We need a lot of lemon thyme. As well as growing it in our own polytunnels and gardens, the ever-generous Jura community have lent us space in their veg beds and greenhouses across the island. Lemon thyme has a glorious citrus kick with a fresh, herby twang; it defines the character of Lussa Gin.
Coriander grows really well in our polytunnels – and it's a vital ingredient in our gin. It adds to the citrus notes and gives a little spicy warmth.
Fragrant petals add a floral character, and along with rosehips, rose petals give Lussa gin a smoothness, marrying together the many individual flavours.
With its sherbert smell and zingy taste, lemon balm was an easy choice for our gin. We harvest it in summer and impatiently await its emergence the following spring.
Our bees adore lime flowers, but they can spare a few for our gin. We find the flowers’ subtle sweet notes a perfect balance to the more robust botanicals of Lussa Gin.
There are elder trees hiding here and there around our island. Their flowers are perfect for making cordial and champagne, and add a hint of summer to Lussa Gin.
When the honeysuckle blooms emerge it feels like summer has hit its peak. Its sweet scent mingles with the other smells of the woods when it weaves its magic in Lussa Gin.
Many people find squelching through bogs one of the least pleasant things about walking on Jura. We beg to differ. Bog myrtle keeps the Scottish midge at bay AND smells sublime.
We can harvest the bulbous orris roots after 2 years. Then 3 – 5 years of drying begins to reveal the oxidised compound that holds all the flavours and acts as a molecular glue.
Juniper has grown in Scotland since the last ice age; but is currently under threat from disease. We’ve started a long-term project to propagate cuttings of Jura juniper and we have planted 500 Argyll-grown juniper around the Lussa Glen. If we're lucky, we may harvest in 2022.
Water mint - rarely do you see it first: your nose is the best forager once your footsteps have crushed some. We like the freshness it brings to Lussa Gin.
The sea is part of island life. We wanted a hint of sea spray in Lussa Gin. We found that a small amount of the vibrant green sea lettuce was just right, and we love hunting it out.
The flavour of Scots pine builds on juniper's distinctive pine notes. The one difficulty is harvesting the needles, as the branches are often so high up!
Ground elder: this weed (and ancient vegetable) plagues many a garden, but if you've ever inhaled its fragrance when pulling it up in spring you’ll understand how well it works in gin.
Wild rose pops up in the least expected places and provides an abundance of hips that contribute a smooth tone to Lussa Gin.