You may know Australia’s fame as a natural wonder and one of the most urbanized countries worldwide. But apart from its beaches, deserts, coral reef attractions, and urban jungle, it’s also stirring up a reputation in the gin industry. Gin excels in a botanical-rich flora. Thus, Australia’s entrance into the gin world shouldn’t be a surprise.
Australian gin makers use indigenous botanicals like lemon myrtle, pepper berry, yuzu, and kurrajong. These native ingredients help give Australian gins an original identity and stand out among other gins. Furthermore, they can be the palate adventure you want. Therefore, when you visit the country down under, you should sample the top rated gins in Australia in different styles. You can get the best gin martinis or that negroni flavor you’ve never tasted.
Gin relies heavily on botanicals for its flavor, taste, and character. Thus, getting exotic notes on your taste buds in Australian gins isn’t surprising. However, they have also introduced some new lines of gins you may not get elsewhere. Below are some of the best gins that can give your palate a new awakening.
- Best Grape-Related Gins
Australia’s wine industry is world-renown even though it’s a new world wine country. Thus, you can’t miss an Australian wine around the globe. Australian gin producers have found a way to infuse the juniper-based spirit with various grape varieties. Thus, you might get gins with character notes of grapes such as pinot noir, chardonnay, riesling, or shiraz.
Take a shiraz-infused gin like the Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz, for example. The juniper gives you its piney flavor and fruitiness. At the same time, the shiraz enhances the pepperiness of the juniper. Furthermore, shiraz is a bold, full-bodied grape with aromatic notes of black fruit and smoke. Thus, it gives the gin a balance of sweetness and spice. These characteristics help give shiraz gin complexity and versatility.
Thus, with these characteristics, you can have a shiraz gin as a long drink on the rocks with a tonic or cocktail. Gin drinkers can prefer to use a pink tonic for their shiraz gin, so you can also try it. However, it might come out sweeter than you expect. You can try out various shiraz-based cocktails, ranging from the famous negroni to signature ones. The trick is to ensure a balance of citrus and tropical flavors.
The infusion of the shiraz also means the gin can be paired with some Australian food. Therefore, you can pair it with pre-dinner dry snacks and bites while watching a sundowner. During meals, you can pair a bottle of Shiraz gin with your appetizers.
- Best Barrel-Aged Gins
It’s not uncommon for spirit producers to age their products in barrels from another country or region. Thus, you can find Scotch whisky aged in American oak barrels. Australian gin producers have adopted this technique to great success. Therefore, the current Australian gin market has gin aged in different barrels. The barrels help give the spirit an additional flavor and character.
For instance, some gins, such as the Four Pillar Chardonnay Barrel Gin, undergo aging in French oak ex-chardonnay barrels. These barrels influence the gin, giving it a buttery and citrus peel character. Additionally, you can get cinnamon and vanilla aromas with hints of preserved lemon. The color of the chardonnay barrel gin can be pale yellow or golden depending on its duration in the barrel. However, the color can also depend on the age of the barrel itself. An older barrel can give a deeper golden gin than a younger one.
Most chardonnay barrel producers don’t recommend this gin for your usual gin and tonic drink. However, they recommend drinking on rocks or as a cocktail. You can have this gin late in the evening by the fireplace as you would a whisky. Alternatively, you can create your signature cocktails or have various versions of classic cocktails. For instance, your gin version of the Old-Fashioned cocktail might get you hooked on the chardonnay barrel gin.
You can also try the sherry cask gins while in Australia. Like the chardonnay barrel gin, this gin is aged in sherry cask barrels. The barrels can be from the Spanish sherry regions or the Australian Apera Some of the barrels range from 15 to 35 years old. The resultant gin, such as the Four Pillars Sherry Cask, is a deep golden spirit with rich nut and fruit flavors. You can also get notes of pine oil undertones.
In addition, marrying the juniper pine notes with the sherry cask gives the gin a spicey character with a residual sweet finish. It makes the Sherry Cask Gin your ideal evening drink after a long day. You can sip it on rock, neat, or get creative with a signature cocktail. This gin can be your go-to drink, especially if you’re a sherry fan.
Your visit to Australia might be to take in the sights and its rich culture. However, letting your palate experience some of the country’s best gins would be ideal. Some native gin botanicals like bergamot, yuzu, and kumquat can give you a new look at Australian gins. In addition, the grape and barrel gin concepts above produce some of the best gins. Thus, it wouldn’t be best to let your visit end before trying their broad gin range.