Have you ever wondered about the botanicals in your gin?
We have had the same thoughts over the years. we all know the most common botanicals in gin and what they taste like. If your anything like us you can taste & name a botanical, but not know what it exactly tastes of, or what the botanical brings to the flavour profile. For example, you could probably name the coriander seed and say its got a nutty profile, which is correct! but did you know it also brings hints of aromatic orange.
When you look deeper into the flavours you get from botanicals, you will find that seeds, flowers and leaves can all give different flavours. In our Botanical 101 series will be giving you the low down on the all the botanicals used in the creation of gin and the flavours they give.
Our list is in no particular order and will be updated with more information as we find it, so feel free to keep checking back. Our list will also include some of the more obscure botanicals used by master distillers.
Known as one of the most expensive spices per kilogram in the world, saffron is normally prized for the rich red-orange colour it imparts on food. In gin making, however, its flavour is described as a heavily aromatic metallic honey, with hints of hay.
Origin: Primarily Mediterranean, the Middle East and North African
Saffron Gin – Indian Summer Saffron Infused
The towering, pot-bellied trees which dominate the Madagascan jungle; are responsible for producing this exotic botanical. While the seeds are used more often, both the flesh and seed pods from this tree can be used to impart a fresh and sherbet-like flavour.
Adansonia digitate (most common)
Origin: Madagascar, with some species growing in mainland Africa or Australia
Whitley Neill Dry Gin – Tarquins Eden Project Gin
This ancient incense has been around for as long as common recorded history. It is actually a resin collected from the bark of the trees and imparts a balsamic flavour, tinged with hints of lemon and other citrus, when used to flavour alcohol.
Origin: Somalia and Central Africa, Arabian Peninsula
Batch Gin – Sacred Gin
Coriander is a classic herb it is a valued botanical gin making, just as much as it is in the culinary world. You will find either the seeds or roots of this versatile herb used in the gin making process. The seeds give a nutty flavour with hints of aromatic orange, while the roots can provide a more intense version of the leaves peppery spice.
Origin: Regions spanning Southern Europe, Northern Africa and Southwest Asia
Opihr Gin – Kokoro Gin
Grains of Paradise
Commonly referred to as ossame or alligator pepper, Grains of paradise are actually most closely related to the ginger family of spices. The origin of the name alligator pepper is obvious when you taste them; an intense peppery flavour is front and centre, with sweet citrus elements playing second fiddle.
Origin: West Africa and Ethiopia
Wright Mermaids Paradise – Monkey 47
One of the world’s most recognisable spices would have to be Nutmeg. You will find the Nutmeg spice in the top 10 botanicals in gin distilling, which makes it just as important outside of the kitchen. The small seeds provide a warm, earthy, sweet and spicy profile that is instantly recognisable.
Myristica (normallyMyristica fragans)