An hour away from GQ HQ is the Bass & Flinders Distillery. Founded in 2009 by Bob and Wayne it is the only distillery on the Mornington Peninsula. Here they produce a range of spirits, including Gin.
Unlike most gins which are produced using alcohol from grain, Bass & Flinders, being surrounded by vineyards (they share premises with Darling Park winery) use grapes.
Bob is very knowledgable and after a glimpse at the still, we settled down to chat and taste gin.
I loved the fact that we began the tasting with a gin and tonic (City of London Gin & Fever tree tonic) as we talked about our tastes, different botanicals and favourite gins.
Bob and Wayne had invited me for one of their Gin Experiences, where you create your own gin using a wide range of botanicals.
I was slightly overwhelmed at the range of botanicals to choose from as I am so indecisive!
First, we tried each distillate separately : juniper, coriander, cardamon, bitter almond, angelica root, pepper berry, ginger, lime, chilli, and raspberry.
It was very interesting to taste them individually and while I initially expected juniper to give me that “ginny” flavour, it was only when it was combined with coriander that I recognised the smell.
We began by working out the juniper and coriander ratio (I decided not to add cardamon as I didn’t want a particularly aromatic gin).
I then added pepper berry, lime, chilli, bitter almond and angelica root. The ginger distillate was far too fiery (in fact I could only manage a drop on my finger) and while the raspberry distillate wasn’t as fruity as I anticipated, I wasn’t sure how it was going to combine with my other ingredients.
Having made a note of the mls of each ingredient added, Bob proceeded to make up a larger amount so we could see if we liked the outcome. I was pleasantly surprised and both Bob and I laughed at how aromatic it was given that I thought I was aiming for a “dry” gin.
The true test was making a G&T, which we sipped while deciding what to call my gin, which will be delivered in a week.
The best bit? If I run out I can call Bob and order another bottle as he keeps a record of everyone’s gin!
The Gin Experience is $120 per person, including your bottle of gin. It’s a great way of spending an afternoon while supporting a local producer.
You can follow Bass & Flinders on Facebook, twitter and Instagram.
Disclosure: Bob and Wayne kindly gifted me my Gin Experience.
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