Gin is Cool... Again!
Considered an ‘’old person’s drink’’ as recently as 10 years ago, gin has had a resurgence in Australia, which can be partly attributed to the growing whisky industry here.
Whisky must be matured for three years in oak casks to be called whisky, rum is similar, so many distilleries are looking to gin as a way of financing their longer-term projects. It works the other way too, some gin distilleries in Australia are now diversifying into whisky and rum.
Gin can be turned over pretty quickly and Australian producers are experimenting with local botanicals to add their unique twist.
Tasmania is internationally renowned for its whisky, and is now gaining a reputation for its craft gin.
Founded in Sydney in 2014, Archie Rose is Australia’s most highly-awarded distillery, producing a diverse range of whiskies, vodka, gin and rums.
The Archie Rose Signature Dry Gin ($81.99) is a contemporary Australian take on a classic dry gin, featuring 14 traditional and native botanicals.
The Pomegranate Spritz, devised by the Archie Rose bar team, sounds a must try with its blend of the Signature Dry gin, rose wine, pomegranate juice, sugar syrup and soda.
Four Pillars is another of our best performing gins, named the world’s leading gin producer two years in a row (2019 and 2020) by the IWSC (International Wine and Spirit Competition) in London. Not bad for three mates who started with one copper still back in 2013.
In 2015, Four Pillars made their home in Healesville, Yarra Valley, where they make the most of local botanicals and citrus.
At Sense of Taste, we stock a range of Four Pillars’ gin, including the annual release Christmas gin, which is aged in muscat barrels.
The Rare Dry Gin ($75.99) – described as a modern Australian gin with plenty of citrus and spice – is my favourite. Perfect with tonic and a slice of orange.
Also worth trying is the Olive Leaf Gin, a savoury gin made from cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil and olive leaf tea - and the Spice Trade Gin – bold and aromatic and inspired by the flavours of modern India.
Fossey’s is a family-owned and operated Ginporium and Whisky Distillery based in the heart of Mildura.
Among their range is the Fossey’s Kaffir Leaf Gin ($70.99). Tasting notes for this gin, say the leaves are carefully hand-picked (thanks to the thorns) and steeped immediately in gin to capture the fresh explosive flavour and citrus and floral-like fragrance.
Adelaide Hills’ 78 Degrees is another distillery pushing the traditional boundaries and producing some outstanding craft spirits.
The distillery just won eight medals at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, including a double gold for its Sunset Gin.
Premium spirit specialist Scott Christie says he has really noticed the younger set getting into gin. Ginseccos are ever popular, and the on-trend seltzer is a popular mixer.
Matt from our Tarragindi store reckons gin’s popularity is due to its versatility, and also the impact of the government’s RTD (ready to drink) tax, which has seen the cost of the pre-prepared drinks skyrocket. It’s more cost effective to buy the bottle than a four pack of pre-mixes.