By Sebastian Reaburn
Recently, we saw Junipalooza come to Melbourne. This is a London Craft Gin extravaganza, where small distilleries have a chance to show their spirits to a horde of gin loving consumers. Where this differs from other exhibitions, you cannot show your spirit if the distiller isn’t there. With one small rule, pretty much all of the big multi-national gin brands were unable to hog the stage with their much bigger budgets. This created a level playing field for all the small producers to show their wares and talk to the consumers buying their gin. It was a great event, with nearly 2,000 gin lovers making their way to the historic Meat Market in North Melbourne to taste 29 local and international gins. It also meant that a few passionate gin distillers from around the world made the trip over to show their spirits to Melbourne. One distiller was Darren Rook of Dodd’s Gin and the London Distillery. So we thought what could be better than getting together with an international distiller and making a one off collaboration!
Welcome to The Craft & Co’s first international spirit, Gin Joint, created by Dodd’s Gin, Artemis Gin and The Craft & Co.
On Monday the 17th of October Darren Rook and myself sat down for the first time and discussed what we were going to make. Luckily, it was clear that we shared the same approach to flavour and distilling!
After an hour of chatting, tasting and crushing botanicals, we had a rough paper recipe of what we wanted to make. So that night, we set our juniper to macerate, and I went in search of a couple of unique ingredients.
Thank you to Matt and Vanessa from Melbourne Rooftop Honey, they looked after us with a last minute order of honey harvested from Fitzroy and North Melbourne. Dodd’s in London use local urban honey in their gin, and it was great to be able to source delicious Melbourne Rooftop Honey for our collaboration. I also foraged some spring lavender from my garden, and some lemon, or Citriodora, Eucalyptus.
On Tuesday the 18th October, with an audience of almost 50, Darren and myself distilled a once off collaboration! Here’s the recipe;
Melbourne Rooftop Honey
Grains of paradise
A blend of our unique Australian flavours, botanicals that have served to make Dodd’s delicious, and a blend of Darren and I’s distilling styles.
The result is delicious.
Plenty of fresh juniper and really spicy coriander on the nose, followed by lavender, honey and lemon eucalyptus. Then a beautiful finish of ginger, macadamia and sweet liquorice.
This gin is certainly not, Dodd’s, nor Craft & Co or Artemis, but it brings elements from all three of these into a wholly new spirit that we love.
Only 181 bottles were made and will only be available retail from The Craft & Co.
Release date Thursday the 10th of November at the official launch of The Craft & Co Gin. 6pm till 8pm. See you there!