Twelfth Day of Gin-Mas

The Twelfth Day of Gin-Mas is here and what a group of gins to finish with. Which is your favourite?

Great Ocean Road ‘Guvvos’ Gin

Releases in 2018, Guvvos gin  is a modern take on a classic dry style – it’s citrus forward, with a hint of salt.

There are 24 botanicals, 9 of these local – coast daisy, ruby salt bush, coast salt bush, hop wattle, pigface, kelp, two indigenous eucalypts, and even local surfcoast honey produced in Torquay.

Follow Great Ocean Road Distillery  on Facebook and Instagram

Imbue Distillery Suburban Gin

Founders of Imbue Distillery, Mel and Mick Sheard share 30 years experience in Melbourne’s food industry from retail to wholesale, bakeries, catering & hatted restaurants.

Now they’ve turned their attention to gin, enjoying pushing the boundaries on flavour. Suburban gin is made using botanicals from the suburb where they live and includes blackberry, fennel, dandelion and prickly pear.

Follow Imbue Distillery on Facebook and Instagram.

Red Hen Gin

The three Vallelonga brothers and their best mate Luke, set up Red Hen Distilling in 2016 and won the Champion Small Batch Gin Award at the Australian Distilled Spirits Award within a month.

Native muntrie berries, local citrus and peppercorn give this gin a bright, vibrant flavour.

Follow Red Hen gin on Facebook and Instagram.

Seppeltsfield Road Distillers Savoury Allsorts gin

This gin is distinctly savoury with upfront star anise characters fused with thyme, marjoram, borage, and gentian, giving wonderfully fresh, herbaceous flavours.

Follow Seppeltsfield Road Distillers  on Facebook and Instagram.

Farmer’s Wife Autumn Dry gin

Kylie Sepos is the brains behind this gin. The distillery is based on the family farm in Ellsworth, New South Wales and Kylie has incorporated a mix of traditional and native botanicals, including anise myrtle, lemon myrtle and native sage to create her gin.

Follow Farmer’s Wife Distillery on Facebook and Instagram.

McHenry Christmas gin

Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh encapsulated in gin. Could this be any more festive?

Follow McHenry Distillery on Facebook and Instagram.

Lawrenny Distilling Settler’s 1818 gin

Lawrenny  Settlers 1818 Gin embodied the strength and character of those who came to colonise the Lawrenny land area. Bold  juniper  comes  through  both  on  the  nose  and the  palate, as herbal notes  from the  property’s own rosemary intertwine with the freshness of caraway. All bolstered  by the warming  spice  of pimento  berry and cassia  bark.

Follow Lawrenny on Facebook and Instagram.

Ambleside Small Acre gin

This is Steve’s creation and is made with twelve botanicals, some from our own distillery garden (the small acre), make up this punchy gin. It’s quirky ingredients of rhubarb, bay leaf, apple and cloves give a savoury zing on the palette.

Follow Ambleside Distillers  on Facebook and Instagram.

Brogan’s Way Everyday Salvation gin

Brogan’s Way Everyday Salvation Gin is our Australian twist on the classic dry gin. Packed with botanicals it is juniper forward with the crispness of fresh organic white grapefruit peel balanced against Australian cinnamon myrtle and native pepper berries.

Follow Brogan’s Way Distillery  on Facebook and Instagram.

Animus Davidsonia Gin

Davidsonia Gin is Animus Distillery’s riff on a traditional English sloe gin, with a distinctly Australian intensity and character.  Australian Davidsonia Pruriens, a tropical sour plum from the temperate regions of northern New South Wales and Queensland, is steeped slowly in their Macedon Dry Gin over many months. It has a distinctive palate of sour plum, raspberry and feijoa rounded out by with the juniper, citrus and classic spice.

Follow Animus Distillery  on Facebook and Instagram.

Dodd’s Gin

Dodd’s Gin is named after Ralph Dodd, who back in 1807 had planned to build a distillery in London for the creation of British spirits. Ralph’s dream sadly crumbled however, much like a number of bridges and tunnels he designed.

The gin itself is made exclusively with organic botanicals, including juniper, angelica, fresh lime peel, cardamom, red raspberry leaf, bay laurel, and honey from The London Honey Company.

Follow Dodd’s gin  on Facebook and Instagram.

Tiny Bear Distillery ‘The Sailor’ gin

Called ‘the sailor’ as a nod to the British Royal Navy’s penchant for boozy gin, this is Tiny Bear’s Navy Strength gin, made with oranges and cardamom alongside juniper and coriander.

