Death’s Door Gin

Usually when I’m writing for ‘gin of the week’, the gin is brand new, so it’s great to be able to revisit a gin that’s been established for a few years. Death’s Door gin has been available sporadically in Australia, but now it’s part of the Vanguard Luxury Brands portfolio, you can expect to see more of it.

There are only a handful of excellent American gins – Junipero and Aviation ( BEFORE Ryan bought it!!) being two of my favorites. The US remains firmly wedded to aged spirits and its corn/rye heritage which don’t always work as a base for the delicate botanicals used in gin. However, Death’s Door gin is an exception.

The story behind Death’s Door gin ticks all the sustainability and locality boxes, and did so way before it was fashionable. Historically, the Washington Island in Wisconsin had been known for potato farming, but the industry died out in the 1970s. Locals moved into tourism focussed industries or left the island altogether.

In 2005 a small group got together to see if agriculture could be restored.  Working in collaboration with the Michael Fields Institute,  they selected specific variety of hard, red winter wheat that could withstand the maritime conditions. They began with a few seed and  5 acres. This has now grown to 1, 200! The wheat was initially used for bread and then the local brewery but eventually went on to become the base of all of Death’s Door Spirits.

The distillery expanded in 2012 and is now the largest craft distillery in Wisconsin with an annual capacity of 250,000 cases of finished product!

Why Death’s Door?

The Door Peninsula and Washington Island form a treacherous stretch of water that connects Green Bay to the rest of Lake Michigan. The Early French explorers named this water Porte des Morts, which literally means “Door of the Dead” or, “Death’s Door” due to the number of shipwrecks and gave rise to the gin’s name.

Local Botanicals

There are only THREE botanicals in Death’s Door gin: juniper, coriander seeds, and fennel seeds and come from the state when possible. There is an annual juniper harvest festival on Washington Island whereby guests can pick wild juniper berries!

The juniper used is  Juniperus virginiana (Eastern Red cedar) rather than Junipers communis.

Death's Door gin
Juniperus virginiana (image via Urban Forest Ecosystem Institute)

Tasting Death’s Door Gin

Death Door Spirits use vodka as a base for their gin, and this is made using the aforementioned red winter wheat, corn and malted barley, but unlike some American gins, it doesn’t dominate the botanicals.

There is plenty of lovely juniper at the front of the palate before spice and lemon come through from the coriander, before a crisp, dry aniseed finish from the fennel. Go easy with the tonic for a G&T, or even try it with soda, and you’ll need to add lots of citrus to boost the flavour.

It was absolutely stunning in a martini, that base has a fabulous texture and the fennel combines well with vermouth. Divine!

When so much is made of the number and diversity of botanicals in gin these days, it’s refreshing to see how much can be achieved when you pare everything back. This gin was truly ahead of its time and in spite of the unusual base and heavy fennel I think this could be a useful and versatile gin to have in your arsenal.

If you haven’t tried it seek it out immediately!

ABV: 47%

Price: Medium

You can follow Death Door Spirits on Facebook or instagram

The Gin Queen’s Christmas Gift Guide 2017

In another life, I’d be a professional shopper. I love seeking out the perfect gifts for friends and family. If you haven’t finished (or started) your Christmas shopping yet, my Christmas Gift Guide might be what you need! As ever, I’m not paid to promote these, I’ve just picked things I’d love to see in my stocking on Christmas morning!

Something to read

Mr Lyan’s Good Together

If you enjoyed Ryan Chetiyawardana’s first book; Good things to drink, you’ll love this. It’s chock-full of fabulous drinks and food pairings for you and your friend stop enjoy.

RRP: $30.75 Order via Booktopia 

Meehan’s The Bartender Manual



Jim Meehan has been at the top of the cocktail game since opening his bar PDT in New York. The PDT cocktail book is one of my favourites, but is about to be replaced by his latest book, Meehan’s Bartender Manual. It crammed full insights into bartending, includes contributions from esteemed colleagues and lots of recipes of you to try. Perfect for the bar geek or enthusiastic amateur.

