What’s the deal with botanicals?
From spirits to wine to beer, botanicals have deep roots in alcoholic beverages. Find out more about these delicious drinks.
March 18, 2021
Guide to Botanicals
We’ll spare you the flowery language… but let us indulge you in a bit of flowery alcohol. Welcome to your pocket companion for botanicals, where we explain what botanicals are and how they’re making their way into beers, wines, and spirits.
What are botanicals?
Simply put, botanicals are beverages that include pure plant parts for flavor. The beverage maker may throw berries, herbs, spices, seeds, and/or flowers into the recipe to achieve the desired outcome.
Distilling plants into meaningful libations ain’t so easy. One can’t simply throw orange blossom into wine and put a label on it; getting the right mixture takes expertise.
One drink that’s had great success with botanicals is gin, which features juniper as its most prominent theme. Others include Scandinavian botanical beers like Finnish Sahti and HaandBryggereit ales. Its popularity has spread like wildfire across the alcoholic beverage industry, landing them in almost every form of alcohol, from floral wines to citrus-infused liquors.
Well, because they’re delicious. Seriously. From Ketel One Botanical Peach & Orange Blossom to Manischewitz Elderberry wine, talented winemakers, distillers, and brewers are incorporating an increasing number of plant parts into their creations.
It’s also worth mentioning that natural ingredients are currently highly appreciated by society. In an age where some want to know the number of carbs and calories in their toothpaste, a weight watcher might find the idea of grapefruit botanical vodka more appealing than a creamy stout.
If you’re interested in botanical beers, look no further than our wide selection of stouts. These dark, robust ales are created by brewing malted barley that’s been roasted to perfection. You’ll taste a chocolate-like and coffee-ish richness that cohabitates joyfully with hoppy bitterness. A fun fact, if you weren’t already aware: hops are dried flowers.
One botanical that’s been on the scene longer than many others is ginger beer. Bundaberg, Barritts, Goslings, and other brands have created some seriously refreshing beers with the spicy, refreshing taste of raw ginger root.
An excellent way to dive into the world of botanical spirits is with vodka. Vodka may be a spotlight seeker, but it’s a generous spirit when it comes to letting other flavors steal the show. You can enjoy a light, cooling cucumber and mint vodka from Ketel One.
If gin is more your speed, Nolet offers a delicious and refreshing take on the classic drink. You’ll taste a variety of flavors in this distilled masterpiece, from coriander to cassia to rose and beyond. Pour it with tonic water or drink it straight — it’s a delightful journey either way.
There are plenty of innovators out there making botanical wines. One of the coolest to come about in recent years is Botanica. The self-taught winemaker, Ginny Povall, started the company in 2009 and has since fermented a plethora of flora-infused wines from chenin blancs to pinot noirs. This is a great place to start if you’re new to the game, as the wines have the perfect amount of acidity with a flowery finish.
Find all things botanical at Drizly
Hi, we’re Drizly – the site where you can browse shelves upon shelves of your favorite wines, beers, and spirits, purchase with ease, and have delivery to your home without ever leaving your seat. All in an hour or less. So if you’re thinking of trying a botanical brew or a spicy spirit, we’re the ones to go to.