Aussie Christmases mean sinking beers in the sun and too much red wine with lunch. But Easter is cooler, a little more relaxed and lasts twice as long, requiring something a little different.
Jennifer Luong (NNQ, Little NNQ) found just the thing – hot-cross-bun-flavoured gin. “I was tagged [in a Facebook post] about it by a friend,” she says. “I was ready to buy 20 cartons, then I saw ‘Postage within the UK only.’” Not even Amazon could help. Luong considered reaching out to family in Europe to see if she could get her hands on some, but in the end she resolved to make her own.
The result, “Hot X Gin”, will be available exclusively at 3rd by NNQ from Monday. But only for a limited time.
The concoction uses London dry gin as a base, infused with traditional flavours and aromas of Easter: cinnamon quills, sultanas, nutmeg, allspice, cloves and orange rind. “I added sugar just to keep a little sweetness,” says Luong. “I’m also soaking some sultanas in gin.” These she plans to use as a garnish.
Luong worked “as slave labour” in her family’s restaurant her entire childhood. Now of legal drinking age, she’s combined her love of small bar culture with the hospitality nous that’s helped define and grow her parents’ businesses. After helping launch Little NNQ, she now oversees 3rd by NNQ, which has more of a bar feel than NNQ’s other venues.
Luong’s love affair with gin blossomed following a visit to Settlers Spirits distillery in McLaren Vale. “I walked away with literally one of everything they had,” she says. All of Settlers’s varieties sit behind the bar at 3rd by NNQ, alongside around 20 others, including her own.