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What is A Botanical Drink? (2024 Best Edition)

What is A Botanical Drink

Last Updated on March 28, 2024 by Lydia Martin

While seeing milk fortified with multiple types of vitamins is normal, healthy alcoholic drinks raise doubt. The recent health scare increased the number of products claimed to be beneficial to health, increased stamina, immune system booster, etc.  

What is a botanical drink? We gathered all our resources to find out everything about it.   

Defining Botanical Drinks

Botanical Drink

A botanical drink is a drink that contains botanical ingredients derived from plants or herbs. These can be fresh or dried parts combined or isolated chemical components. 

If infused in liquors, these ingredients are added during the second distillation. These can be used for flavoring, aroma, medicine, or functional health benefits. 

Fast Facts

Fast Facts

History & Origin

Botanical drinks date back to the time of the Roman Empire. Gladiators used to consume a drink infused with charred plants. This method was believed to have healing and revitalizing effects. 

Some 500 years ago, people discovered another proof in Asia. Pottery was found in a Neolithic village called Jiahu in China. The pottery contained a fermented drink of rice, honey, and hawthorn fruit or grapes. 

How It Tastes

Ketel One Botanical Cocktail

Botanical drinks’ flavor profiles differ depending on the botanicals used. Fruit essences can produce pleasant sweet fruity flavors. A blend of botanical plants and herbs will produce balanced, earthy, spicy flavors. 

Botanicals generally impart a more authentic taste to the drink it is mixed with. Some may have unpleasant smells or flavors but are mostly used for medicinal purposes. Traditional ways include soaking fresh botanicals to infuse flavors and colors. 

How Botanical-Infusion Works

Botanical infusion is normally done by steeping or soaking a raw material. Another method is through extraction. The first process is commonly used in non-alcoholic botanicals. Teas are infused with leaves and other parts of plants for flavor enhancements. 

However, botanicals such as mint, white tea, chamomile, and rooibos are recognized more for their health benefits.

All ingredients used as additives must be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before they can be considered safe (GRAS). 

Benefits

Ketel One Botanical Cocktail

There is a wide range of benefits seen by experts in botanicals. The most common would be as an energy booster. These are also known to help with relaxation and stress. 

Memory enhancement is also an area experts see benefiting from botanical drinks. Physical health-wise, it helps with immune system enhancement. 

Growing Popularity 

The growing popularity of botanicals can be directly associated with consumers’ health concerns, especially after the recent pandemic.

However, it was already a steady-growing industry due to the increased number of health-conscious individuals. 

These individuals are out to find the best natural ways, if not traditional, to increase wellness and emotional stability. 

5 Botanical Drinks To Order At A Bar 

5 Botanical Drinks To Order At A Bar 

1. Botanical Beers

Botanical beers were already evident 7,000 years ago. Instead of the common hops as bitter taste flavoring, “gruit” was practiced. These are flowers, roots, and herbs mixed in their fermented malted barley to balance the taste. 

The outcome would be very sweet without the botanicals, which are not very pleasant to drink. Nowadays, these are pretty common at bars. Botanicals are used not only as bitters but also as flavor and aroma infusions. 

2.  Botanical Gins

Botanical Gin

These spirits are neutral spirits made through distillation or compounding [1]. Botanicals such as junipers and other types of berries, seeds, herbs, and fruits are used as flavoring. 

Though still high in alcohol, these are considered diuretics and healthy if consumed in moderation. These are low in calories, and the botanicals used also provide health benefits on their own.

3.  Botanical Vodkas

Botanical vodkas contain 100% natural botanicals and fruit essences. It uses organic and non-GMO grains, does not have artificial flavors, and does not have any additives and sweeteners. 

Alcohol-wise, some botanical brands have lesser ABV. It contains fewer calories and uses natural sweeteners, making it healthier if consumed moderately. 

4.  Botanical Rums

Botanical Rum

Botanical rums are similar to regular rum made of crystallized molasses. However, botanical rum flavors are from dried or fresh flowers, spices, or herbs. Their usual base is white rums. 

Powdered essences are easily mixed with these spirits, like those in liquid forms. 

5.  Botanical Wines

Botanical wines are wines infused with flowers, roots, herbs, and other aromatic ingredients already present in ancient Egypt.

They mixed the resin of the terebinth tree with fermented liquors. These trees are known to produce pinene and camphor and are used as antibiotics. 

Resins or skins are commonly used for wines because of their color. It is easier to blend without too much change or displeasing appearance. 

Botanical Drink Recipes To Try

Botanical Drink Recipes To Try

Gin Garden Cocktail

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Total Time: 3 minutes

Ingredients: 

  • 1-ounce botanical gin
  • 1/2 ounce Elderflower Liqueur
  • One small cucumber (sliced, reserve two slices for garnish)
  • 1/2 ounce apple juice

Instructions: 

Place cucumber slices at the bottom of the cocktail shaker and pour apple juice—muddle contents. Add liqueur, gin, and ice. Shake well. Strain over a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with cucumber slices. Serve. 

