Foraging for flavours

Buck and Birch bottle

SCOTTISH drinks company Buck & Birch has launched a new spirit that it is pitching as an alternative to gin or vodka.

Birch is a 39.6% ABV botanical spirit produced by combining neutral spirit with sap and wild birch. It is described as having notes of cucumber, rosemary and eucalyptus.

Creative director and co-founder, Tom Chisholm, said: “Ten years in the making, there has always been lively discussion at Buck & Birch about producing a spirit-strength drink, but we were never in any rush. Finding the right one was the most important thing.

“Seeing the gin boom over the last decade the temptation was to join in, but it just never got our creative juices flowing or felt true to our wild ethos.

“The birch has always been integral to our business, so we knew we wanted to create something in honour of this amazing tree but harnessing all of its character was key and therefore needed lots of development before we could get to this point.”

Birch is said to be best served straight from the freezer and either poured neat or over lots of ice, topped with light tonic or soda and garnished with citrus or fresh rosemary.

The spirit is also recommended for use in a classic Martini with vermouth and either a twist of lemon or an olive, and the company recommends a seafood platter as the perfect food pairing.

Buck & Birch’s other drinks brands include Aelder Elixir, a wild elderberry liqueur, Amarosa, a rosehip rum liqueur, and Ana, a liqueur made with birch syrup and caramel.
The company, based in the Lothians, was founded in 2008 by Chisholm and co-founder Rupert Waites.