Words By Darren Barber
Throw away your vodka, lime and soda, grab a seat at the bar and ask the bartender to run you through the extensive range of gins that are popping up in bars all over Australia. Commonly known as the vodka for adults, gin is setting itself apart from all other spirits on the shelves with its unique aroma of juniper berries and other botanicals distilled to make this fine spirit.
Gin is quickly becoming a favourite with hipsters and educated drinkers alike and finally regaining its well-deserved love and respect from years gone by. It’s more of a drinking culture than a spirit, with a strong following that’s growing rapidly.
Gin’s popularity has led to an explosion of micro distilleries across Australia. With today’s technology, distillers have access to phenomenal equipment, helping to producing an even greater spirit. Australian distillers are now producing world quality gins with the three in particular leading the way: Four Pillars, Archie Rose and The West Winds.
Four Pillars best seller is Rare Dry Gin, combining spices such as a cardamom, cinnamon and star anise with Australian oranges, Tasmanian Pepperberry leaf and lemon myrtle. While juniper is still present, it is layered with a blend of modern Australian flavours, Southern European citrus and South East Asian spice, making it an entirely too drinkable gin.
The premium gin industry grew 39 percent last year with most producers being micro distillers; including our very own Mt Uncle Distillery. Opened in 2001, Mt Uncle is the creation of head distiller Mark Watkins and has won numerous accolades for their Botanic Australis Gin. Their new Bushfire Gin lends itself to making a great dirty martini with its smoky hues.
With its versatility, gin is a great spirit to experiment with: whether you’re a professional mixologist or a DIY drinker at home. Bartenders across the country are creating cocktails that are steering away from the rich flavours of the 80’s and 90’s and are focusing on modern twists of the old classics. Our Chelsea Garden cocktail at Three Wolves is a perfect example of this. Next time you find yourself at Three Wolves or Gin Social take
a leap of faith and order a gin and tonic or a classic Clover Club and embrace this amazing spirit that’s made in our own backyard… you won’t be disappointed.
50ml Mt Uncle Botanic Australis Gin 45ml Cloudy Apple Juice
2 Slices Cucumber
10ml Sugar Syrup
Place all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake. Strain into a tumbler glass and garnish with a slice of apple.