One of the predominant ingredients of all Gin is the Juniper Berry,What Are Botanicals, and Why Are They Used in Craft Elf bars? Articles which gives the beverage its unique piney flavour, but when it comes to Craft Gin the delightful flavours of the beverage are achieved by adding different botanicals to it. Botanicals are fruits, herbs, spices and even florals which distillers use to flavour their brands of this all-time favourite drink.
Some of the top botanicals used for distilling Craft Gin are:
Juniper Berry – As with all Gin, the juniper berry is used as the predominant ingredient and flavour in Craft Gin. Juniper berries give the beverage its distinct piney flavour, and if you don’t use it in your distilling process, then you are not making a Gin.
Coriander – Coriander seed oil contains Linalool which has a very district spicy flavour and floral aroma, is used in distilling to give Gin an exotic flavour, and is a favourite to be used by many distillers. Depending on the quality of the coriander seeds used, the flavour can vary from being spicy to fruity.
Angelica – A native to Europe, the Angelica root has similar flavours and aroma to Juniper and is often mistaken for it. However, in comparison to Juniper, angelica gives a far muskier, woody flavour and aroma. Together with Juniper berries and Coriander, Angelica is considered a staple for gin manufacturing.
Lemon – The lemon peel which is used by many distillers adds a very distinct lemony flavour and aroma to the beverage, and its intensity will depend greatly on the amount of lemon peel used.
Orange – Citrus fruits are quite popular among distillers since they offer very strong flavours and aromas to the drink. In the case of Oranges, most distillers prefer to use the rind of bitter oranges since they contain greater amounts of essential oil, although sweet oranges also have become popular in the last decade or so.
Orris Root – Orris Root offers a lot in term of aroma, giving out an almost violet like aroma, and does not offer much to the flavour. The use of Orris Root is very rare, since it is hard to find as Iris takes a long time for a substantial root to form, generally around five years, and to dry the root to required standards will take around another five years. Hence this arduous and time-consuming process has demotivated most distillers from using it.
Cardamom – The black seeds within the cardamom pods have an intense flavour and aroma, making your Gin pungent and creamy, with slight notes of pepper. Many distillers use cardamon for their contemporary style Gin and is certainly a flavourful experience.
Liquorice – Liquorice has been known to be used in this beverage since the 19th century for its strong yet sweet flavour. It is a very complicated botanical which offers hints of very complex aromas which have been known to be like ‘popcorn’, vanilla and so much more.
Cassia – Cassia although very similar to cinnamon, contains a much thicker bark and is used rather sparingly in the distilling process. It offers hints if cinnamon-like flavour and aromas and is a fiery flavoured ingredient.
Cinnamon – True cinnamon is native to Sri Lanka and is distinguished by tightly coiled, multiple layered rolls. Many people use Cassia instead of cinnamon, as it is referred to as this spice in markets, but there are distillers who understand the flavours that a true cinnamon can offer to their beverage, and hence is widely used.
While these are the more common botanicals used to create Craft Gin, these small distillers also use a variety of others to create the unique flavours and aromas of their signature Gins.