With its single centre pin of juniper, gin has a genuinely limitless potential for botanicals and techniques to create different flavours and textures. But these five craft Australian gins stand out beyond the rest.
Of course, sometimes all we want is a simple straightforward gin to go with our tonic, to drink and enjoy without thinking about it too much.
Other times, we’re looking for an experience; for something that will enhance our cocktail, to sip on a spirit that has its own voice.
Not only do these five gins do exactly that, they also make the best Father’s Day gift for gin dads.
Aged for two months in ex-Australian single malt whisky barrels, this golden gin glints with subtle vanilla that plays beautifully with the juniper.
A light smoke and buttery finish complete a remarkable gin that’s perfect for sipping neat or in an old fashioned.
Owner-distillers Jon and Sarah Lark have run this beautiful gin distillery on Kangaroo Island, SA since 2002. And as Jon is Bill Lark’s brother, you’d think odds are better than most that Kangaroo Island Spirits is using ex-Lark whisky casks to age this gin.
The deep golden red of this gin comes from careful ageing in ex-Barossa Shiraz casks which, before that, held American bourbon.
Along with those rich Shiraz, whiskey and American oak notes, the gin within releases juniper, blood orange, wormwood, coriander, ginger, lemon myrtle and lavender, and a host of other enticing botanicals.
The result is a wonderfully complex, structured gin that not only drinks well with a single ice cube but also shifts gears on a negroni like a rally driver.
Citrus and coriander are popular flavours in gin, but this clear, bright spirit gets its profile from an unlikely botanical.
Green ants, native to Australia, bring a truly unique aspect to this already delicious gin. Their sharp citrusy impact brings a G&T to life, and the gin works brilliantly in a southside too.
Owner of Seven Seasons Daniel Motlop has brought millennia of knowledge from his people - the Larrakia of the Darwin region - to create a set of spirits that reflect the seven distinct seasons of his land.
A popular bush tucker around August and September, these green ants are a traditional indicator of the Big Wind season.
Named after the forty spotted pardalote - one Australia’s rarest birds and now only found in Tasmania, this gin is a rarity indeed.
The deep regal purply red of this gin comes from the finest Tasmanian Pinot Noir grapes and gives a fruity sweetness that couples beautifully with the peppery juniper and fragrant spices of the Forty Spotted gin, making it the perfect aperitif.
This Tasmanian gin distillery - a counterpart to Bill Lark’s award-winning whisky distillery - has also quite literally changed the way we look at gin with its unique upside down bottles - a statement for any home bar.
Released seasonally by Ian Glen, owner-distiller of Stone Pine Distillery in Bathurst, NSW, Orange Blossom Gin is a direct descendent of Ian’s excellent classic Dry Gin.
The point of difference is the exquisite floral tinge from hand-picked orange tree flowers Ian forages from orchards in nearby Narromine. Blending seamlessly with edgy juniper and the sharpness of pink finger limes, the orange blossoms add an exotic inflection to an already superior gin.
This gin makes a truly unsurpassable martini and puts a delicious exclamation point on a negroni.