RRP: $49.95 Order via Booktopia 

Rich Woods: The Cocktail Guy


I had the goof fortunate to interview Rich a couple of years ago and try several of his drinks. Incredibly creative and innovative (Nutella negroni anyone?), Rich’s drinks are a little out of the reach of most home-bartenders, but this book is still a fascinating read. Now, to start saving for a Rotovap…

RRP: $30.25 Order via Booktopia 

Something to wear

Esa Evan Gin necklace


Esa Evans Gin Necklace


RRP $35 Order here

Gin Commodity Fragrance

I’ve been wearing this at every opportunity this year! Commodity Gin Eau de Parfum is part of Commodity’s Black Collection, which includes scents that are complex, intense, and moody. This is a fresh and woodsy scent that can be worn by men and women.Key Notes: Juniper Berry, Lime, Ginger Leaf

RRP $29.95 (30ml) Available instore from  Sephora

663toZERO T-shirt

Spoiling our loved ones is part of Christmas, but how about sparing a few dollars for a good cause? Mitch Horrocks, launched 663toZero this year to focus on helping Ugandans have access to clean water. Sales from this T-shirt go directly to support this initiative.

RRP $40 Order here.

Something to use

Gin Cushion

This fun cushion from Kelly Connor Designs can be personalised. There is also an awesome tote bag available too!


$43.50 + free AU shipping. Order here.

Waterford Crystal Lismore Black Cocktail Pair

My inner-goth swooned when I spotted these beauties. A little Morticia Adams? Maybe, but I would love to sip a martini from these.


RRP: $399 David Jones

Waterford Crystal Elegance Optic Champagne Belle Coupe Pair

Beautiful, contemporary design, perfect for martinis, Bees Knees, French 75s…you get he idea

RRP $99.95 Waterford Crystal

Tiffany Sterling Silver Crazy Straw


Yes, yes, it is a CRAZY amount to spend on a straw. But it *is* from Tiffany, plus you’ll be doing your bit for the environment! WIN WIN!

RRP $415 from Tiffany

Something to drink



Have a spirits geek in the family? Why not gift them a special spirit kit from True North? Beautifully packaged and carefully curated, you can choose from Whisky Voyager or Gin Voyager. Each kit contains 5 x 50ml samples and information on each.If you really want to make an impression you can sign up as a member to receive exclusive monthly spirits kits.

RRP $99.99 from True North

The Antique Collection ~The Everleigh Bottling Company

A truly special gift. The Antique collection showcases classic drinks made with specially sourced antique spirits from 1950 to 1980. Featuring a 1950s martini, a 1960s vesper, a 1970s negroni and a 1980s Robbie Burns. This is a limited edition set so be quick.

RRP $249 from The Everleigh Bottling Co.

Win tickets to Indie Spirits Tasting Sydney!

Sydney Bar Week is a little over 2 weeks away and I’m excited! It’s a great opportunity for me to catch up with bartenders from all over Australia and hear about the latest trends as well as learning from some of the best at the educational seminars (see, it’s not all drinking). With Leslie Gracie (Master Distiller, Hendrick’s Gin) coming over from the UK to join in the fun, it promises to be a week to remember.

While most of the activity is focused around bars and bartenders, one event is open to consumers and trade alike and is not to be missed!

Indie Spirits Tasting will feature over 140 brands including 25 Australian Distilleries! Whisky, gin, pisco, bourbon, absinthe, there is something for every booze geek. You’ll have a chance to taste and talk to the producers and there are even a few masterclasses running for a chance to get some in-depth knowledge.

What: Indie Spirits Tasting
Date: Sunday, 17th September, 2017
Where: Restaurant Hubert, Bligh Street, Sydney
Time: 12.30pm till 4pm
Tickets: just $55 (plus fees).

Gins to look out for!


Never Never

gin gifts for dad


Brookie's gin

Manly Spirits Gin

Manly Spirits Gin

Gin Gin from Sardinia

Elephant Gin

Ferdinand’s Saar Gin




All you have to do is complete the form below. Correct answers will be entered into a random draw.


  • Over 18s only
  • Winner must be available in Sydney on Sunday 17th September
  • Winning tickets are non-transferable
  • Winners will be notified within 24 hours of the competition closing on Friday 8th September

Gin Gifts for Dad

Father’s Day is coming up in Australia, so I’ve put together some ideas for Gin Gifts for Dad.


