What’s a botanical?
If you’re a food lover, cocktail drinker, or dine out from time to time, you’ve probably heard the word ‘botanical.’ When used as an adjective, ‘botanical’ can describe appetizers, entrees, gardens, visual art, clothing, all kinds of beverages, even wallpaper.
You could say, for example, that Artet’s flagship aperitif is botanical through and through. It’s made with a variety of plants and it tastes like it. Your favorite floral print? It’s botanical as well.
Because the adjective ‘botanical’ literally means “of or relating to plants,” you can use it to describe almost anything with a hint of nature to it. Try the word out near any object that’s green or leafy and it probably applies.
However, when used as a noun, ‘botanical’ refers to a specific class of plants that is near and dear to our hearts. The NIH defines a botanical as a “plant or plant part valued for its medicinal or therapeutic properties, flavor, and/or scent.”
Simply put, botanicals are the plants or plant extracts we use (and cherish) as ingredients. They bring aroma, complexity, and intrigue to our favorite dishes and drinks. Botanicals also have the power to calm us down, whet our appetites, or help us digest.
What are some common botanicals?
If it’s a plant and it’s flavor-packed, aromatic, or has therapeutic value, it’s probably a botanical. Herbs are botanicals. Spices—products of seeds, fruit, roots, and bark—are botanicals too.
Essentials like rosemary, basil, thyme, mint, lavender, and cilantro are all part of the family. Allspice, black pepper, cinnamon, oregano, ginger, and paprika are botanicals we’d all be lost without. The list goes on and on.
At Artet, we firmly believe that no kitchen, bar, beverage, or meal is complete without botanicals. This special group of plants is the driving force behind all of our creations. In fact, the very first beverage we crafted is built on a backbone of botanicals.
Now that you’re familiar with the botanical family, get out there and put some in your glass. You’ll be glad you did.