It’s that time of year again, when I reveal the top Australian Gins 2019 that have been making my tastebuds (and heart) sing!
Remember, this list is entirely subjective*. I am sure you have favourites of your own!
So, without further ado. Here are my top Australian gins for 2019
Moore’s Distillers Cut Juniper Gin
With ‘Juniper gin’ written on the label, you won’t be surprised to hear that this is a classic gin.
Distiller Philip Moore has employed the vapour-infused method of distillation (botanicals are held in a botanical basket over the alcohol, as opposed to being submerged), preserving the flavours of some of the more delicate botanicals.
Juniper is the backbone of this gin, but it’s supported by citrus and the earthier botanicals provide length and mouthfeel.
It’s a beautifully balanced gin, right up my gin lane!
Price $78 (700ml)
Adelaide Hills Distillery Desert Gin
Adelaide Hills overproof gin is a celebration of Central Australia and the natural resources it offers.
It’s a citrus forward gin, with three types of wattleseed that give the gin a light golden hue, as well as introducing roasted and toasted flavours. Other botanicals are juniper, coriander, blood lime, Riverland oranges and Native Pepperberry.
It makes a delicious martini (as it’s higher proof gin go wetter) . For a longer drink, use soda water and garnish with a wedge of orange.
Price: $89 (700ml)
Manly Spirits Co. Lilly Pilly Gin
I find most pink gins sickly, sweet confections, thankfully this isn’t one of them.
It’s a light fruity gin with a beautiful aroma. The team have used lilly pilly, Riberry, Native limes, raspberry, rosella, blood orange, sea fig and nasturium flowers in the recipe, but you can absolutely taste the juniper (thank goodness!)
Brogan’s Way Hearts Afire Gin
This is the fourth release from distiller Brogan Carr and was conceived alongside the original three gins as part of her thesis.
Hearts Afire is described by Brogan as a warm, spice driven gin. The recipe features fruity botanicals such as Sweet orange peel, native strawberry gum and lilly pilly alongside fragrant spicy ingredients like aniseed myrtle, cloves, nutmeg and cassia bark. Hot green cardamom, black peppercorn and native roasted wattle seed are also included to create a balanced savoury gin with a long gently spiced finish.
I served this with ginger beer and a squeeze of lime rather than tonic, to bring out those spice flavours.
Bellarine Distillery The Dodger Navy Strength Gin
Fans of Teddy and the Fox gin will be thrilled to welcome The Old Dodger to the Bellarine Distillery family.
If you love savoury gins with herbaceous notes, this Navy Strength gin is an absolute winner. It features rosemary, saltbush and walnuts. In spite of its 57% ABV, The Old Dodger is deliciously smooth and a splash over ice is a perfect serve. I used rosemary and lemon peel as the garnish in my gin and tonic.
‘Fortune’ Signature Dry Gin
Noosa Heads Distillery Signature Dry Gin has an intriguing botanical recipe featuring; juniper, green tea, Honeydew melon, lemon peel, cassia, lavender, coriander and lemongrass. When reading this list, my head went ‘Woahhh’, as I thought about how to balance those ingredients.
There are bold flavours at play here. It is fresh, with strong peppery notes to begin with, then moves into a delicate sweetness. Surprisingly, there is a definite hint of melon on the finish!
Distiller Jackson Boyd, has created a contemporary, approachable gin that will please gin-lovers as well as those new to the spirit.
To serve I’d go with soda water or ginger beer if you want to amp the spice up!
Earp Distilling Co. No. 8 Dry Gin
The Earp family have run their business in Newcastle since 1883, making a variety of materials for the building industry. As ceramics are part of their product portfolio, using a ceramic bottle for their gin is a nice reference to their family history.
The team worked with Rowan Prangley of True North Spirits on the very traditional gin recipe. It includes; Macedonian juniper, coriander, angelica root, cardamon, chamomile and cinnamon plus two fruits that I’m not allowed to specify!
It is a classic London dry style on both the nose and the initial taste. The mid-palate has a rich sweetness and the finish is warm and lengthy. Perfect for gin and tonics, martinis and a variety of gin-based cocktails.
Three-Fold Distilling Aromatic Gin
Threefold Distilling founders Aidan Shaw, Luke Fleming and Steven Roennfeldt have a wealth of experience and knowledge about spirits from their tenure in the hospitality industry both here and overseas.
Their ‘Aromatic Gin’ promotes grapefruit, rosemary and lavender on the label, but the recipe also includes; orange, lemon, native wattle seed, pepper berry and pink peppercorns.
This one is a rich, delicious flavour bomb! The orange, lemon and grapefruit combine to make your mouth water, literally. Then the lavender appears giving a floral lift before the pepper berry and pink peppercorns release their warmth in the lengthy finish. Wattleseed does a sterling job with the mouthfeel.
I think I may have found my latest martini gin.