At a recent webinar by Abertay University on Gin Research and Education, Kirsty Black from Arbikie Distillery and Professor Graeme Walker shared many insights into Gin education and research being conducted currently.

One of the many interesting facts coming out of the session was related to the botanicals used in the production of Gin. But what is a gin botanical? Thankfully they covered this also…

Next time you have a bottle of Gin at home, check out the botanicals listed as being used in its production, and many of those listed on the graph below will definitely be included, given that they were compiled from a list of Gins produced in the UK.

The Top 20 Gin Botanicals:

As expected, Juniper Berries are used in 100% of the gins on the list given that this is a requirement under EU legislation (in order to be classified as a ‘Gin’).

However, in most cases for Gins being sold in the UK and around the world, the ‘supply chain miles’ can be high for some of these botanicals as they could be sourced from anywhere.  Local sourcing with home-grown botanicals can be a point of difference, both in term of cost, provenance and relevance to consumers. Examples in Scotland include the use of heather, bog myrtle, kelp, carline thistle, blaeberries, etc.

There are also some very unusual botanicals being used in Gins such as asparagus, blue pea flower, grapefruit & coconut and even others such as cream, lobster and even ants!

For reference – this was a session facilitated by Abertay University (see below).


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