Botanic Australis Navy Strength Gin and Capi Dry Tonic

Botanic Australis Navy Strength Gin

Fans of Botanic Australis Gin will be delighted to hear that Mark Watkins has developed a Botanic Australis Navy Strength. Mark had been busy perfecting the recipe when I visited in December, but he wanted to wait until he was completely happy with it, before sharing it with me!

Fortunately, I didn’t have to wait too long and it was certainly worth the wait. I was intrigued to see how Mark would match those bold native botanicals with an equally bold ABV (Navy Strength must be at least 57%). Working with native ingredients is a delicate balancing act and the original Botanic Australis recipe required some fine tuning to work with the stronger alcohol.

Mark explained “In the original we replaced the lemon peel component with lemon myrtle and lemon scented gum. The reason for this is that lemon myrtle is heavy and tends to hang on the palate, while lemon scented gum is very aromatic yet doesn’t stay on the palate. Combining the two you get a very balanced “lemon peel” like effect. So in the Navy strength we ramped up the lemon scented gum so you get a big lemon nose which fades away on the palate quickly to combat the higher ABV. We also increased the level of Bunya Nut which gives the Christmas fruits and spices flavour, as well as the ginger and pepperberry”


Botanic Australis Navy Strength Gin and Tonic
Botanic Australis Navy Strength Gin and Tonic


While Botanic Australis Navy Strength has it foundations in the original, it certainly has a different flavour profile. On the nose, as Mark wanted, there is plenty of lemon, but this fades quickly on the palate. We being with piney juniper and bright citrus notes , with a small spike of the river mint and eucalyptus,  leading on to spicier notes from the peppery berry and ginger through to a lingering warm finish. Some of the more herbaceous and earthy notes found in the original Botanic Australis have given way to a more citrus forward gin.

It makes a wonderfully refreshing gin and tonic. You’ll note in the image above, the louching (cloudiness) that comes with an increase in oils from the botanicals.


Botanis Australis Navy Strength Southside
Botanis Australis Navy Strength Southside


I also gave it a whirl in a Southside and it worked brilliantly with the lime and mint. I should warn you that it would be very easy to forget the higher ABV!

This is a very limited edition gin and certainly worth

Origin: Walkamin, Queensland

ABV: 57.7%

Price: High

Available from Mt Uncle Distillery

Botanic Australis Gin

Botanic Australis Gin


Botanic Australis gin is one of the Aussiest (is that a word?) gins around. It’s craft-distilled in North Queensland at the Mt. Uncle Distillery by master distiller Mark Watkins.

Mark used a very old recipe as his starting point before swapping out the ingredients for locally foraged native botanicals – 14 in fact – that are cold macerated with juniper before the infused alcohol is distilled in his Holstein still, named Helga.


The botanicals:

Juniper, lilly pilly, bunya nut, eucalyptus gum, strawberry gum leaf, lemon myrtle, wattleseed, rivermint, lemon scented gum, anise myrtle, pepper berry, finger lime, native ginger and cinnamon myrtle.

It is a very complex gin. On the nose there are bright fresh citrus notes with hint of mint. On the palate it begins with a hint of juniper before herbaceous notes and grass, mint and citrus flavours come to the fore. A warm, lengthy finish with ginger and pepper notes.

Botanic Australis Gin

I find Botanic Australis works better with soda water and lime rather than tonic. It makes a wonderful savoury martini (particularly a Gibson) and a is delightful in a Lawn mower cocktail.


Country of Origin: Australia

700ml/40% ABV

Price range – Medium

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