Away back in summer (there was a summer this year right?) we were able to go on a foraging trip with the Glasgow Gin Club, Galloway Wild Foods and the Botanist Gin - which contains 22 foraged botanicals from the island of Islay. But we didn't need to travel all that far for our forage - a quick jaunt to the west-end and the grounds of the Botanic gardens was all that was needed.
Having the forage start there made sense as there is a herb garden where you can see many botanicals growing - to familiarise yourself with what they actually look like. We then searched for stuff growing wild along the Kelvin - the purpose of our forage was to find ingredients for some gin experiementation at the Kelvingrove Café where we would end our wander and so armed with a basket we headed off guided by Mark Williams of Galloway Wild Foods. We'd been on a previous coastal excursion with Mark so knew roughly what to expect (see here).
Along the way we found plenty of edible things for our drinks - elderflower was common but my personal favourite was sorrel, the stuff that grows near the Kelvin has an intense lemon taste - it made us wonder why sorrel isn't used more often in food and drink in Scotland given it grows here! Did you know you can make a good tonic from dandelion? We certainly didn't until we embarked on the trip. Did you also know that you could create tonic using a soda syphon? We didn't know that either but we got a wee shot at making our own.
We ended the day at the Kelvingrove Café where we were able to concoct some gin cocktails using the collected ingredients! We also received a platter of food but sadly none of it was foraged but it was all still delicious!
Foraging isn't just for gin, there's all sorts of plants and mushrooms growing wild along our coasts, rivers and inland that can be eaten! It's a skill that is best learned through guided experience so if you're stuck for Christmas gift ideas for the foodie in your life then how about foraging gift vouchers to the values of £25, £50 and £100 . See www.gallowaywildfoods.com for details.
The Glasgow Gin Club meet up every month with a selection of gins and perfect serves, find out more at theglasgowginclub.com