Balcombe Gin – Like your G & T dirty? $104
~ The best gin distillery in Mornington Peninsula
Capturing the coastal flavours of Mornington, Balcombe Gin is the first ‘official’ release from talented winemaker Barney Flanders of Garagiste Wines. Its savoury tones make it the best thirst-quenching G & T, especially after a hard day on the beach!
Made with 20 botanicals, this gin focusses strongly on the local plants of samphire, saltbush, kelp and wild fennel pollen. Its salty and umami tones are interplayed with sweeter offerings of blood orange, lemon verbena, ginger and coriander.
If you like a Dirty Martini or a Dirty G & T, Balcombe is for you. For a subtle take, try soda with a twist of citrus – the sea spray tones shine through.
Great Ocean Road Split Point Navy Strength Gin $118 (57%)
~ Trophy winning navy strength gin
Another coastal gin, this time from along the rugged and striking Great Ocean Road. Based in Airey’s Inlet, distiller Ann Houlihan has relocated from Melbourne to follow her twin loves of gin and this ancient coastline.
At the core of this gin are local botanicals including two eucalypts, saltbush and pepper berries. Being navy strength, it carries the extra hit of alcohol very well (57% ABV, thanks sailor). A warming smoothness, not the sharp and angulated sensation you sometimes get with inferior gins in this tricky category.
No wonder it picked up the Trophy for Best Navy Strength Gin at the Australian Gin Awards earlier this year.
Serve it with yellow grapefruit in a G & T. Or, rumour has it, it makes an incredibly delicious martini!
McHenry Federation Gin $85 (42.2%)
~ the gin they serve in Parliament
McHenry Distillery was approached by Parliament House to create a gin that represents the states and territories of Australia. This is the result. A heady mix of the unique flora from around Australia.
McHenry Distillery rests on the side of Mount Arthur on the Tasman Peninsula, sitting around Port Arthur. This family owned distillery makes gin, whisky and vodka (if you ever see a bottle of their whisky nab it, it’s one of Australia’s best!).
Their gin range is extensive, it’s actually mind boggling to see how many styles of gin they produce. They are true masters of gin, their reputation led to a knock on the door from Parliament House – to create a gin that captures the essence of Australia. And democratically quenches the thirst after a particularly rowdy session in Question Time.
Botanicals include Kakadu Plum from the Northern Territory, Lemon Myrtle from Queensland, Strawberry Gum from New South Wales, Mountain Pepperleaf from the Australian Capital Territory, South Australian Wattle Seed, Cinnamon Myrtle from Victoria, Tasmanian Celery Top Pine, and Quandong from Western Australia.
This is a savoury and peppery style gin, very complex with layers of flavour. If you’d like a peppery Negroni, then this is for you. We love it served with tonic (or even soda) – to tap into the wonderful mix of Aussie flora.