Christophe puts the Lab into Botanic Lab. As co-founder and Creative Director, he is what makes our drinks so unique and intriguing. His talent for flavour combinations and fascination with herbs is our secret weapon!
Here’s an insight into what makes him tick….
Herbs are my daily companions, I’m always experimenting with them to discover their potential, and get accustomed to their flavour.
My mission is to come up with flavour combinations that enhance and bring out the best of the often difficult taste of tonic herbs. It’s not about disguising their taste; it’s about complementing their aromatic profiles.
I tend to ignore fad ingredients and prefer make up my own rules through research and experimentation.
My botanical “tonic herb of the moment” is the Schisandra berry. If you bite into a schisandra berry, your mouth will be filled with a flood of conflicting flavours (sweet, sour, salty, bitter and pungent), and let's be clear, no one sprinkles this stuff on their yoghurt! Watch this space for our next drink in collaboration with Amelia Freer.
Superfoods shouldn’t taste as good as a blueberry. Their sheer concentration of beneficial phytochemicals will make them taste more challenging.
Herbs work, but the dosage will make the difference. You need to establish the sensitivity of your body to them. If you’re 6ft3 and weigh 300 pounds you might need a higher dose than if you’re a petite woman. If you don’t notice the effect of an adaptogen then you might have either bad quality, the wrong dosage or you’re not aware enough of your body (or all three!). Some herbs need to be consumed regularly for you to notice a difference, that doesn’t mean they don’t work
Most of us have observed how different people are sensitive to caffeine, nicotine, alcohol or drugs. Some are more sensitive than others. It’s the same with tonic herbs. Dosage determines if you will feel the difference or not. A double espresso isn’t equal to a few instant coffee granules in hot water. With this in mind, check what you are consuming and if you are getting value for money.
The other big determining factor is obviously the quality of the herb. How was it grown? How was it harvested? What part of the plant was used? How is it then processed for maximum physiological effect?
The idea of using tonic remedies to restore balance and health in a person is an ancient tested idea that is having a new appeal. We are at the forefront of this new movement.
I love drinking our TONIC2 on lots of crushed ice, our BOTANIC2 (Immunity) with gin, our ISOTONIC and KOLA+ as a slush puppy and our PLANTMILK2 (chocolale milk for adults) for breakfast alongside eggs, greens and toast. Once I’m in the factory I use the PLANTMILK3 for an afternoon pick me up.
There is still so much to create, so many herbs to introduce. I wish some very powerful plants were a little more palatable but I’ll keep experimenting to bring out some original and desirable drinks. Watch this space!