I have never been a massive drinker and only indulge on special occasions with friends. Even before I was diagnosed with coeliac disease I decided to cut out beer. Over the last few years, I have gravitated towards wine and particular the rich red variety. Certainly living in South Australia there is an abundance of superb world-class winemakers. However, even this beverage (which is absolutely delicious) sometimes can sit heavy. That is why a spirit like gin appeals to me.
Presently the craft gin industry is experiencing a renaissance period and the demographic has vastly changed. This is because distillers are producing a purer (chemical-free) product infused with native botanicals. The flavour profiles are delicate and in my opinion very sophisticated. That is why you are more likely to see a cool 20-year old hipster drinking this sublime beverage (in a trendy bar) rather than a someone in their twilight years. Here are six amazing gins that I would highly recommend trying.
Abel Gin is a small batch producer located in the heart of Launceston, Tasmania, Australia. The company is the brainchild of renowned winemaker Natalie Fryar (Jansz Tasmania) and Kim Seagram. Combining both their talents they have established a wonderful boutique distillery. What makes their products so special is the freshly harvested native botanicals that are foraged by hand. Within the range, there are two supreme contrasting to spirits to choose from. Essence has a light citrus taste, whilst Quintessence has more complex taste profiles.
For more information about Abel Gin visit the company’s website: https://abelgin.com.au
Settler Artisan Spirits
Settler Artisan Spirits are located in the picturesque location of McLaren Vale, South Australia. I was fortunate enough to visit their amazing cellar door and enjoy elevated views of the surrounding vineyards. Interesting the company owners Rowland and Shelley Short established a successful business called Maximus Wines 8 years ago. Recently they have also become a renowned gin distiller and sell a diverse range of products. Within the range, you can experience flavours like fig, Yuzu (Japanese citrus) and a delightful Earl Grey tea, honey, lemon-infused gin.
For more information about Settler, Artisan Spirits visit the company’s website: http://settlersspirits.com.au/settlersspirits/
Distillery Botanica is a specialist craft spirit producer located in Erina, New South Wales Australia. The business was created by progressive thinking Philip Moore. Utilising twenty year’s valuable experience as a trained horticulturist and herbalist, Philip applied his knowledge to the world of craft gin making. Impressively all the company’s refined spirits are meticulously handmade in copper pots and encapsulated with the finest native botanical ingredients. Varieties include the ‘Rather Royal Gin’ (sold out) ‘Distillery Botanica Gin’ and the aptly named ‘Moore’s Dry Gin.
For more information about Distillery Botanica visit the company’s website: https://www.distillerybotanicagin.com
Encounter Coast Spirits
Encounter Coast Spirits are located in the Inman Valley (5 km from central Victor Harbor) in South Australia. What makes the company truly special is they are the states only farm-based distillery. I was privileged to meet the owner Quentin who gave me a tour of the facility and showed me the German-made 200 litre copper stills they use to make their gin. I also got to sample varieties like the ‘Fortune Teller Gin’, ‘Thymus Gin’ and a wonderful slowly (6-week) infused Blackberry gin.
For more information about Encounter Coast Spirits visit the company’s website: https://www.encountercoastspirits.com.au/
Applewood Distillery is located in the scenic Adelaide hills suburb of Gumeracha, in South Australia. Owner and Chief distiller Brendan Carter generously invited gave me a guided tour of the winery/distiller. Their primary objective is centred around sustainability and taking pride in Australian Culture. This why their high-quality spirits contain some of the finest locally sourced native botanical ingredients. As well as signature gin, they also make many seasonal variations and a phenomenal Riberry infused Amaro called Økar.
For more information about Applewood Distillery visit the company’s website: https://www.applewooddistillery.com.au
Manly Spirits Co
Manly Spirits Co is a craft producer located in the trendy New South Wales seaside resort of Manley in Australia. The company is very new to the scene and was established in April 2017. Before they launched the business dynamic owners David and Vanessa Wilton extensively travelled the world to visit numerous distilleries. What makes their gin so special is the experimental use of several botanicals (like Sea lettuce, Pepper Leaf, Anise Myrtle, Finger Lime, Orange Peel) which produce a unique flavour. Certainly, I was captivated by their artisan dry gin that in my opinion perfectly strikes the right balance.
For more information about Manly Spirits Co. visit the company’s website: http://manlyspirits.com.au