Let’s Talk Botanicals

There’s something magical about a well-crafted gin, not to mention a cocktail with said gin. For those of you distillers who have tasting spaces or have thought about opening up your very own tasting space, you should try to take advantage of seasonal fruits and botanicals for infusion. You can have these elements outsourced or grown on your very own land. Creating seasonal gins, tonics, liqueurs, and even bitters to sell out of your storefront or tasting room will more than likely improve your seasonal sales. Getting ready for the holidays can be a stressful time, but with the season comes endless production and marketing opportunities! There are a plethora of products to create around the holidays using festive fruits, botanicals, and spices. 

Seasonal Gin Making 

Check out our most recent blog post on starting a gin distillery and our gin basket guide for information on seasonal gin making. Once you’ve read through our blog post and guide, and you’ve become familiar with how our gin basket works, you can start to think about what gin botanicals you would like to infuse in your column. Please don’t take the guide as the only way to make gin, but simply as literature that addresses tried-and-tested techniques for you to get comfortable with. Just make sure that the gin botanicals you wish to use are FDA approved, as the TTB requires formula approval when it comes to flavoring and coloring your finished spirit. We certainly don’t want you getting into any sort of legal trouble. There are a few gins out there, like Empress, that use Butterfly pea flowers for infusion, which are not FDA approved. So sorry to our American distillers, but pea flower gin may not be in the cards for a while.

Distilling Botanicals for the Season

  • SpringFruity, floral gins are wonderful for the spring months. Some of our favorites are juniper, elderflower, and cucumber gin.
  • Summer – Again, fruity, floral gins are our recommendation for summertime. Some of our favorites are flavored with juniper, lavender, rose, and chamomile.
  • Autumn – Earthy, spicy botanicals in your gin basket can give your spirit more depth and diversity for the autumn months. Juniper paired with coriander, grains of paradise, orange and lemon peels, cardamom, angelica root, star anise, and cinnamon can provide a warm, rich, fall flavor profile.
  • Winter – Again, earthy, spicy botanicals can really elevate your gin. For winter, try juniper, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and anise in your seasonal gin making for a craft spirit perfect for holiday enjoyment.

As you can see, you can get super creative with different gin botanical combinations to make your spirit versatile. By using different combinations in different distillation runs, you can create not only a seasonal product, but also the perfect product to sell and enjoy year round.

Seasonal Cocktails and Cocktail Kits

The ingredients you use in the cocktails you sell in your tasting room also can completely alter the flavors and aromas that come out of your gin. For example, you can use hibiscus to give your gin notes of cranberry and citrus, along with orange or grapefruit peels to then pair with holiday flavors (like rosemary or honey) in seasonal cocktails. Alone, the hibiscus would also make for a wonderful, refreshing spring or summer gin!

Selling products to go with your gin can help elevate your sales. For instance, if you craft a Christmas gin with notes of cranberries, cinnamon, and star anise, you can also create a liqueur or tonic to pair with it. Creating holiday cocktail kits can be a great way to market your spirits in the winter season. It’s a win-win, as it gets people interested in mixology and makes for the perfect Hanukkah or Christmas gift.

Now that you’ve gotten your creative juices flowing, let the seasonal gin making fun begin!

Need help choosing the right equipment for your distillery? Contact the pros at StillDragon for assistance today.