Follow Tiny Bear Distillery  on Facebook and Instagram.


*Choose from Lawrenny, McHenry, Ambleside, Tiny Bear Distillery, Dodds,  Animus, Guvvos, Imbue, Brogan’s Way, Farmer’s Wife, Animus or Red Hen on your entry form

Terms and Conditions

Entrants must be over 18
Open to UK, Australian and NZ residents only
One entry per applicant
Closing date is midnight (AEST) on 12th December 2018

Second Day of Gin-Mas

Win one of two Patient Wolf gins!

Patient Wolf Distillery

Best mates Matt and Dave hatched their plan to open a distillery almost 5 years ago and it took the best part of three to set up the Patient Wolf Distillery in the heart of Brunswick.

I’ve been fortunate enough to see the hard work and passion that’s gone into their gins close-up. First as a guinea pig for some of their earlier test batches, and later bringing gin-lovers to the distillery as part of Gin Queen on Tour where we all cooed over their beautiful Mueller pot still.

Summer Thyme is the latest gin in their range, made with fresh lemon and thyme. It’s lively, refreshing gin and perfect for summer.  There is a bottle of Summer Thyme and a bottle of Patient Wolf Melbourne Dry gin

Follow Patient Wolf on Facebook and Instagram.


Terms and Conditions

Entrants must be over 18
Open to UK, Australian and NZ residents only
One entry per applicant
Closing date is midnight (AEST) on 2nd December 2018
Winner will be drawn at random and notified via email within 24 hours

The First Day of Gin-Mas

On the First Day of Gin-Mas my Gin Queen gave to me…A bottle of Applewood Gin to win!

Applewood Distillery

Laura and Brendan Carter, the owners of Applewood Distillery, are wine-makers from Adelaide, and are passionate about using native ingredients and creating products with a distinctly Australian identity. For them, making gin was an obvious way to showcase native botanicals.

Applewood Distillery gin has a bold citrus heart, containing both native finger and desert limes. These are accompanied by peppermint gum leaf, wild thyme, pepperberry, wattleseed, anise myrtle, macadamia and of course, juniper.

It has been awarded Gold – New York Wine & Spirit Competition 2017, Gold – Australian Distilled Spirits Awards 2017 and Silver – San Francisco Spirit Awards 2017.

Follow Applewood on Facebook and Instagram.


Terms and 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 December 2018
Winner will be drawn at random and notified via email within 24 hours

The 12 Days of Gin-Mas IS BACK!

The 12 Days of Gin-Mas IS BACK!

It’s the highlight of your year and mine, and the BEST way to get into the festive spirit, hahahaha (sorry!).

This year’s 12 Days of Gin-Mas features more gin than ever, giving YOU more chances to win!

What’s NEW?

Firstly, I’ve changed the format of the days. Instead of one distiller/gin per day, there are several depending on which day. For example, The First day of Gin-Mas has 1 bottle to win, the Second day has 2 and so on, until you get to the 12th Day when there are a whopping 12 bottles up for grabs!

Now, you might be thinking based on past year’s competitions, “Oh great, one person wins all 12 bottles!”

NOT THIS YEAR! Yes, that’s right. Each day will not only have a corresponding bottle number, but also a corresponding number of winners! One winner on day one, two winners on day etc.

That means that this year instead of 12 winners, we will have 78 of you!

And that’s not all!

This year on the 13th December The Gin Queen will celebrate it’s 5th Birthday! To celebrate, I’m adding a bonus day where one lucky person can win a heap of goodies, including gin and gifts from the website!

Big Tree and Animus Distillery Tour

Big Tree & Animus Distillery Tour

All aboard the Gin Bus! Join me as we visit two different distilleries, taste their gins and meet the people who make them, enjoy a delicious lunch and finish our tour at Bad Frankie, Australia’s first bar to focus solely on Australian spirits.


Big Tree Distillery

One of Victoria’s newest distilleries, Big Tree Distillery is the culmination of a tree change by Gary and Catherine. A stone’s throw from Hanging Rock, Big Tree is set in a beautiful location. They have three gins in their range and we will be trying them all!


Animus Distillery

About 20 minutes from Big Tree, Animus is an award-winning distillery set in thriving Kyneton. Here we’ll have lunch before enjoying a guided tasting of their gin range.

