The Botanist.

Wild. Foraged. Distilled.

Foraged Island Botanicals
The first and only Islay dry gin


The Debutante

By Jane Carswell

6th July 2017

Kathryn McNiven joined the Laddieshop team in March, and is today giving her first Botanist Tour at the distillery. She is the debutante, who created this drink with items that turned up on her desk this morning: some sweet cicely stem vodka and spires of fresh Lady's Bedstraw from our in-house forager James.

We had in stock some mint infusion @68%, some cherry blossom syrup @18% and some "Heaven" by Colin Tocher of our bottling hall, which is a bramble liquer made with The Botanist last Autumn, which became the other components.

25ml cherry blossom and "Heaven"

10ml Botanist Gin 

Barspoon of Sweet Cicely vodka

1/2 bar spoon 4 mint infusion 

35ml muddled bedstraw ice and water.


Add all ingredients save the water to a glass over ice. Stir.

Muddle the bedstraw ice and water in a mixing glass and strain into the drinking glass.

Stir again. Garnish with a sprig of bedstraw.

Foraging Notes

Four members of the mint family were infused in the distillery's unpeated new-make spirit, left for a week and then strained. We just used a few drops to lift the drink as it was quite sweet. 

Colin made "Heaven" to a sloe gin recipe, substituting brambles he'd picked.

James our in-house forager uses sweet cicely leaves in preparation for the gin distillation; the stems were "waste" so he steeped them in vodka for 3 days - they turned it pink! - and the aniseed / liquorice flavour was really strong.

The fresh bedstraw gave a honey flavour to the iced water that we used to lengthen the drink. It shed its tiny star shaped flowers into the water when we muddled it, and crept through the strainer which was really pretty in the glass. 

The garnish of lady's bedstraw ensures a nose-full of grassy coumarin aromas start off the sip.  

lady's bedstraw and grasses




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