A botanical is a natural ingredient – peel, herb, spice, berry, root or nut – used to add flavour to a spirit (most commonly gin). The most standard way to extract the flavours of botanicals, is to infuse them with diluted spirit. Once the compounds, oils and essences have been leached into the spirit, it is then re-distilled, and although it becomes crystal clear once more, the newly distilled spirit will retain both the aromas and flavours of the botanicals.
It is also possible to infuse the flavours of botanicals into the spirit by placing them in a vapour chamber above the pot, or by using Co2 extraction tanks, then adding the oils back into the spirit.
We have created a Guide to Gin Botanicals, for extended preview on the 20 most commonly used botanicals, their roles and what they taste like.