Botanicals are the backbone of Gin - but what is a botanical anyways? The word botanical is defined as ‘relating to plants’, which is true but very broad. We use this term specifically when discussing gin making to describe the ingredients that create the character of the spirit, such as juniper or coriander. Each gin distiller has their own approach to blending botanicals to create the perfect flavor and aroma for their chosen project.
At Alamere, we utilize a wide array of botanicals for our two distinctly different Gin expressions — a classic London Dry and our Gin with Makrut Lime and Lemongrass. Both are complex but harmoniously balanced, featuring a selection of ingredients unique to our distillery and carefully sourced from around the globe. Curating botanicals is a practice we find deeply fulfilling. Distillation has a way of magnifying and elevating nature’s gifts, while transforming them into a beautiful clear essence. Deep dive with us into a few of our favorites.
A shout out to our home state, California Almonds play an important role in our London Dry. They have a lightly sweet, toasty flavor and nutty aroma. Most importantly, they lend a lush and velvety texture to the spirit that improves the overall mouthfeel.
Sometimes called ‘tailed pepper, cubeb is a close relative of black pepper with distinctive dry, woody, and nutmeg notes. When distilled, cubeb’s spicy aroma is released, lending a beautiful peppery top note to our gins.
Orris is the name given to the rhizome of the bearded iris. Over the years, distillers have learned that adding orris root to a botanical blend helps other flavors linger on the palate longer, functioning as a ‘fixative’. Orris’ aroma is bizarre and enticing, reminiscent of violets, white chocolate, and tobacco.
A dominant flavor found in our Gin with Makrut Lime and Lemongrass, this botanical is more often found in culinary applications, but adds a bright and refreshing flavor to the spirit. With vegetal notes of citrus and mint, it shines alongside more traditional flavors.
Italian Juniper Berries
Juniper berries are the botanical foundation of all gin, with a strong aroma of citrus and pine. Italian Juniper is used primarily by distillers, with a more complex and lightly fruity flavor. They are among the only spices derived from conifers and are distinctive in taste.