Itinerary for Big Tree & Animus Distillery Tour

All aboard the Gin Bus! Join me as we visit two different distilleries, taste their gins and meet the people who make them, enjoy a delicious lunch and finish our tour at Bad Frankie, Australia’s first bar to focus solely on Australian spirits.

10.00am meet at Federation Square (outside ACMI)

11.30 arrive at Big Tree Distillery for a tour and tasting

1pm depart Big Tree Distillery

1.15pm Arrive at Animus for lunch and tasting

3.30pm Depart Animus

4.45pm Arrive at Bad Frankie bar, Fitzroy for a final gin cocktail

5.00pm tour concludes

What’s included

– Transport from Federation Square to each distillery and then to Bad Frankie in Fitzroy where the tour concludes

– Welcome drinks at Big Tree and Animus Distilleries

– All tasters

– Lunch at Animus Distillery (Limited dietary requirements e.g. GF, Vegan and Veg available)

– Cocktail at Bad Frankie bar

Tickets are $149.99 per person. Book your tickets here

2018 IWSC results for Australian gin

We’ve already celebrated our Australian gins’ success at the San Francisco World Spirits awards and the Spirit Business Spirits Masters, but now we turn out attention to the results of the International Wine and Spirits Competition (IWSC), which were announced this week.

The IWSC is the oldest of the spirits competitions, and highly regarded due to its strict judging and testing of all the spirits entered. For Australian distillers to win a medal on gin’s home soil, makes it all the more special!

You’ll see that gins are judged by strength and style (contemporary or London Dry) as well as how it performs in a Gin and Tonic (VERY important!)

Last year,  Philip Moore became the first Australian distiller to claim a Gold medal for his eponymous dry gin. The 2018 IWSC results for Australian gins are outstanding, with 4 gins receiving gold medals and the total medal haul jumping from 23 medals to 44! Some of newest additions to the Australian gin category won medals, barely a few months after launching.

Congratulations one and all!

2018 IWSC results for Australian gin



2018 IWSC results for Australian gin

Poor Toms Fool Strength category London Dry – 48-52%

2018 IWSC results for Australian gin

Archie Rose Distiller’s Strength Gin category Contemporary Styles – Australia – 52-58%

2018 IWSC results for Australian gin

KIS Old Tom category Old Tom – Wood Aged – 42-46%

2018 IWSC results for Australian gin

Kalki Moon “Classic Gin” category London Dry – 37-38%

SILVER (outstanding)


Four Pillars Gin 2018 IWSC results for Australian gin

Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin category in Gin – Contemporary Styles – Australia – 40-43%+

kangeroo-island-spirits-wild-gin 2018 IWSC results for Australian gin

KIS Wild Gin category Gin – Contemporary Styles – Australia – 40-43%+

Original Bushcrafted Dry category Gin – Contemporary Styles – Australia – 40-43%+

Apothecary category  Gin – Contemporary Styles – Australia – 40-43%+

Mount Uncle Botanic Australis Bushfire Smoked Gin category Gin – Contemporary Styles – Australia – 45-48%+

Dasher + Fisher Sloe Gin category  Sloe Gin – 26-40%


Archie Rose Signature Dry Gin category Contemporary Styles – Australia – 40-43%+

Manly Spirits Australian Dry Gin category Contemporary Styles – Australia – 40-43%+

Manly Spirits Australian Dry Gin category Gin & Tonic

Dasher + Fisher Meadow Gin category Gin – Contemporary Styles – Australia – 45-48%+

Dasher + Fisher Meadow Gin category Gin & Tonic

Dasher + Fisher Mountain Gin category Gin & Tonic

Dasher + Fisher Ocean Gin category Gin & Tonic

Four Pillars Navy Strength Gin category Gin – Contemporary Styles – Australia – 52-58%

Four Pillars Spiced Negroni Gin category Gin – Contemporary Styles – Australia – 40-43%+

Seppeltsfield Road Distillers House Gin category Gin – Contemporary Styles – Australia – 40-43%+

Never Never Juniper Freak Gin category Gin & Tonic

Kalki Moon “Premium Gin” category London Dry – 42%+

Manly Spirits Coastal Citrus Gin category Contemporary Styles – Australia – 40-43%+

Manly Spirits Coastal Citrus Gin category Gin & Tonic

Moore’s Distillers Cut Juniper Gin category London Dry – 45%+

Moore’s Distillers Cut Juniper Gin category Gin & Tonic

Poor Toms Sydney Dry category Contemporary Styles – Australia – 40-43%+

Never Never Southern Strength Gin category Contemporary Styles – Australia – 52-68%

