Cha-Cha Bomb

By Mark Williams


Ingredients:

I pass around shots of this deeply fungal concoction on my mushroom forays. Four of our finest edible fungi help people tune into mycelial pathways, hone the foraging spirit…Mycophagists will taste the distinct flavours of the different fungi, unified by fungal umami and the warming tannins of chaga.

Makes 20 shots:

  • 500ml The Botanist Gin
  • 3 tablespoons of truffle oil (perigord or alba ideally)
  • Handful of fresh chanterelle mushrooms (cantharellus cibarius)
  • Handfull of dried cep (boletus edulis)
  • 2 teaspoon of grated chaga (inonotus obliquus)

Method:

Shake the gin with the truffle oil and place the container in a freezer for 6 hours. Strain the gin from the solidified oil (which can be reused) If you have access to fresh truffle, simply add a small amount to the following infusion instead of using oil. Add the chanterelles, ceps and grated chaga to the gin and leave to infuse for at least 3 weeks. Down shots straight. Somewhere deep in the forest. Wait for mushrooms to appear…


Foraging notes:

Chaga is an important medicinal mushroom of cool northern climes, with powerful anti-carcenogenic and immune-boosting properties. It is not uncommon in northern birch woods, but is not found at lower latitudes or coastally. I gather mine in the NE highlands of Scotland. Unusually, the clinker-like growth that is harvested is not a fungal fruiting body, but solid mycelial mass. It is not generally considered a gastronomic mushroom, but has rich, warming, harmonic tannin notes the add depth to the drink. Chanterelles and ceps are relatively common edible mushrooms. I gather mine beneath beech, birch and pine trees in the damp forests of Galloway in SW Scotland. Chanterelles add a spicy fruit note to the drink, ceps a deep, rich baritone of earthly delight. Truffle dances along on its own planet..One day, I hope to make this drink with wild harvested Scottish truffle…I’m indebted to Danny Whelan for showing me the oil-washing process.