From the Author
We are in an unprecedented Australian gin boom. Distillers are winning prestigious global awards. Exports are starting to rise. The number of distilleries is growing exponentially. It is difficult for even the most dedicated fanatic to keep up, until now. Two years ago it became my mission to spread the word. So, whether you have already caught the Australian gin bug or maybe starting from scratch, this is definitely the book for you.
For many years – in my case decades – the 6 o’clock G&T ritual was more a habit. To be honest, I didn’t really love gin, but I certainly enjoyed it. I love good wine, good cocktails and good food, but back then I didn’t actually love gin. It was a surprise to me to discover that Australia even made gin despite the fact that, at that time, we had been doing so for over a decade. As I tried more Australian gin, my enjoyment grew, as did my curiosity and desire for more information. My search was extensive. Sure, there were occasional articles in magazines, newspapers, online and even the odd TV spot, but if you wanted to dig a little deeper into the world of Australian gin, there was bugger all. I honestly felt shocked. How could this be? Someone had to change that, and it might as well be me.
It wasn’t long before I fell in love with Australian craft gin. Those in the know say that gin is the wine lover’s spirit. It has flavours and aromas that are often used to describe the taste and bouquet of wine like floral, berries, length, bold, etc. It seemed natural then that this wine lover should fall head over heels for gin. Not satisfied with a book, discovering that so many people had no idea about Australian gin and having a particular patriotic bent, I took up the cause and became evangelical. I even started an Australian gin related business, Gintonica, to share the taste of Australian craft gin.
Over and over again people were asking questions like: How is gin made? What are the different ways to drink gin? What garnishes should I use? What tonics? What exactly is gin anyway!? Who are the people behind gin distilling? Where are they all? And, as a bit of a history nut, I also wanted to know where and when the first Australian gin was made and by whom?
The most surprising statement that I still come across on a very regular basis is: “I didn’t know that Australia made gin.” Most people know that we make rum, brandy and whisky, but gin? When I inform them that we have, in fact, over 150 distilleries making gin, they are astounded.
I wanted to write a book that could be enjoyed on many levels. For example, to discover where the distilleries are, their cellar doors and tasting rooms, the people involved in the industry and their gins. On the other hand, you can also pick up on some of the hot topics in the gin community and delve even deeper. For example, whether the ways of making a gin are important, the definition of gin styles, the ideas of provenance in Australian gin, what exactly defines a “craft gin”, what is involved in setting up a distillery and so much more.
Before you dive into these pages, do not miss the words on the next page. I was humbled that Jon Lark agreed to write the foreword to this book. He and Sarah Lark founded the first dedicated gin distillery in the modern era on Kangaroo Island. Jon touches on all the important aspects of gin in Australia today and is a perfect way to get started.
David Box l Gintonica