The Botanist.

Wild. Foraged. Distilled.

Foraged Island Botanicals
The first and only Islay dry gin


Academy Corpse Reviver

By Jane Carswell

26th July 2017

This is a cocktail based on a recipe from Michael at Great British Vermouth, with a little improvisation required if you have no absinthe sitting in the cupboard, which we did not. [see below or this article about how to make DIY absinthe] Heather from our Laddieshop team created it for yesterday's Botanist Gin Tour.

25ml Gin

25ml Vermouth

25ml Cointreau

25ml Lemon juice

dash Absinthe 

Rinse out a martini glass (preferably chilled) with absinthe. Shake the other ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker and strain into the glass. Garnish with a small tansy leaf. 

Foraging Notes

Foraged scratch absinthe: At the distillery we are lucky to have new spirit running off the stills at about 68% proof. Plus, we have a garden at our 'Academy House' in which we grow mugwort, various other botanicals, and interesting weeds. Mugwort - Artemesia Vulgaris - is a close relation of Wormwood - Artemesia Absintha - which is the decisive ingredient in both vermouth and absinthe. Like mugwort, it is an aromatic bitter herb containing the chemical compound thujone which gives you trippy dreams. (Wormwood is more pungent and bitter, I'd say, Mugwort more delicious.) And mugwort is one of the the 22 botanicals that can be picked wild around Islay and is in our gin. Tansy and yarrow are also in The Botanist and both contain thujone.

The other key compound you're looking for in absinthe is anethole, which makes the liquorice / aniseed flavour, and is responsible for the colour-changing cloudiness of the louche effect. [See video about the louche effect here >] You can find that aniseed flavour in the wild from Sweet Cicely, which is a member of the carrot family. At the Academy House, there's a big bronze fennel bush - also carrot family - which provided flowers, stem and leaves for the cause. 

The other plants I used to fill out the two dominant flavours were lemonbalm, calming tree mallow leaf, forget-me-not (which is borage family - tastes like cucumber or lettuce with a tiny spike of spice up front) and pineapple weed, which were poking their heads up through the gravel.

Read the full account of the DIY absinthe-making process here >

More about the plant families in The Botanist gin here >

collected plants for home-made absinthe

freshly collected plants for homemade absinthe



Richard and Mavis Retire

We enjoyed a very splendid cake last week, beautifully baked by Katie to mark the retirement of our botanical scientists Dr.

Read more

Carrot Family Bitters

There are members of the carrot family growing wild and in abundance that are potentially fatal - you must be able to tell apart the diff

Read more

Wormwood - A love affair & DIY Absinthe

A romance can last a few hours or a few decades. Short ones can burn so brightly that they forever brand themselves inside your soul.

Read more

Foraged Drinks
Nettled Tom Collins

Nettle is a great flavour for sweetness and nose-tickling freshness.

Read more

Hog Reviver

This is a basic corpse reviver number 2 but with hogweed seed tincture rather than absinthe, and finished with a hogweed seed garnish.

Read more

Islay Bramble

We wanted to make a bramble cockt

Read more

Our Foraging
How to Make Infused Gin

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

Read more

A Scratch Grenadine

Creating a substitute for grenadine from five common native plants of the season. Try it! Full recipe here.

Read more

Beginner's Cocktail Syrups

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

Read more


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

Universal Works Present: Designability

Revolution is a catalyst for innovation: political, physical, intellectual and artistic.

Read more

Mistress Madness

Join our brand ambassador for South Africa, Caitlin Hill, for a range of cocktails at the Orphanage Cocktail Emporium on August 8th at 7p

Read more