Super premium artisanal gin brand, The Botanist, has launched in South Africa, with a number of events aimed at introducing the brand to local mixologists and gin enthusiasts.
Hand-crafted on the wild Hebidean island of Islay, The Botanist is trickle distilled and augmented with a heady harvest of 22 botanicals hand-picked by an expert foraging team from the windswept hills, peat bogs and Atlantic shores of the island.
The layered complexity of The Botanist is an inspiration to professional mixologists who appreciate the flavour potential of ingredients foraged from their own local environments – to introduce a very personal dimension to this complex spirit.
A number of the country’s finest mixologists had taken part on a bespoke foraging experience, joined by global brand ambassador, Joanne Brown. Along with local foraging expert, Roushanna Gray, and Chairman of Kirstenbosch Botanical Society, Rupert Koopman, she guided them on a foraging excursion to choose their own hand foraged local fynbos ingredients with which to create their unique serves of The Botanist.
The mixologists then competed in The Botanist Foraged Mixology Challenge, to develop the most interesting and unique foraged serve using The Botanist and their own locally foraged ingredients. We were one of the fortunate who had been able to sample these liquid delights at an official launch event in Cape Town.
That evening, a winner had been selected to win an all-expense paid trip to Islay, to join some of the world’s top bartenders to experience first-hand the philosophy behind The Botanist and foraging in the Hebrides.
The Botanist is available at selected retailers from R459.
Below are some images from the launch event in Cape Town and the winning cocktail recipe from that night can be found further down the page.
(All photographs by Jason Hermann)
Created by Gareth Wainwright (The Landmark)
Glass: Champagne coupette
Method: Stir and fine strain
60ml The Botanist
15ml Cinzano Dry Vermouth
15ml Cape Point Cordial*
3 dashes Fernet Branca
3 drops Wild Sage infused Olive Oil**
Add all ingredients except the Wild Sage infused Olive Oil to a mixing glass filled with very hard ice. Stir until chilled and diluted.
Drop in the Wild Sage Olive Oil into a chilled champagne coupette. Strain the cocktail into the glass. Fold the zest of one lemon over the top.
*Cape Point Cordial
3 leaves of Rose Geranium
1 leaf of Lemon Perregonium
1 sprig Wild Mint
2 stalks of Tansy flower
500ml very cold water
250g white sugar
In a glass bowl, place the leaves, stalks and the water. Allow to steep for one hour. Remove the leaves from the water and place onto a pot on a low heat. Once warm, add the sugar, stirring constantly until all the sugar is dissolved. Pour into a clean bottle.
**Wild Sage olive oil
Place a sprig of Wild Sage into a small saucepan with extra virgin olive oil. The pan must be cold before placing the ingredients together. Set the hob to a medium heat and remove once frying begins.