Distillery Botanica Gin
The harsh Australian Sun beats down through the gum trees, scattering the ground with blissful patches of shade, a temporary refuge from the heat. The air is full of the fragrant smells of eucalyptus and marraya, spread around on a non-existent breeze. It is a wonderful summer’s day in Australia.
There exists a beautiful garden on the outskirts of Sydney, not too far from the golden sands of NSW’s central coast. At its heart, Distillery Botanica is a botanical garden that serves as a natural library of ingredients for use in brewing liqueurs. These picturesque grounds now cover what used to be known as “The Fragrant Garden”, a centre for herbal learning in Erina.
Using their special hand-grown and handpicked ingredients, Distillery Botanica has produced an assortment of high quality liqueurs including Mr Black cold press coffee liqueur.
The rural gardens are given life at the experienced hands of Phillip Moore, a horticulturist and herbalist turned distiller. With over 20 years experience he knows the exact days of the year that his plants are at their best and ripe for the picking.
Combining skills with Frank Bethel, brand guru and gin visionary the men work out of the property’s rustic distillery to bring the product to life. The duo believe that if the gin is about botanicals, the ingredients should be as fresh as possible, which is why once picked from the garden each botanical is distilled with no time to waste.
The distillery’s namesake gin, Distillery Botanica is the latest fruit of their labour. It’s a wonderfully fresh and delicate gin, earning the nickname ‘garden grown gin’, a reflection of the handpicked botanicals sourced from the distillery gardens.
The gin encapsulates a unique and distinctive taste and smell, capturing the essence of the Australian summer. The ‘hero’ botanical is an Australian shrub called marraya, popular for its use as a hedge. The delicate white flower imbues the gin with its garden-like spirit, and gives the distillers only three opportunities to harvest the shrub over the year.
Distillery Botanica also contains a blend of chamomile, sage, orris root, rose and juniper.
Distillery Botanica is tenderly crafted by hand. Using traditional copper pot stills, each botanical is distilled separately to capture the flavours and aromas of each individual plant. The gin is blended, carefully combining the perfect measures from the six distillations.
An atomiser makes a lovely accompaniment to the gin. Created using a special process called enfleurage where coconut oils absorb the fragrance of the flower, the aromatic perfume allows people to sample the product through smell and has become a popular tool with bartenders.
Despite the very Australian flavours, the brands emphasis lies on the essence of summer, and the light-hearted fun atmosphere the season brings.
The olive green bottle looks like something from an old apothecary and creates a sense of intrigue: what kind of herbal concoction lies within? The beautiful design sets it right at home amongst the highest and most prestigious ranks of your liquor cabinet. Even at a glance its colour and shape will draw the eye, and just as well, because Distillery Botanica is designed for premium cocktail bars. The wide neck on the bottle means that it needs to be hand poured, ensuring care and attention are put into the task at hand. Once the gin has been consumed, and the good times have been had, the bottle can easily be repurposed, adding a touch of style. Whether it’s a decorative vase or a fancy water bottle, the vessel will add a rustic touch to your everyday life.
Distillery Botanica has a surprisingly delicate taste with an unmistakably Australian aroma from the heady smells of marayya, jasmine and rose. Aromas are complemented with more subtle citrus notes as the scent lingers a few seconds.
Smell has much to do with how and what we taste, and Distillery Botanica places much emphasis on getting the blend of fragrances right. Stronger notes of marayya and orange fade into muted tones of blackberries and a hint of honey. The texture is light and pillowy, and despite it’s subtlety it holds its own perfectly in a cocktail.
For maximum effect a dry martini does wonders to amplify the natural flavours of the gin, leaving a smooth florally taste that lingers on the tip of your tongue. The smell invokes strong memories of summer days in the Australian suburbs, and if you are not careful, you could slip into remembrances of the past.
Winning Gold at 2016 San Francisco World Spirits Competition in March, this gin is a powerful addition to any bar and a must have for bartenders seeking the ultimate balance of fragrance and culture.
Click on image for recipe
“The Garden is Our Muse”