Gin, that most quintessentially English of drinks, is one which we laud ourselves as giving to the world. A drink that gave rise to an image of debauched drunkeness in the days of Hogarth, sophistication in the cocktail age and has been louche anywhere in-between. Incidentally, as with much that we laud as a great British gift to the world, we actually got the idea elsewhere. Namely the Lowlands, when Jenever became Gin. So that said, it doesn’t seem too much of a liberty that our colonial cousins are getting in on the act and distilling their own.
Out of Western Australia comes West Winds Gin. With it’s artisanal small still production and uniquely Aussie approach, they are whipping up a storm in the gin world and beyond. The guys at West Winds pride themselves on “a taste which is unique, sophisticated; international with a local signature” and it’s not just talk, having proven their mettle straight off with initial forays into the international scene. Winning gold for their Sabre and double gold for Cutlass at the 2011 San Francisco International Spirit Awards, it was an introduction to the gin world to the boys from the West.
Using triple filtered rain water from the Margaret River region and recipes peppered with indigenous botanicals this is a tipple distinctly West Australian. Wattle seed, bush tomato and lemon myrtle in particular adding to the list of a dozen botanicals used in both the Sabre and the Cutlass. With a few years of success under their belts you are sure to see West Winds on a bar near you soon; wherever that maybe.
Max is a freelance writer currently based in Australia. You can follow him on Twitter on @maxbrearley and on his blog