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From Farm to Distillery: Local Produce Inspiring The Australian Gin Boom

Australians are famous for their creative ingenuity. This enterprising spirit can be seen in the rise of boutique distilleries, with more than 100 gin distilleries operating across the country.

Many of these Australian distilleries have taken advantage of their rural locations and created limited-edition spirits inspired by local produce.

Australian botanicals, like wattleseed and lemon myrtle, are becoming staples in boutique Australian gin. However, distilleries in Victoria and Tasmania are also looking to neighbouring farms for inspiration.

Cape Grim's 666 butter vodka was an unconventional marriage of butter from a neighbouring farm. This experiment became a product staple as the combination of butter and vodka create a smoother, velvet finish.

Brogan's Way Spiced Strawberry Gin is the result of the 2018 strawberry crisis.

The downturn in strawberry sales inspired, Jimmy Pipepi, President of the Victorian Strawberry Growers Association, to sit down with fellow Victorian and master gin distiller, Brogan Carr. Together, they macerated some of the less aesthetically pleasing (but no less delicious) strawberries in her gin to create the special edition.

However, few distilleries are as prolific as Bass and Flinders, who consistently use their location in Red Hill to inform all their seasonal gins.

Bass and Flinders use a grape-based spirit for their gin, as grapes are more suited to the Victorian soil than the traditional neutral grain, and creates a less abrasive and oilier style gin.

But Bass and Flinders don't stop there, seasonal produce can be seen in their Truffle Winter Gin, and their radically sustainable Angry Ant Gin featuring actual ants. Bass and Flinders' Cerise gin is no exception. Using the Victorian, single-vineyard grape base, and then vapour infusing the gin with small-batch botanicals including locally sourced cherries and raspberries.

The Australian gin boom owes a lot to the ingenuity and collaborative nature of Australian growers, and if the industry can bounce back and keep collaborating, we have the promise of a very flavourful future in Oz!

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