Give Dad the ultimate Fathers’ Day gift - a bottle of gin from The Canberra Distillery!
The Canberra Distillery is a local business run by Tim Reardon. Tim loves hanging out at markets where he chats to passionate Canberra locals and discusses the exciting new spirits he has in the works. We interviewed Tim about all things gin and found out about the ‘Summer Gin’ – of which there is a bottle up for grabs for Fathers’ Day!
To win, simply leave a comment at the bottom of this interview. The winner will be announced on Instagram on the evening of Thursday 30th August.
How is gin made?
There are a few different ways of making gin; vapour infused, pot infused and compound gin.
Vapour infused gin is where all of the botanicals are placed in the column. It works well for botanicals that don’t like high heat.
Pot infused gin is where all the botanicals are in the pot. Juniper likes the heat from the pot to release all of its flavours.
Compound gin requires each flavour to be distilled individually and then combined for a complex flavour.
Essentially these are the three different ways of infusing botanicals into a spirit.
The Canberra Distillery use all three methods for the different gins they make. Sometimes a combination of all three, it depends on the desired outcome.
Making the base spirits themselves also makes The Canberra Distillery fairly unique as there are only a few distilleries in the country who do this.
Making the base spirit
1. Fermentation - at Bentspoke at Mitchell.
2. Distilling - this step is about removing all flavours. This is simply boiling for 8 to 12 hours to separate the alcohol from the water.
3. Gin making - 2 parts 94% alcohol is placed with 3 parts water.
a. Sometimes we put all of the botanicals in the column.
b. Sometimes we put all the botanicals in the pot.
c. Sometimes it is a combination .
4. It is then boiled again for 4 to 6 hours. This adds flavour to the alcohol.
5. Post production- filtering, flocking, bottling, labelling ... cleaning.
The truth is, 90% of distilling is simply cleaning things.
What is the role and importance of botanicals in gin?
Botanicals are what gin is all about. Without these, the gin would be flavourless.
You also need to consider how the flavours combine when mixed with something such as tonic, or if the gin is intended to be consumed straight.
Is there a limit to the botanicals that you can put in?
Yes there is.
Alcohol has limited hygroscopic power. This is essentially its ability to bond with flavours. If the flavour level is too high then the gin will appear cloudy. There is however, no limit to the diversity of botanicals you can place in a gin.
The Summer Gin has over 30 different botanicals. Our Dry Gin has 7 botanicals.
What is the Summer Gin all about, and can you name a few ingredients that give it its distinct flavour?
Summer Gin was intended to be all the flavours of Canberra Summer.
To me it was about making a big fruity gin. My thought at the time was sitting outside on a hot summer afternoon in Canberra, drinking GnT. So it contains strawberry, blackberry, raspberry, passionfruit, apricot and many more. I think of all the fruits that go on a pavlova.
It also contains Mountain Pepperberry from Braidwood and Strawberry Gum from Tarago. I grew up between those two towns, so that is a little personal piece.
What do you like about working with native Australian ingredients?
I like that they are not borrowing from somewhere else. They can be tricky to work with. Pepperberry can be very hot.
Visit https://www.thecanberradistillery.com.au to find out more and see what other exciting products they have to offer.
Leave a comment and win!
Win a bottle of Summer Gin and taste the fruity gin with your dad. Simply leave a comment below. The winner will be announced on Instagram on the evening of Thursday 30th August.