Serving: 1

Elderflower Cordial Cocktail

Elderflower Cordial Cocktail

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients: 

  • 250 ml botanical gin
  • 200 ml elderflower cordial
  • 1-liter apple juice
  • ice cubes
  • apple slices

Instructions:

In a jam jar or glass pitcher, mix the cordial and gin. Once blended well, pour into eight glasses and top with apple juice. Put ice cubes and garnish with apple slices. Serve. 

Serving: 8

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are botanical drinks alcoholic?

Yes, botanical drinks are alcoholic, but some brands are not. Other brands also produce drinks that have lesser alcohol volume. 

How do you make non-alcoholic botanical drinks?

Non-alcoholic botanical drinks are fermented and go through distillation. It has a prolonged distillation process where alcohol proceeds to evaporation [2]. Another method used to make these drinks is maceration which will require evaporation to remove the alcohol. 

Are botanical drinks healthy?

Botanical drinks can contribute to a healthy lifestyle due to the potential health benefits associated with the plant-derived ingredients they contain. Many botanicals are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, providing a wholesome option for those seeking flavorful and health-conscious beverage choices. However, it’s crucial to be mindful of added sugars or other ingredients that may impact the overall healthiness of a specific botanical drink.

What is botanical alcohol?

Botanical alcohol typically refers to alcoholic beverages, especially spirits like gin, that are infused with a variety of botanical ingredients during the distillation process. The term emphasizes the use of plant-derived elements such as herbs, spices, flowers, and fruits to create a nuanced and aromatic flavor profile in the final alcoholic product.

What are the botanicals used in drinks?

The botanicals used in drinks can vary widely depending on the type of beverage. In the context of botanical spirits like gin, common botanicals include juniper berries, coriander, angelica root, citrus peel, and various herbs and spices. For herbal teas, botanicals may include chamomile, peppermint, hibiscus, or lavender. The choice of botanicals is diverse, allowing for a wide range of flavors and aromas in different beverages.

What are the botanical ingredients in beverages?

Botanical ingredients in beverages encompass a broad array of plant-derived elements used to infuse flavors and aromas. In addition to those found in botanical spirits, beverages like herbal teas may include botanicals such as lemongrass, ginger, rose petals, or echinacea. The ingredients contribute not only to taste but also to the potential therapeutic benefits associated with certain plants.

What are the benefits of botanical drinks?

Botanical drinks offer various potential benefits, depending on the specific botanical ingredients used. Many botanicals contain antioxidants, which can help neutralize free radicals in the body, supporting overall health. Certain herbs and flowers may have calming or digestive properties, making botanical drinks a soothing option. Additionally, the diverse and nuanced flavors of botanical drinks provide a satisfying and flavorful alternative to traditional beverages, enhancing the overall drinking experience.

What are the benefits of botanicals?

Botanicals offer a multitude of potential benefits, often depending on the specific plant or herb in question. Commonly found in herbal teas, botanicals may possess antioxidant properties, support digestion, alleviate stress, and contribute to overall well-being. Additionally, in botanical spirits like gin, the various botanical ingredients may provide complex flavors, making them a unique and enjoyable addition to cocktails.

What is also known as botanicals?

Botanicals are also known as herbs, plants, or plant-derived substances used for various purposes, including culinary, medicinal, and cosmetic applications. In the context of beverages, particularly botanical spirits like gin, botanicals refer to the diverse range of herbs, spices, flowers, and fruits infused to impart distinct flavors and aromas.

Is gin a botanical drink?

Yes, gin is considered a botanical drink due to its distinctive production process involving the infusion of botanical ingredients during distillation. Common botanicals used in gin include juniper berries, coriander, citrus peel, and various herbs and spices. These botanicals contribute to the complex and nuanced flavor profile that characterizes different styles of gin.

What Flavour is botanical?

The flavor of botanicals is diverse and depends on the specific plants used. In the context of botanical spirits like gin, the flavor can range from the piney and citrusy notes of juniper berries to the spiciness of coriander and the floral undertones of botanical flowers. The term “botanical” itself doesn’t denote a specific flavor but rather signifies the inclusion of plant-derived ingredients with various taste profiles.

Is botanicals a drug?

The term “botanicals” does not inherently refer to drugs; instead, it broadly encompasses plant-derived substances. However, certain plants and herbs used as botanicals may have medicinal properties, leading to their use in herbal remedies or traditional medicine. It’s important to distinguish between botanicals used for culinary or beverage purposes and those utilized in medicinal or therapeutic contexts. Always consult with a healthcare professional regarding the use of botanicals for medicinal purposes to ensure safety and efficacy.Top of Form

So, What Is a Botanical Drink?

A botanical drink is a beverage that contains botanical components derived from plants (fresh or dried) or herbs. It has botanicals that provide flavor, aroma, or functional health benefits to liquors.

This drink has been used way longer than modern wines and spirits. It provides more enticing and real aromas, while its flavors are more profound. 

References:

  1. National Library of Medicine
  2. Evaporation | Definition, Process & Examples
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