The Botanist – Infusion Challenge

By Michelle Connolly Monday 21st Dec, 2015

The Botanist is rather unique – made from 22 foraged island botanicals along with 9 classic ones, they’ve created the first and only dry gin from Islay in Scotland. Rather than suggesting a signature serve, they encourage everyone to be a little more experiential – which is where our evening led.

The Botanist has been working with five signature London bars known for their experiential nature, gifting them a handmade, cold-drip coffee brewer in order to create specially infused cocktails. This is the first time a cold-drip infuser has been used in the bar industry to do something like this.

We caught up with The Botanist to explore a few of the creations that their chosen bars had made by foraging in their local area. Each one was totally unique to both the bar and the area, like nothing we had tasted before. Deliciously fruity berries in Mission bar, and deep and smokey flavours in Nightjar. The natural and intense tastes that came from the locally foraged ingredients gave a really punchy kick to the cocktails.

Seeing the range of ingredients and the amount of inspiration that went into the drinks showed the dimensions The Botanist could stretch to and how it lent itself to such complex flavour infusions. Make your way to one of the bars to get your Botanist fix through one of the delicious foraging-inspired cocktails! The five bars taking part are Mr Fogg’s (Soho), The Manor (Clapham), Mission (Bethnal Green), Nightjar and Worship St. Whistling Shop (Shoreditch).

Here are three of the cocktails, should you wish to try them yourselves…

Our first is from Mission and prepared by Alix Nardella

“The Bethnal Botanist”
50ml The Botanist Gin
5ml Clementine-infused Botanist
25ml Tansy cordial
Lemon zest

This is in the coupette glass, with the lovely berry garnish. The second drink doesn’t have a name, and was also prepared in Mission.


The Botanist Gin
Sea buck Thorne juice
Rowan berry sorbet

The last one we tried was courtesy of Nightjar, prepared by Nikolett Macza and served in a pine cup with frankincense holy smoke.

“Druid’s” Botanist Cup”
40ml The Botanist Gin infused with mahonia flower and rowan berries
7.5ml Caol Isla whisky
15ml Unicum Plum liqueur
2bsp of Damson jam
4 dashes of conifer bitters (tincture)
12ml Bee pollen
Juice of 1 lemon