At Echuca Distillery, David and Fiona De Vries switch up their distilling methods depending which gin they’re making. The base spirit might be made from grain or grapes, and the botanicals might be steeped in the spirit prior to distillation or added to a basket in the vapour trail.
Their dry gin is made with nine classic and four native botanicals – wild thyme, lemon myrtle, aniseed myrtle and pepperberry. Australian-grown oranges are added to the vapour trail for a citrus tint.
The more experimental styles include a small-batch gin that uses Australian-grown passionfruit and organic butterfly pea flowers to create a blue hue that turns pink when tonic is added. There’s also a saffron gin, distilled with citrus and spring onions, that’s designed to pair with spicy Asian dishes.
The distillery also makes vodkas infused with native pepperberry, lemon myrtle, anise myrtle and musk rose, plus four agaves – including one distilled with wattleseed, pepperberry and saltbush, and another that’s lightly oaked.
Taste your way through the extensive range via a flight at the on-site Bar Lee. It also has a lengthy G&T menu – with tonic and garnishes matched to each gin – and cocktails such as a barrel-aged Old Fashioned (made with gin aged in old port barrels), a Classic Martini and a Margarita with agave.
To eat, there’s saffron-polenta chips, fresh mussels, and slow-roasted pork belly from local producer Pacdon Park. Relax out front to take in the streetscape or head upstairs to the balcony, where there’s often live music.
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