One of the real gems that I found at the Bar Show was Moore’s Vintage Dry Gin, produced only an hour’s drive (on a good day without traffic) outside of Sydney at the St. Fiacre Distillery on the beautiful central coast.
Handcrafted by self proclaimed wizard of the still, Philip Moore, this Vintage Dry Gin is the product of a sevenfold blend of vapour infused distallates. These are produced in a Carter Head still.
Now you may have noticed a level of explanation that I don’t usually go to, and there is a very good reason for that. There are only reckoned to be five operational Carter Head stills on this green earth and guess who has used one to produce a delightful, delicate Gin that has taken the world by storm? who else but Hendricks, of course. They too blend a number of infused distillates together to create their masterpiece.
Where Hendricks could be taken as a Scottish thumbing of noses at the bastions of English Gin conventions, Moore’s is an unashamedly Australian affair. A strong and pleasantly oily citrus base of grapefruits, Tahitian limes and wild limes from Queensland forms the base flavour and takes it towards Tanqueray Ten or Beefeater 24 territory. Setting this Gin firmly on its own in the marketplace is the addition of four Australian botanicals. Cinnamon Myrtle, Coriander seeds, Illawarra Plum and Macadamia nut give a very different finish, smooth, subtle and pleasurably different.
The branding is a bit crap, it certainly doesn’t do the product inside the bottle justice and with my marketing hat on it’s going to be tough for the brand to have the sort of success that Hendricks has, with the way its speaking now.
However, you should still find yourself a bottle, because (1) its great to have a local product that has been made this well and tastes this good, (2) you can be the cool kid introducing something before everyone knows about it, (3) It will be amazing in a long G&T or Collins this Sydney summer and (4) you can’t buy this in America (and with FDA approval of non-US native botanicals being what it is, you maybe never will be)
Philip Moore also produces a range of Australian liqueurs (38.00), which are on sale alongside the Gin (49.95) on the St. Fiacre Distillery web store if you can’t find it in a local store, or make the trip up the coast.
There’s a reason I mention the liqueurs. I’d like to update a David Wondrich cocktail to make something a little more local.
The Central Coast Classic.
60 mls Moore’s Vintage Dry Gin, 10 mls Native Plant Spirits Mandarin Liqueur, a couple of dashes of Fee’s Rhubarb Bitters. Give that a good stir over ice in a tin, and strain it over a couple of big ice cubes in an old fashioned glass and I have been garnishing pretty much everything with the peel of those amazing blood oranges that are in season right now.