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Bottling of Botonique

Maestro Steve taking his work very seriously as he blends the delicate botanical extracts for Botonique.

Maestro Steve taking his work very seriously as he blends the delicate botanical extracts for Botonique.

It seems such a long time since I was making tinctures of different herbs and spices in my kitchen, and experimenting with combining them to develop the distinctive taste that is now Botonique Crisp Dry White (though I’ve just been doing that again for our next drink, a Rosé).

But now each different part of Botonique is made by different UK companies, each expert in that particular area (extracting the flavours and goodness, removing the alcohol, nutrient blending, bottling etc). Bottling is especially important from a safety point of view so we use a company with the highest possible quality and safety standard rating – BRC AA – Brothers Drinks in Somerset, who also bottle for Fevertree, amongst many other big brands.  It’s a major hassle for companies who normally do massive runs to fit in a small bottling, especially one as complex as Botonique, so I’m always really grateful when they give us a slot.

And then - because there are so many ingredients in Botonique, which have to be extracted and then de-alcoholised, plus the nutrients - there is immense pressure to make sure all the ingredients and partially blended subcomponents come together on time. Last Friday was the day, finally confirmed on Wednesday!

So many things went wrong, and I had to watch so much precious Botonique going down the drain, which was heart-wrenching, but the bottles we have taste delicious.

We’ll have to wait a few months now for Botonique to clear and develop. It has so many nutrients and natural extracts in that it starts out cloudy and takes a while to clear. I’d hoped that a new technique we used would prevent the clouding, but in that we sadly failed. In terms of taste it’s like the difference between a young and a more mature wine. When young, Botonique is more vibrant. You can almost pick out the individual botanicals. As it ages the flavours integrate. We are thinking we might need to apply “vintage” labels and release at different stages so people pick the age and flavour profile they prefer. Personally I love it at all stages!

I hope you do too

Hilary