Ever had a sip of something, or been hit with a fragrance, and instantly been reminded of another place and time? Frank Bethel, Phillip Moore and Will Miles are behind newly launched Distillery Botanica. They have created a gin inspired by their favourite summer memories. “We wanted to come up with a gin that had the scent of an Australian summer garden,” says Miles, partner and brand director. “The garden is our muse, we see what is growing and take inspiration from that.”
Summery scents are evoked by the hero botanical, the murraya flower, extracted using the traditional process of enfleurage, where flowers are laid on a layer of coconut oil, which absorbs their fragrance. The perfume is then extracted to infuse into the gin with notes of jasmine, honeysuckle and orange blossom. Other seasonal botanicals include sage, angelica, coriander, orris root and juniper. “The different botanicals are distilled individually, at different rates, because some things reach their perfect purity at different temperatures,” says Miles, “giving the gin a much cleaner taste.”
The name hints at the process of creating the gin. The botanicals that make up the body are hand-picked from the garden of the distillery, 90 minutes from Sydney on a property in Erina. “It is a really natural process,” says Miles, “there will be variation as to what botanicals we might use, depending on what is growing. The flavour will stay consistent but those with a serious nose might pick up subtle variations.”
Tim Phillips from Dead Ringer bar and restaurant on Bourke Street, has created two bespoke cocktails inspired by the gin. The first is a refreshing house aperitif with the gin, semillon, tonic water and a lemon wedge garnish. The second is the Garden Martini, with Distillery Botanica gin, vermouth and benedictine, served with a few drops of herb and olive oil. As a final sensory flourish, Phillips sprays a murraya perfume he created over the glass, filling your nose with the scent of a summer garden before you even take your first sip.
The Distillery Botanica Garden Martini is available exclusively at Dead Ringer, Surry Hills. Distillery Botanica Gin is available by the bottle or case at distillerybotanica.com.