Tatty Devine Gilbert and George Gin Cufflinks

Carry -On-Cocktail-Kit-Gin-and-Tonic




Inspired by art duo Gilbert & George and their artistic approach to drink, these cufflinks are a button-through style, with a Tatty Devine plectrum fastening. Also available as a necklace.

Via The Gin Queen Shop.

Enright’s Gin Company Grooming Kit

Featuring gin scented hair paste and hand wash.

Available from Enright’s Gin Company

Calibrate Gin and Tonic Pocket Square

Dad will look super fancy wearing this divine pocket square (Available from Nordstrom)

gin gifts for dad

Negroni/Martini pins from Love and Victory

These pins have been flying out of the Gin Queen store since I began stocking them. Dad will love one or both of these on his lapel.


Available from The Gin Queen Shop



The newest Australian gin  from Adelaide will not disappoint if your dad is a juniper junkie like me.  I’ll be doing a review in the coming weeks, but all you need to know right now is that Triple juniper gin is freaking delicious! (the juniper is treated in three separate ways, partially steeped, partially in the pot and partially in the vapour, hence the name!

Available from Never Never Distilling.

gin gifts for dad


Jo Malone Black Cedarwood & Juniper Cologne 100ml

Described as Midnight rain. Seductive with the carnal touch of cumin and chilli leaves. Dark with cedarwood. Humid with moss. Modern and urban.

Via David Jones

gin gifts for dad

Gumball Poodle Gin Crew Socks Blue/Yellow

OK, so socks for Dad are a bit passé, but how great are these?

gin gifts for dad




Punk Long Drink x4

I adore these The Nachtmann NextGen line PUNK highball glasses which have has been developed in cooperation with the world-famous arts and design college Central Saint Martins in London. An edgy way to serve up your G&Ts!Available from David Jones.

gin gifts for dad

The Gin Queen



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World Gin Day 2017


My favourite day of the year has to be World Gin Day, a global celebration of all things gin! With the explosion of Australian gins, World Gin Day 2017 is going to be a cracker!

I take my role as Australian Ambassador for World Gin Day very seriously and have been busy checking  the global website for all the fantastic Australian events that are happening. You can see the full list here, but I’ve picked a few highlights, to help you plan your day!


My home town has always been fantastic at organising World Gin Day events, not surprising given the number of new distilleries popping up. There is lots to choose from!

Visit Four Pillars Gin Distillery ~ 10.30am-9pm


Free gin tastings all weekend, including the newly released Bloody Shiraz Gin, cocktail specials, freshly baked scones with Four Pillars Orange Marmalade, and a food truck serving pulled (gin) pork burgers made with Four Pillars Gin Pig.

Open from 10.30am each day, until 9pm on Saturday and 5.30pm on Sunday. Free entry.

Gin Extravaganza at Gin Palace ~ 12pm-3am

Dirty & Wet Martini at Gin Palace
Dirty & Wet Martini at Gin Palace

Gin Palace Melbourne ALWAYS puts on a great World Gin Day and this year is no exception.
The Gin Palace will be transformed for one day only into a Harem of Juniper pleasures.
Events include:
• A Four Pillars 3 martini lunch focusing on local produce (22 seats available) – Book tickets here.
• Brookie’s Botanical Brunch, with 3 cocktails and light snacks – Book tickets here.
• Poor Toms Strawberries and cream martini
• Plymouth Martini massages.
• Hendricks Tea Party – Down the rabbit hole Swamp Room take over
• Gin and Gin Palace inspired cake, cupcakes and lollies
• Special performances and entertainment.
• 2 for one martinis, negronis and G&Ts from midday until 8pm

Open 12pm – 3am

Book tickets here:

Artemis Gin x Taxi Kitchen

World Gin Day 2017

In celebration of World Gin Day on Saturday 10th June, Taxi Kitchen and Artemis Gin are collaborating to bring you an afternoon of food and gin.
5 iconic Taxi Kitchen courses matched with 5 bespoke Artemis cocktails, all inspired by the gins botanicals. Tickets  are $150pp and include a bottle of specially distilled Artemis x Taxi Kitchen gin to take home.
Call 9923 2065 or email

Gin and a chat with Sacha La Forgia at Bad Frankie ~3pm OR 7pm

World Gin Day 2017

Sit down for an intimate discussion over gin with Sacha La Forgia from Adelaide Hills Distillery and get to know the distiller’s production and distilling methods as well as learn about, taste the variety of Adelaide Hills Distillery gins on offer, and get an exclusive sneak peek at new products coming out.