Never Never Triple Juniper Gin category Contemporary Styles – Australia – 43%

Never Never Triple Juniper Gin category Gin & Tonic

Underground Spirits Signature Gin category Contemporary Styles – Australia – 40-43%+


Seppeltsfield Road Distillers Barossa Dry Gin category London Dry – 41%+

Mount Uncle Botanic Australis Gin category Contemporary Styles – Australia – 40-43%+

Dasher + Fisher Mountain Gin category London Dry – 45%+

High Spirits Distillery Dry Gin category London Dry – 42%

Hunter Distillery Aged Gin category Wood Aged – 48-52%

Never Never Juniper Freak Gin category Contemporary Styles – Australia – 52-68%

Kalki Moon “Solstice Barrel Aged Gin” category Wood Aged – 44-45%

KIS Whisky Barrel Gin category Cask Finish – 40-46%

Original Classic Dry category London Dry – 40%+

Stone Pine Dry Gin category  Contemporary Styles – Australia – 40-43%+

The Splendid Gin category Contemporary Styles – Australia – 40-43%+

The Story Gin category Contemporary Styles – Australia – 40-43%+

Underground Spirits Signature Gin category Gin & Tonic

World Gin Day 2017 competition

Spirits Business Gin Masters 2018

Spirit competitions are many and varied, particularly in the gin arena, where distillers battle it out in an ever more saturated category. Whatever your views are on the merits of competitions, they are a welcome pat on the back for hardworking distillers, keen to see how their products stack up against other gins.

The Spirits Business Gin Masters 2018 revealed its results overnight and Australian distillers have done us proud. The results are particularly thrilling when you learn that the medal tally has quadrupled in the last 5 years, with quality becoming ever more important.

The gins were segmented into different sectors according to price and style, then blind-tasted by a panel of experts. Here are the Aussie medallists! For the full list of winners, head here.

Ultra Premium

Spirits Business Gin Masters 2018

The Melbourne Gin Company Single Shot gin ~ Master. Praised for  “its excellent botanical recipe” and “good length”.

Melbourne Gin Company Dry Gin

The Melbourne Gin Company Dry Gin ~ Gold

Super Premium

Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin ~ Silver



Four Pillars Spiced Negroni ~ Master. Praise from the judges : This is exactly the type of product I expect to get when the best distillers challenge what gin can be.”

Kangaroo Island Wild Gin ~ Silver

Archie Rose Signature Dry Gin ~ Silver

Brookie’s Byron Dry Gin ~Silver

Archie Rose Distiller’s Strength ~ Silver

Micro distillery

Never Never Distilling Triple Juniper Gin ~ Gold. Praise from the judges: “juicy, well­-integrated palate

Never Never Distilling Co Southern Strength ~ Silver

Cask Aged

Four Pillars Sherry Cask ~ Gold

Four Pillars Chardonnay Barrel Gin ~ Silver

Navy Strength


Four Pillars Navy Strength ~ Master. Praise from the judges: “a masterclass in distilling 

Flavoured Gin

Brookie’s Slow Gin ~ Silver

Kangaroo Island Spirits Old Tom Gin ~ Silver


Congratulations to all the distillers for their awards and raising the profile of our thriving industry on the global stage.

30 Martinis for you to try!

The proper union of gin and vermouth is a great and sudden glory; it is one of the happiest marriages on earth, and one of the shortest lived.” Bernard DeVoto

Happy World Martini Day! For me, martinis are hard to beat, however I hear from many of you that martinis are too strong or overpowering to become a regular in your gin cocktail repertoire.

There are so many different ways to try them, so I firmly believe there is a martini out there for everyone!

So here are 30 martinis you must try!

Millionaire’s Martini

Millionaire's Martini

Champagne and gin? What’s not to love? Full recipe here.

Sloe Gin Martini

Sloe Gin Martini

Sloe gin isn’t just for sipping over ice! Full recipe here.

Fifty-Fifty Martini

fifty-fifty martini

Equal parts vermouth and gin, this is a perfect martini for the beginner! Full recipe here.

Boomerang Martini

Boomerang martini

A popular drink from the 30’s and 40’s. Full recipe here.

Vesper martini

007’s creation (we won’t talk about his preference for vodka martinis…). Full recipe here.

