Guide to Australian Gin

The number of gin-making distilleries in Australia has exploded over the last few years, with the number swelling from less than 10 five years ago to over 100 today.

This surge has been led thanks to the ever growing popularity of the spirit both domestically and internationally and with the entire spirit distilling industry in Australia growing, this is not likely to change any time soon.

For consumers, the swathe of new distilleries opening up results in there being a plethora of new and exciting tasting experiences thanks to the vast number of unique botanicals found on the island continent, including seaweed, whey (a by-product of cheese), pepper leaf, and lemon myrtle.

A common characteristic of Australian gins is their highly experimental nature, with many distillers choosing to barrel age their products and use highly unusual botanicals like shiraz grapes, which results in plenty of differentiated product options available in the market.

This article explores some of the unique botanicals employed by Australian gin distilleries.

Map of Australian Gin Distilleries & Brands

Australian Gin Distilleries Map

Although a very young industry when compared to the well-established British or other European gin markets, gin-making in Australia is experiencing a rapid growth, resulting in the emergence of a new distillery almost every month.

Some of the prominent distilleries and brands today include Four Pillars, a Yarra Valley distillery that produces the award winning Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin and Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin, the Archie Rose Distilling Co., a Sydney-based distillery that produces gin, whisky, and vodka, and is famous for crafting bottles such as the Archie Rose Signature Dry Gin, the Manly Spirits Co., another Sydney-based operation that crafts heavily maritime-influenced gins such as the Manly Spirits Coastal Citrus Gin, and finally, the Adelaide Hills Distillery, which produces exquisite small batch bottles that include the Adelaide Hills 78° Dry Gin.

These are but four of the many distilleries across Australia that are now venturing into the production of gin and with new craft and small batch distilling operations opening up constantly, this is by no means an exhaustive list.

Pairing Food with Australian Gin

For those looking to go beyond the traditional Gin & Tonic, Australian gin allows consumers to experiment with incredibly flavoursome cocktails that are created by each individual distillery and personalised to each of their bottles.

Australian dry style gins, including the Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin or Adelaide Hills 78° Dry Gin, can be consumed in classic cocktails such as the Negroni, or can be combined into bespoke distillery-created cocktails such as the Drop Bear or the Lemon Aspen Collins.

Incredibly craft and small batch Australian gins, such as the Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin, should be consumed with tonic water or straight over ice with a slice of orange, to help preserve the nuanced flavours emanating from the botanicals used during distillation.

Citrus-focused or maritime-influenced gins, including the Manly Spirits Coastal Citrus Gin, can be combined with tonic water to create a highly refreshing summer drink, or can also be used in a distillery-crafted cocktail such as the Pear & Elderflower Gimlet.

For additional cocktail recommendations, read this article.

Pairing Food with Australian Gin

When looking to pair Australian gins with food it is recommended to follow similar methods used when pairing other countries gins with food.

For dry style gins, which are typically juniper-heavy and notably dry, it is ideal to pair these with many cured or smoked meats as the strong flavours of both the dish and the drink play well off of each other.

For an Australian twist, be sure to match Australian dry style gins with many of the smoked meats and seafood found at barbecues or summertime luncheons.

Maritime or citrus-influenced Australian gins match extremely well with seafood dishes, including steamed prawns, pan-fried salmon, and seafood salads as the salty and fresh citrus flavours of the gins pair adeptly with the flavours present in the food.

Finally, for very craft Australian gins, it is important to consume them alongside dishes that complement the flavours of the botanicals used.

As an example, consider the Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin. As this gin uses shiraz grapes in the botanical mix, it contains flavours of plum and blackberry alongside the more common peppery spice and pine flavours coming from the juniper.

This means it is ideal to consume this gin with food common at catering events, including olives and prosciutto, as these mix well with the dry flavours of the gin.

There's a bottle of Australian gin out there for everyone. Here are some of the brands and bottles that we recommend you look out for the next time you're browsing gin online or in-store.

Never Never Triple Juniper Gin Tasting Notes
Being very dry, bitter, & peppery, this craft gin is perfect for those who prefer a dry & bitter style of juniper-forward gin.

Never Never Distilling Triple Juniper

Australian Distilled Gin
Never Never Southern Strength Gin Tasting Notes
A bold & high ABV craft gin, this distilled gin is best used in a swathe of gin cocktails thanks to its ability to cut through almost any mixer.

Never Never Distilling Southern Strength

Australian Distilled Gin
Wildspirit Bloody Merry Gin Tasting Notes
A unique craft gin, it is light-bodied & rather subtle in its flavour profile, making it great for sipping on neat or mixed with softer tonic waters.

Wildspirit Bloody Merry

Australian Distilled Gin

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