Edinburgh bar 56 North "saves" rare plants with gin

The country's rarest plants are being put in the spotlight by bartenders at the Southside bar in a bid to "Save the Botanicals".

Wednesday, 10th April 2019, 4:20 pm
Updated Wednesday, 10th April 2019, 4:39 pm
56 North gin bar prepare special cocktail to help support drive to save endangered Scottish plant.

Curated by soft drinks brand Fentimans the campaign for Earth Day on Monday, April 22, aims to raise awareness of endangered British plant species in the best way they know how, cocktails.

They have partnered with top cocktail bars across the country, including 56 North on West Crosscauseway, where each bar will be serving a Save the Botanicals G&T (50ml The Botanist Gin, 10ml House of Broughton Cucumber Syrup. 125ml Fentimans Botanical Tonic Water) as well as their own signature drink dedicated to one of the endangered plant species; this will be served with a small packet of plant seeds for drinkers to sow in their own.

The Save the Botanicals cocktail menu will be launched over the Easter Bank Holiday with each one named after, and inspired by one of Britain’s most rare indigenous plant species and at Scotland's original gin bar, 56 North, the team will be twinning gin with Twinflower.

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56 North gin bar prepare special cocktail to help support drive to save endangered Scottish plant.

The plant, with two pink bell-like flowers on a slender stem, is is one of Scotland's most delicate native flowers and grows mainly in the Cairngorms. The clearance of native woodlands before the 1930s resulted in severe losses of the little flower as has continued habitat destruction and changes in woodland management.

56 North owner and bartender, James Sutherland said he took inspiration from the area to create the drink. "The Cairngorms are a stunning, rugged but beautiful landscape which resonates with everyone.

"The drink reflects the Twinflower with it’s pink, white and long stem all being reflected in the drink and champagne flute. I used Kinrara Hibiscus gin as it’s distilled in the region and the freshness of the Raspberry Fentimans mixer works wonderfully with this to create a stunning drink."

The Save the Botanicals initiative for Earth Day will help to raise the visibility of these wild British species, helping the general public to identify the rare plants when out walking in the countryside as well as offering tips on how to protect them.

56 North gin bar prepare special cocktail to help support drive to save endangered Scottish plant.

Through its Save the British Botanicals menu Fentimans hopes to help wild plant conservation charity Plantlife, bring back threatened wild flowers species back from the brink of extinction.

A spokeswoman for Fentimans said: "At Fentimans we’ve been sustainably using botanicals to make our drinks for over 100 years.

"Botanicals are in our blood and we realise there’s a vast amount of plants out there that are under threat and require our help."

Earth Day takes place annually on the 22nd April and is the world’s largest environmental movement whose mission is to educate the public about the environmental challenges facing our planet.

56 North gin bar prepare special cocktail to help support drive to save endangered Scottish plant.

Fentimans has chosen its cause due to their own reliance on sustainable botanicals; from the ginger root, yarrow and speedwell that help form the basis of their beverages to the citrus, florals and spices that add flavour.

Each natural ingredient used by Fentimans is the result of a harmonious eco-system of which every species plays a vital part.

With Plantlife, Fentimans has compiled a list of botanicals that are amongst the rarest in Britain:

Spreading bellflower- Campanula patula

Ghost orchid - Epipogium aphyllum

Red helleborine - Cephalanthera rubra

Lady orchid - Orchis purpurea

Twinflower - Linnaea borealis

Lesser butterfly orchid - Platanthera bifolia

Cotswolds pennycress - Microthlaspi perfoliatum

Meadow clary - Salvia pratensis

Crested cow-wheat - Melampyrum cristatum

One-flowered wintergreen - Moneses uniflora