Arnaud Martini

Arnaud martini

Named after the pre-war French singer, Yvonne Arnaud. Full recipe here

Burnt Martini

A little something for the whisky lovers. Full recipe here.

Spanish Martini


Spanish martini

Gin and sherry? Si Si! Full recipe here.

Can Can Martini

Can-can martini

A French flavour to this martini! Full recipe here.

Sweet Martini

Sweet Martini

Not all martinis need to be dry! Full recipe here.

Perfect Martini

All martinis are perfection. This one even more so! Full recipe here.

Dirty Martini

Dirty Martini

The dirtier the better. Full recipe here

Reverse Martini

Can’t handle them dry? Then go for a reverse or ‘wet’ martini. Full recipe here

Dry Martini


My personal favourite. Full recipe here.

Earl Grey Gin Martini

More like a Mar-tea-ni. Full recipe here.

Breakfast Martini

Gin for breakfast? Why not. Full recipe here.


Jinzu gin saketini

Sake and gin go together so well! Full recipe here.


Gibson martini 58 gin

The garnish is a bonus! Full recipe here.



Ranked number three in “The World’s 10 Most Famous Cocktails in 1934”! Full recipe here

The Third Degree

Third degree

Take your pick from a third or fourth (!) degree. Full recipe here.

The Puritan


A late 19th Century cocktail. Full recipe here.

Hanky Panky

Ada Coleman’s classic! Full recipe here.

Rolls Royce


The Savoy Cocktail book strikes again! Full recipe here.

Usual Suspects

The Usual Suspects

A beautiful cocktail that Jim Meehan created for his bar PDT in New York. Full recipe here.



An Old Tom gin based martini. Full recipe here.

Spring Forward

Spring Forward

Sasha Petraske’s riff on a Gibson. Full recipe here.


Marguerite Cocktail

A precursor to the dry martini. Full recipe here.


A Martinez, enjoyed at the Lui Bar, Melbourne

A delightful blend of gin, vermouth and maraschino liqueur. Full recipe here.



A classic from the Savoy Cocktail book. Full recipe here.


Don’t be scared of the absinthe, it’s delicious in this cocktail! Full recipe here.

Which one is your favourite?

If you are interested in the history of the martini, grab yourself a copy of Jared Brown’s book ‘Shaken Not Stirred, A celebration of the martini’

World Gin Day 2018 Distillers Dinner

Join me for a special Distillers Dinner at Arc One Gallery, with food by Cumulus Inc. featuring five of Australia’s leading distillers.

Joining us will be; Cameron Mackenzie – Four Pillars Gin, Dr. Dervilla McGowan – Anther Spirits, Nicole Durdin – Seppeltsfield Road Distillers, Myffanwy Kernke – Shene Estate & Distillery and Tim Boast – Never Never Distillery.

They will each share their stories and introduce their gins before we enjoy it neat and in a cocktail matched with a delicious dish by Cumulus Inc., all in the beautiful surrounds of Arc One Gallery


Tickets are $155 and include 5 dishes, 5 gins and 5 cocktails.

Limited dietary requirements available.

Book now to avoid disappointment!

With thanks to our sponsors:

WIN 2 two tickets to the Anther gin/Taxi Kitchen World Gin Day Botanical High Tea

Haven’t made plans for World Gin Day yet? Don’t worry, I’ve got a couple of tickets for the Anther/Taxi Kitchen World Gin Day Botanical High Tea on Saturday 9th June for you to win!

Anther gin won the Champion Gin award at the Australian Distilled Spirits Awards earlier this year. Their famous Cherry gin has recently been joined by ‘Habitat’, a gin made using botanicals grown in the heart of the Melbourne CBD.

Taxi Kitchen focusses on sustainable, locally sourced produce, with Executive Chef Tony Twitchett delivering contemporary Australian cuisine with a hint of Asian influence.

Taxi Kitchen & Anther Gin take you on a botanical journey through 5 continents over a 5 course lunch matched with 5 gin cocktails.

Anther gin/Taxi Kitchen World Gin Day Botanical High Tea (Saturday 9th June, 1-4pm), Federation Square Level 1, Melbourne1 pm – 4pm



  • Entrants with the correct answer will be drawn at random on Wednesday 6th June
  • The winner will be notified via email on Thursday 7th June
  • Tickets cannot be exchanged for cash. If you are unable to attend, another winner will be drawn.
  • Open to over 18s only