Food Channel Finds is our way of bringing information and opinion on some of the latest products to hit the market! These might be interesting food items seen as we walk a trade show, on a grocery shelf, at a food event or, often, from press releases – enticing us to put them to the test and see how they deliver.
The Botanist Dry Gin
The end of August is symbolic of the seasons changing, although, in many regions, the weather is still balmy, and sun-soaked. These warm pre-autumnal evenings call for something flavorful, and refreshing. Enter a unique late-summer cocktail, made with The Botanist Dry Gin. Getting to know this particular liquor turned a humid Labor Day afternoon into a sensory journey!
First, the packaging for The Botanist Dry Gin, made by the Bruichladdich Distillery hailing from the remote Scottish island of Islay is quite stunning in its simplicity. The tall clear glass bottle is embossed with the Scientific Latin names of the herbals included in the recipe, igniting the senses to the aromas awaiting inside. Aside from the raised typeface, the label itself has the clear intention of telling the individual a backstory including location and method of production, note the words “heritage,” and hand-foraged” are also highlighted here.
A Delight For The Senses
Upon opening, the scent and taste are indeed herbaceous, and fresh, but not overly alcohol-heavy. This is a gin that could easily be enjoyed alone over ice, or combined with any number of mixers to enhance the berries, seeds, peels, barks and fresh herbs contained within. The classic juniper and citrus shine through in traditional gin fashion, although there are deeper notes of woodsy, floral and even vanilla.
Of the 31 total botanicals, 22 are hand-foraged on-site, taken with care, fresh from the island’s wilderness. The local ingredients include Apple Mint, Elder Flower, Heather, Hawthorn, Juniper, Wild Thyme, Wood Sage, Water Mint, Bog Myrtle, and Tansy, to name a few, all seasoned with crisp ocean air and rich soil, setting this gin apart.
A Scottish Tradition
The region of Islay is known for its Scotch distilleries, including Bruichladdich, who’s beverage making has roots as far back as 1881, although additions like The Botanist came to life in 2011, and joined the hefty lineup of whiskeys, using Scottish Barley and Victorian machinery as a uniquely Islay Gin.
For this late-summer inspired cocktail, I combined a few on-hand ingredients, that included some foraging in my own herb garden. I then added some on-trend seasonal flavors, including Elderflower, in the form of a liquor, and LaCroix Mure Pepino Blackberry Cucumber Sparkling Water. It’s an easy concoction that could be altered to suit most taste levels, by simply substituting different mixer flavors. I chose the above for a low-calorie, lower sugar option.
See the recipe below, for ingredients and amounts, and don’t forget to enjoy responsibly. Cheers from The Food Channel!
Summer Patio Sipper
Prep Time: 5 minutes
- 2 slices fresh cucumber
- 6 mint leaves
- 2 sprigs fresh lavender
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 lime wedge
- 1 can blackberry cucumber LaCroix
- 1 ounce Elderflower Liquor
- 1 ounce The Botanist Dry Gin
- In a small tumbler or short cocktail glass, muddle the mint, and one cucumber slice.
- Add the Gin, and Elderflower Liquor.
- Fill the glass with blackberry cucumber sparkling water.
- Clap the lavender between your palms to release the oils, then add to glass, along with fresh mint, a cucumber slice, and a lime wedge.
- Take in the refreshing smells, taste, and enjoy!