Botanical Focus: Orris Root
Sacred Orris Gin, a floral (i.e. summery), violet-scented gin with dominant notes of Italian orris root that some would describe as tasting like the colour purple! In fact Maya Angelou wrote a book all about orris actually called The Colour Purple which was made into an Oscar-winning film. But I might have got that wrong.
So, what is orris I hear you cry? Orris is the root of the iris flower – once it has been harvested, it is peeled by hand and left to dry for approximately five years, after which it is ground into a powder. Once distilled it is used not just for its smell but as a fixative (debatably) – that is, its ability to bind other components together. It has been used for this purpose for hundreds of years in perfumery and, more recently, gin. But we think it tastes pretty good too.
Like all Sacred gins, Sacred Orris Gin makes a cracking G&T (we recommend pairing with Fentimans Botanical Tonic Water) and it also can be used in an Aviation. This light, refreshing and floral classic cocktail which dates back to 1916, became very popular in the late 1990s and is the subject of much debate – whether or not to include Violet Liqueur. However, when using Sacred Orris Gin to make this delicious drink, there is absolutely no need for Violet Liqueur, so that’s one less thing to buy, which is always good.
Add to a cocktail shaker a double measure of Sacred Orris Gin, a shot of lemon juice and a shot of maraschino liqueur. Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a twisted lemon zest.