A fun and intimate way to experience AHD gins and learn the story behind the relatively young distillery, which has seen much success since its inception in 2014. For example, their 78˚ Gin received a Gold Medal, The Italian a Silver Medal and The Gunnery a Bronze Medal at The 2016 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

Tickets are $50pp and include

  • A welcome negroni and Bad Frankie (signature) jaffle
  • 2 hours with the distiller to learn about the history, production and gins of AHD
  • 3 X tasters of AHD gins
  • An exclusive look at new products on the horizon
  • A gin cocktail and sweet to finish

Book here.

Bass & Flinders Gin Degustation at Papa Goose ~7pm

World Gin Day 2017

A four course gin degustation at Papa Goose showcasing the Bass & Flinders range.

Tickets are $140pp. To book call Papa Goose on 03 9077 8117 or email

Kilderkin Distillery Open Day

Kilderkin Distillery

The Kilderkin team will be distilling their first small batch Navy Strength gin on World Gin Day! Plus tours, tastings, and drinks.

Kilderkin Distillery, 11A Michaels Dr, Alfredton VIC 3350, Australia


Melbourne Gin Company Takeover of Mountain Goat Beer

The Melbourne Gin Company will be celebrating World Gin Day at Mountain Goat Brewery!
MGC distiller Andrew Marks will host a Botanical Masterclass followed by drinks at the bar with MGC cocktails, Mountain Goat Beer and Pizza!
Masterclass from 4.30pm – 5.30pm (ticket includes MGC G&T) Book here.
Drinks at the bar 6pm – Late


The Barbershop presents Mother’s Ruin A Cabaret About Gin ~ 6-9pm

The Barbershop presents a bespoke cocktail menu and a performance of critically acclaimed hit, Mother’s Ruin: A Cabaret about Gin.

Tickets are $35pp. Book here.

All tickets will receive a Bombay Gin Cocktail on arrival.

Doors open from 6:00pm. No reserve seating.

Manly Spirits Co. Distillery ~ 1.30-5.30pm

Join the team from Manly Spirits Co. Distillery and Gin Lane for an exclusive tour and tasting at the distillery beginning at 1.30pm. Following the tasting feel free to settle in, chat and sip some very tasty Gin cocktails on offer in the Distillery Tasting Bar.

Food will be available from a food truck on site.

$22 per person, book tickets here.


World Gin Day 2017

Hains & Co Gin Garden

Hains & Co will be hosting a Gin Garden – think Alice in Wonderland but for adults…who love gin.

Festivities kick off at 6pm – every hour, on the hour, they’ll introduce a must-try gin (and G&T) and will have each company’s brand ambassadors on hand to talk about all things gin.
Featuring  78 Degrees, Melbourne Gin Company, Ferdinands Dry Saar, Fair Gin, Tanqueray, and Rogue Society gins.

From the crew in The Galley, Gin Soaked Smoked Skirt Steak Tacos, Elote Corn Salsa, Spiced Slaw, Candied Jalapeños will be part of the night’s menu.

Free Admission


Dutch Courage Officer’s Mess ~ 11.30am til late

World Gin Day 2017

Featuring five masterclasses, live entertainment, all day specials & massive giveaways – does a whole bottle of gin every hour whet your appetite?! – what more could a gin lover want? With experts from Martin Millers, Fever Tree, Botanist, Jinzu, Tanqueray, Kangaroo Island Spirits and even Brisbane’s very own Humpybong Distillery on hand to answer every gin nerd’s questions, it’s a pilgrimage where everybody ends up in heaven!

Masterclass Times
11.30am – The history of gin w/ Kangaroo Island Spirits (Jon Lark)
1.00pm – Enjoying food & gin together w/ Jinzu (Jaime Fleming)
2.30pm- Making gin cocktails w/ Botanist & Gin Mare (Mark Hickey)
4.00pm – Pairing tonic to your favourite gin w/ Fever Tree (Glenn Morgan)
5.30pm – Sensory spices & basket distillation w/ Martin Millers (Amy Grieg)
* session topics & times subject to change

Book here

I hope you’ve got some ideas on how to spend World Gin Day. You can follow my adventures on instagram – I’ll be at Junipalooza London – or check out the #worldginday hashtag to see what everyone else is up to.

