The Botanist.

Wild. Foraged. Distilled.

22
Foraged Island Botanicals
The first and only Islay dry gin

WILD ISLAY. THE HEBRIDEAN ISLAND HOmE OF THE BOTANIST CLINGS TO THE EDGE OF THE OCEAN IN THE TEETH OF ATLANTIC WEATHER SYSTEmS.

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

PROGRESSIVE HEBRIDEAN DISTILLERS. THE BOTANIST IS THE ESSENCE OF OUR PHILOSOPHY, OUR ART AND OUR PIONEERING SPIRIT.

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.


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


Location

Articles

Homemade Sherbet

Make your own foraged sherbet; a simple recipe for finger-dipping, glass-decorating, dessert-finishing fizzy flavour, from guest author on Islay, Kate.

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Thoughts on Wild Flavour

It's like expanding your horizons and tightening your focus at the same time.

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Foraging - it takes your brain to another dimension

"Wood sage. That’s when I knew it was falling into place. That and the chanting..." First thoughts of our new team member at The Botanist, James.

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Foraged Drinks
The Jenna McEachern

Jenna works in our warehouse stocks team and celebrated a significant but still youthful birthday on Friday.

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Lemonbalm Collins

Lemonbalm is really lovely. In the mint family, it has tiny white flowers just now, smaller than a dead nettle but similar shape.

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The Applemint

We have been growing Applemint in the window boxes and planters around the distillery.

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Our Foraging
Beginner's Tinctures

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

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Academy Garden Absinthe - v1

Isn't the spirit of DIY that permeates this distillery just irresistable?

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Here and Now - a lunchtime walk

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

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Events

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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

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Foraging Walks with the RSPB on Islay

The Botanist and RSPB Scotland have a shared mission on Islay, to connect people with the natural environment around them.

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