Discover a Taste of the Wild with The Botanist Gin – Art of Sustainable Foraging

On the 31st of March 2022, I was invited to The Botanist foraging workshop at Free Tree Society which is located in Bangsar. When I first heard about the workshop, I wasn't really thinking about doing the actual foraging from a forest but merely plucking from a small park or garden. Well, I was only half right. Do read on to find out the rest of the story.

The Botanist Gin showcases the art of sustainable foraging with Climate Action and Sustainability Advocate Melissa Tan, and in collaboration with Free Tree Society.

It was my first time visiting Free Tree Society (FTS) and I really never thought there is this beautiful hidden nursery in Bangsar area. I reached at about 12pm and was promptly greeted by the people from the agency and Melissa Tan herself.

So a brief introduction on why The Botanist Gin is doing this foraging workshop with the collaboration with FTS. The Botanist Gin is more than just a spirit. It’s a story of place; a rare expression of the heart and soul of Islay. In the world of fine wine, terroir is a concept that reflects the interaction of soil, sub-soil, exposure, orientation, climate, and micro-climate on the growth of the vine and harvest of the grape. 

At the Bruichladdich Distillery, they believe terroir is essential as it imparts a subtle nuance and variety, that has a subsequent effect on any food or drink. The more complex the flavours inherent in that food or drink, the more profound the overall effect.

So yeah, we need to appreciate and maintain the current environment or even better to improve it so that we can have better soil, climate, etc to produce a good quality gin which The Botanist Gin has.

Free tree anyone?

Climate change is not a myth guys. Too much CO2 produced by human is not just affecting the environment but to us all as well.

Adhering to the highest standard of social and environmental performance, The Botanist collaborated with Melissa Tan, sustainability advocate, and Free Tree Society, an environmental organization that spreads environmental stewardship through various on-ground plant initiatives to raise awareness about sustainable foraging and introduce real practices that could be implemented in day to day life. 

Climate Action and Sustainability Advocate, Melissa Tan

Amidst the wonders of Mother Nature in Bangsar, The Botanist and FTS held a nature walk amongst the wilderness where awareness on conserving trees, what it takes to be sustainable in foraging for seeds, fruits in a controlled amount. 

Carolyn from Free Tree Society gave us a nature walkthrough and some foraging tips on the trees and fruits that we can consume in the wild. Not only I didn't know there's this hidden nursery in Bangsar, there's also a forest trail above it. So I guess it was time to get down and dirty!

A lovely Bangsar aerial view from the trail above FTS.

After the foraging workshop, we are then back to FTS where Lydia showed us how to be learn to be "green fingers" at the Plant Workshop.

Two types of cocktail being served at FTS, La-Rose (left) and Gingy Fizz

La-Rose – TBG, Homemade Rosemary Lavender Syrup, Lemon Juice, Egg White

Gingy Fizz – TBG, Elderflower, Liquer, Homemade Mint Lime Juice, Ginger Ale

Participants were also given an opportunity to get their hands dirty in an interactive planting demo workshop and interactive cocktail making workshops, where guests had to forage their own ingredients (such as Culantro, Daun Kesom, Daun Kantan, Daun Limau Purut together with Torenia and Butterfly pea flowers, all so native to local market) to make delectable and sustainable cocktails.

Felicia Sheu from FS Infusion guided me on how to DIY my cocktail with the ingredients which I have gathered from the foraging workshop.

It was refreshingly delicious! :D

A photo with Melissa Tan, Ernest Loh and Lydia

I had a good time learning about foraging in the wild, how to grow and take care of plants, and made my own cocktail with The Botanist Gin.

For more info about The Botanist Gin, head on to their website at

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