On the origin of botanicals - Part 3: Rooty camp

Welcome to our third post on the topic of botanicals. In the past two blog posts, we have elaborated botanicals that form those herbal/floral and citrusy notes of Luftbremzer Gin, predominating greatly on the nose and forward taste. As you can imagine, that has only been half of our journey through Luftbremzer taste. At this point we will be talking about herbs that are probably the most mysterious of our botanical palette. They form the majority of those notes at the end of our sipping experience, the aftertaste. Let’s dive a bit into a wonderful and uncanny world of roots.

 

Angelica root

Plants in the Angelica genus grow up to 10 feet (3 meters) tall and have globe-like clusters of green or yellow flowers that blossom into small yellow fruits. Angelica was an old medicine herb and it’s still primarily used as a medicine in teas and tinctures, especially in Europe and Russia where it grows wild and in abundance. It is used to cure all sorts of illnesses, from cancer and antimicrobial remedies to anti-anxiety potions. However, ever since gin has been made, angelica was one of its main ingredients, taking the third place right behind coriander when it comes to frequency. Old distillers have obviously recognised that powerful musky, rooty and herbaceous profile that quite effectively fits and supports the juniper body. All we had to do is to follow their footsteps. Hence, in this particular case, the tradition is the way to go J. As previously said, angelica forms the majority of Luftbremzer gin’s aftertaste. It is responsible for the long lasting rooty feel you can taste from the back of your tongue all the way to the throat. It balances out all the forward aromas and gives our gin broadness and richness.

 

Orris root

Quite oddly, flower of iris is one of most beautiful the world but is also quite poisonous. However, the root from the same plant has been used widely in medicinal, perfume and, of course, the gin industry. Old perfumers have discovered an amazing property this botanical possesses. Namely, in order to stabilise their cocktation’s fragrances so they wouldn’t change and go off through time, they used orris root as a fixative ingredient. In addition, once distilled, it gives our gin the rooty and dusty sweetness that resembles violets. We use only tiny portions per batch and it is amazing how much those small quantities add to the depth and overall texture of our gin. We use it in form of powder, and it surely is a lot of work involved to get it into that state. Orris roots are left to dry several years before being ground to powder.