As part of our Boar Botanicals series, we’ll be shining the spotlight on various ingredients we use in our products.
Raspberry (Rubus Idaeus)
Although summer is definitely coming to a close here in Kintyre, our raspberries are still going strong and should be fruiting until the first frost. Wild raspberries can be found in abundance across Kintyre and they grow in various soil conditions meaning you might come across them in lots of different places including woodlands, roadside verges, hedgerows and even on the edge of beaches. They propagate quickly and spread without much need for assistance.
The Latin name for raspberries, Rubus idaeus, translates as ‘bramble bush of Ida’ and comes from Greek mythology. Ida was the nursemaid of the Greek god Zeus when he was an infant. Ida once pricked her fingers whilst collecting white berries on a mountainside, staining them red permanently.
Archaeological digs have shown early evidence from the Palaeolithic period of humans eating raspberries. It is thought that later, soldiers from the Roman army were responsible for the spread of the cultivated raspberry bush and by the sixteenth century they could be found all over Europe. From the medieval period, raspberries were considered to have both significant medicinal and nutritional properties, and this is still the case today.
The fruit is low in calories but high in fibre and is packed with vitamins and minerals. Calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, manganese (which aids metabolism) as well as vitamins B, C and E can all be found in raspberries. They also contain antioxidants, phenolic acids and anthocyanins. This means they can help the immune system; protect against heart disease, arthritis and diabetes; and their prebiotic compounds help keep your gut healthy which is great for overall health.
The leaves of the raspberry plant are astringent and have anti-inflammatory properties. Raspberry leaf tea has been recommended as a digestive tonic and can help with nausea and indigestion. This herbal drink has also been used for hundreds of years by women for its reproductive health properties and is widely endorsed by midwives to both help prepare for birth and recover postnatally.
As well as all these great health benefits, raspberries are delicious. We use freeze-dried Scottish raspberries in our Kintyre Pink gin to give it a delicate fruity flavour that’s sweet but not sickly. The pink blush colour is achieved by adding raspberry juice after the distilling process which will fade over time because it’s natural rather than synthetic.
Kintyre Pink is the perfect drink for these last days of summer. Buy online or in our shop