Rhode Island Spirits
40 Bayley Street, Pawtucket
Ready for some education? Let’s learn about how the team at Rhode Island Spirits makes gin and how you can help! Read on for an excerpt from their newsletter:
“We know it’s not quite iris season yet, but we wanted to put a bug in your ear…
We use iris roots to make gin!!
That’s right, that mysterious orris root you see in our ingredient lists? It’s iris! Orris root is a term used for the roots of Iris germanica and Iris pallida. Once important in western herbal medicine, it is now used mainly as a fixative and base note in perfumery, the most widely used fixative for potpourri. Orris is also an important part of making tasty gins.
Why are we telling you this? If you have irises that are more than two years old AND you might thin them after they flower this year, WAIT! As long as your plants are organically grown, we can use them. To harvest the plant, dig out the root in early summer and e-mail us when this is happening, so we can come get them. From there we will cut the rhizome into small segmentsl. After drying them in the sun the pieces will be stored in an airtight jar in the fridge. The fragrance of the root does not develop until a year after drying and continues to increase in fragrance. Et voila! Fresh gin!”
Contact Rhode Island Spirits if you would like to help supply iris root and have any questions.