original cocktail made by Fraser for today's Botani

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Live Reviver

This is a really simple foraged cocktail, that uses the proportions of the corpse reviver, hence it's name.

Read more

Belmont Berry Fleur

We adapted this recipe from Harry Cr

Read more

Our Foraging
The Rumex Cube

It was only recently that I discovered you could eat dock. My way in was through the stems. 

Read more

Kate's Wild Rosehip Syrup

Rosehips are one of autumn and winter’s brightest hedgerow bounty.  In the UK, our gardens, school yards and pathways are surrounded in s

Read more

How to Make Infused Gin

Our homemade rose petal-infused gin has been a hit as of late on the Laddieshop's Botanist tours.

Read more

Events

TASTE Festival

The Botanist, Islay’s first and only dry gin will be offering a wild experience like no other at TASTE Festive this year, bringing Islay

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Shadow Session 8 at Chambar, Vancouver

Live at Chambar restaurant, Vancouver, Canada Join them on Thursday 16th November

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London Cocktail Week dinners at Sager + Wilde

After a recent trip to see us at the distillery on Islay and come out foraging, Chris Leach, head chef at Paradise Row, and Marcis Dzelza

Read more