It’s a fantastic day, so please drink responsibly.

Hendrick's Gin ~ The Awakening 4

Win tickets to Hendrick’s Gin ~ The Awakening

Hendrick’s gin has always been an advocate of the peculiar and unusual and their latest pop-up “The Awakening”, promises to pique your curiosity.

Hendrick's Gin ~ The Awakening Banner

Described as a “theatrical cocktail experience”, The Awakening takes you on a journey through a series of scenarios and encounters brought to life by the Siren Theatre Company. At each stage you will receive a different Hendricks’ serve; a classic, a seasonal and an experimental.

This pop-up is only running for one weekend over the 2nd-4th June at the Commune in Sydney. Tickets are $30 per person and include 3 Hendrick’s cocktails and access to the Hendrick’s cocktail bar at the conclusion of your experience.

Hendrick's Gin ~ The Awakening 2

Win tickets to Hendrick’s Gin ~ The Awakening

I have ONE PAIR of tickets to give away to a lucky winner for Friday 2nd June at 7pm.



Hendricks The Awakening runs from 2nd-4th June 2017 at COMMUNE, 901 Bourke Street
Waterloo, Sydney 2017.

Tickets are available from Eventbrite.

Australian Gin Tasting

Australian Gin Tasting ~ London

I am thrilled to announce that I will be hosting an Australian Gin tasting event at celebrated gin venue The Oliver Conquest on Wednesday 7th June 2017.

Australian Gin Tasting London
The Oliver Conquest boasts over 300 gins

The Oliver Conquest was firmly on my list of destinations when I last visited London two years ago, just look at its incredible selection!

I’m excited to be heading back to the UK to visit some distillers, taste some new (to me) gins and giving Olivier and Emile from Gin Foundry a hand at Junipalooza London.

Promoting the growing gin industry in Australia is a passion of mine, so naturally I wanted to fly the Aussie flag while on my travels.

Event information

During our two hours together, you’ll learn about the gin boom Down Under, the unique botanicals used in our gins, and taste these beauties:

Brookie’s gin from Cape Byron Distillery in Byron Bay New South Wales

Green Ant gin from Adelaide Hills Distillery in South Australia

Botanic Australis gin, Queensland

Artemis gin, Melbourne

Melbourne gin Company gin, Melbourne

Manly Spirits gin, Manly, New South Wales

Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz gin, Victoria


Tickets are 20GDP and include all tastings and nibbles. Can’t wait to see you there!

(over 18s only)

Celebration Competition

Celebration Competition!

I passed a little social media milestone this week and I have 10,000 reasons to be happy 🙂

To celebrate I’ve created a little competition where you could win one of 3 Gin and Tonic Packs. The packs are:

  • Star of Bombay Gin with Strangelove Light and Dirty Tonic


  • Hendricks Gin HotHouse gift set with Strangelove Light and Dirty Tonic


  • Poltergeist Unfiltered Gin with Strangelove Light and Dirty Tonic


Thank you for reading, liking, commenting and sharing the Gin Queen love!

Terms & Conditions

Entrants must be over 18
Open to UK, Australian and NZ residents only
One entry per applicant
Closing date is midnight (AEST) on 1st May 2017
Winner will be drawn at random and notified via email within 24 hours


Thank you for reading, liking, commenting and sharing the Gin Queen love!


Meet the Makers Australian Gin Degustation ~ Sydney

Following on from the sell-out event in Melbourne and lots of readers requests, I’m thrilled to announce Meet the Makers Australian Gin Degustation ~ Sydney, with  CAPI  once again sponsoring the event.

The Distillers

Ian Glen, Stone Pine Gin

Ian Glen has devoted his entire career to malting, brewing and distilling in Australia and abroad. His Stone Pine Gin has won Silver in the IWSC Dry Gin category.

