Barefoot Botanicals Gives an Herb-in Vibe to Cocktails and EANABs*
Hey bartender, gimme a lavender martini with a spritz of rose geranium… and make it a double.
Yes, the herbal-infused mocktail/cocktail revolution is here and Barefoot Botanicals is all in. The herb farm in Doylestown, owned by herbalists Linda Shanahan and her husband, Eric Vander Hyde, recently has expanded its capabilities for producing herbal-infused syrups and hydrosols that cater to the new connoisseurs of cocktails.
“We have found that bartenders and distillers have amazing palettes,” says Linda. “They pick up on the nuances and underlying layers of flavors of the herbs and they love working with them.”
Linda and Eric tested out the waters with their popular mocktail/cocktail hours at the farm and decided it was worth the investment to build a commercial kitchen to serve their growing bar and distillery clientele, such as Hop Scotch on Main Street in Doylestown. The feedback has been encouraging.
“Our customers really appreciate our thoughtful approach to growing and how the freshness of our herbs creates a more intense experience,” Linda says.
Barefoot Botanicals produces a line of plant-infused syrups for use in seltzer, mocktails and cocktails. These include lavender, lemongrass, anise hyssop, rose geranium and more. Linda and Eric also are creating medicinal herb syrups using elecampane root (respiratory, digestive) and ashwagandha (stress relief) and turmeric (anti-inflammatory). Cayenne is often added to the turmeric to improve its bioavailability and make it “more yummy”, according to Linda.
Hydrosols, popular in the cosmetic, food and cocktail industries, are made by Barefoot Botanicals using a non-pressurized steam process that gathers and condenses the water and aromatic compounds from the plant down to mostly water and some essential oil. They are available in lavender, lemongrass, tulsi, rose geranium and other extracts.
“Bartenders will spray the hydrosol on the outside of the glass or offer a spritz on top for an aromatic boost,” Linda, says. “There’s actually a ritual around it.”
This fall, the herb farm will be adding hemp-based products to it line, including oil extracts, alcohol extracts and hydrosols. Linda is growing a variety of certified organic hemp that is low in THC and high in CBD for medicinal applications. The hemp will be made into whole plant extracts, herbalist style, as opposed to phytopharmacy style, in which only certain elements are isolated.
“I do not believe in separating chemicals from the rest of what the plants offer,” Linda says. “That would skip the whole ‘synergistic effect’ that we experience when using plants in their whole form.”
The farm also offers a full season herbal intensive which meets monthly starting in April. Instructors offer hands-on instruction in plant propagation, identification, ecology, herbal ethics, and medicine making. Herb tours are available, as well, as throughout July and August.
You can visit with Barefoot Botanicals for a demo at the Doylestown Food Market on Saturday, July 13 and July 27 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm and save 20% on all Barefoot Botanicals products throughout the month.
*Equally Attractive Non-Alcoholic Beverages