There’s a time and place for every mixing technique. With stirred drinks, the goal is to achieve the optimal temperature and dilution while allowing even the subtlest flavors to remain perceptible. And built drinks, though they encourage a certain sprezzatura with their ease and effervescence, can be just as intentional a vehicle for aromatics and subtle flavors.
Herbaceous gin—especially a terroir-driven one like The Botanist, whose botanicals are hand-foraged at their peak and their purest flavors captured through the drying and distillation process—thrives in these types of drinks, as do many of summer’s elegant botanicals, especially its delicate flowers and herbs. Rather than shaking a subtle infusion or having an herb-inflected cordial get lost in a sour, the method of stirring allows those ingredients to shine. Similarly, the crisp, clean bubbles often found in the built blueprint can lift those complex aromatics right to the nose, spotlighting them before a sip is taken.
From an elderflower-laced White Negroni to an herbaceous stirred take on a Gimlet, here are three stirred or built cocktails that showcase the flavors of summer alongside The Botanist gin.
If the Gin & Tonic took a spa day, the result might be the Out of Office. A base of The Botanist gin, which boasts chamomile as one of its 31 botanicals, is infused with dried chamomile flowers that both amplify the gin’s floral profile and soften its edges. Cucumber and lime are preserved in the form of a sherbet, which brings freshness, acid and body—and colors the cocktail a verdant, summer-ready green. Dry vermouth, bergamot liqueur and a final topper of tonic water add more bright botanicals to the mix. Channeling the rejuvenating flavors of the season, this is the classic gin highball made floral and juicy.
In this elegant reimagining of the Gimlet, the gin’s refined flavor is the star, complemented only by an herbaceous cordial that was inspired by The Botanist’s forager picking Islay meadowsweet to add to the gin’s botanical basket. Here, the flower, with its unique honeyed aroma and bitter quinine notes, is paired with earthy-citrusy lemon thyme to make a complex cordial. Stirred with the gin and poured up into a chilled Nick & Nora glass, it’s a Gimlet made for lovers of both Martinis and summer’s herbal offerings.
While a gin’s subtleties have the potential to be overpowered in a classic Negroni, the White Negroni creates an opportunity for a spirit’s botanicals to influence the overall flavor profile. In the Rosemary & Elderflower White Negroni, the unexpected addition of verjus offers acidity, while elderflower liqueur adds another layer of summer flavors. Meanwhile, a rosemary-infused bianco vermouth lends a piney character that brings out The Botanist gin’s strong juniper notes.