Jesse and Griffin, Poor Tom's Gin
Jesse and Griffin, Poor Toms Gin

Jesse and Griffin were making their gin at their kitchen table, before joining forces with industry stalwart Marcel Thompson who began as a distillers apprentice before going on to work with some of the biggest gin brands around, including Gordon’s and Tanqueray. Poor Toms Gin is the fruit of their labour and the newest Sydney gin.

Craig Johnson, Loch Gin
Craig Johnson, Loch Gin

After falling in love with single malt whisky on a tour of the UK, Craig Johnson decided to leave the rat-race, buy an old bank building and build a brewery and distillery. As well as making a cracking gin, Craig also makes beer and a whisky is in the pipe-line.

William McHenry, McHenry Gin


William set out to make whisky (his first release with be available soon) but he is becoming very well-known for his range of gins, with his McHenry & Sons Classic Dry Gin recently winning Gold in the US 2014 Sip Awards.

Mark Watkins, Botanic Australis
Mark Watkins, Botanic Australis

Founder of Mt Uncle Distillery in Walkamin Far North Queensland, Mark has won multiple awards including Double Gold in the San Francisco ISC & Gold in the Hong Kong IW&SC for his Botanic Australis gin.

The event

Each distiller will be sharing his journey from the initial idea, choosing to use native botanicals and the creation of the final spirit, providing you with a unique insight into the world of craft distilling. You will taste each gin neat, then in a cocktail served with a matching dish by The Corner House, Bondi. There will be plenty of opportunities to chat to the distillers and ask questions.

The venue

Our venue for the event is The Corner House. Once a stop for the Bondi Tram, this iconic building is now ‘home’ of the quintessential Bondi dining experience.

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The Details

When: Thursday 5th November 7.00pm

Where: The Corner House, 281 Bondi Road, Bondi.

Tickets: $155 each (non-refundable) and includes drink and canapé on arrival, gin flight and 4 gin cocktails with matching dishes)



Proudly sponsored by  capi


Meet the Makers Australian Gin Degustation

There is nothing I like more than sharing my passion for gin and its makers with like-minded people!

This “Meet the Makers Australian Gin Degustation” has been an idea for a while and I’ll so excited that it’s come together. I am also thrilled to announce that CAPI are sponsoring the event. CAPI produces clean, natural refreshments including one of my favourite tonic waters!

The Distillers

Ian Glen Stone Pine Gin

Ian Glen has devoted his entire career to malting, brewing and distilling in Australia and abroad. His Stone Pine Gin has won Silver in the IWSC Dry Gin category.

Cameron-MacKenzie-Four- Pillars-Gin
Cameron MacKenzie Four Pillars Gin

Before throwing his lot into the production of craft spirits, Cam was a fifteen year veteran of the wine trade having made, sold, marketed and judged many of Victoria’s best known wine brands. His award-winning Four Pillars Gin has gained an incredible reputation at home and overseas.

Andrew Marks Melbourne Gin Company

Andrew followed his parents in a career in the wine industry and produces well-regarded wines under The Wanderer label. His love for martinis lead him to create Melbourne Dry Gin and he dreams of one day owning a gin botanical garden.

William McHenry McHenry Gin

William set out to make whisky (his first release with be available soon) but he is becoming very well-known for his range of gins, with his McHenry & Sons Classic Dry Gin recently winning Gold in the US 2014 Sip Awards.

Mark Watkins Botanic Australis

Founder of Mt Uncle Distillery in Walkamin Far North Queensland, Mark has won multiple awards including Double Gold in the San Francisco ISC & Gold in the Hong Kong IW&SC for his Botanic Australis gin.

The event

Each distiller will be sharing his journey from the initial idea, choosing to use native botanicals and the creation of the final spirit, providing you with a unique insight into the world of craft distilling. You will taste each gin neat, then in a cocktail served with a matching dish by celebrated restaurant Cumulus Inc. There will be plenty of opportunities to chat to the distillers and ask questions.

The venue

Our venue for the event is Arc One gallery. This contemporary and functioning gallery is absolutely gorgeous!

Arc One - One Long Table 7

The Details

When: Wednesday 7th October 7-9.30pm

Where: The Arc One Gallery, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

Tickets: $145 each (non-refundable) and includes drink and canapé on arrival, gin flight and 4 gin cocktails with matching dishes)

Proudly sponsored by  capi