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By Debbie AndersonFebruary 26, 2020No Comments

The Foraged Cocktail

Photo by Aaron Dougherty

Travel writer Michael Hiller sampled his way through several single malts on his trip to Islay in Scotland (check out the story on Page 30). After returning, he reported back that one of the liquors that stood out was clear, not brown. The Botanist gin is a product of Islay’s abundance of local botanicals, 22 of them to be exact, ranging from creeping thistle to mugwort to wood sage. Nine other botanicals — including lemon peel and cinnamon bark — are added to the mix. Juniper definitely takes a back seat to the cleaner flavors.

It’s made at the Bruichladdich whisky distillery, one of nine on Islay, and ingredients are sourced by The Botanist’s “professional forager.” (We’re trying to figure out how we could add that job title to our resume in the future.) The distilling process takes longer than traditional methods, and the gin’s balanced but complex flavor has earned it multiple medals at international spirits competitions.

The Botanist gin makes a fine gift and also is a welcome addition to the liquor cabinet, especially with warmer weather approaching. At Grace (777 Main St., Fort Worth), bartender Dezmen Gammage likes to use The Botanist in a gin version of an old fashioned.

Find more gin-based recipes, learn more about foraging and find some interesting reading at — Meda Kessler

The Botanist Old Fashioned
This drink highlights the gorgeous blend of botanicals that The Botanist showcases, and gives it a citrus flair.

Serves 1

  • 2 ounces of The Botanist gin
  • ½ to 1 tablespoon of
    local honey, or to taste
  • Orange bitters
  • Luxardo cherries

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add gin and honey, stirring until well mixed. Add a large ice cube to an old-fashioned glass and strain the mixture into the glass. Add 3 dashes of orange bitters. Serve with a Luxardo cherry garnish