LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Foraging for ingredients to make cocktails and spirits is becoming more popular around the world.
You can even do it in your own backyard. Reporter Wendy Gillette went to Scotland, where professionals show you how to do it.
James Donaldson and Kate Hannett spend many of their workdays foraging in the fields of Islay, a remote island in western Scotland. What they pick is dried and distilled with the island’s spring water to help create the botanist gin, made by Bruichladdich Distillery on the island.
Scottish resident Scott Jackson and a friend sat down for a gin and tonic at the distillery. About 5,000 miles away in Paso Robles, California, the owner of Calwise Spirits Co. Aaron Bergh picks flowers and fruits to create his gins and cocktails.
The area known as Slo Cal is home to three dozen companies using foraged ingredients in spirits or mixers, and bars like the Alchemists’ Garden also leading with locally sourced items.
Niner Wine Estates even offers cocktail foraging classes, with advice like knowing the entire plant is edible. So don’t be afraid to experiment.