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Drink of choice

April 23, 2012
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The West Winds Gin and tonic at The Aylesbury, by candlelight

It’s hard to find a drink of choice. There are so many to choose from and it depends on your mood and a million other what-nots.

But at some stages in life there’s that drink you go to and it feels alright every time. Sometimes it’s a favourite bottle of wine to share with girlfriends, a special red you and a partner love, a go-to-celebratory sparkle for milestones.

I found a favourite tipple not so long ago and although I loved it I was a little sad it was in short supply. Times are changing though and now, when I scan the spirit bottles rising high behind the bar, I’ll settle upon a couple of towering bottles of Gin. West Winds they call it, and it’s divine.

Savoury without getting too involved, potent enough to make a point without pushing you over and flavoursome enough to cut through tonic and a slither of something (cucumber, if the bargods are generous), it’s my go-to tipple. If you’ve got an effusive palette you might pick up lemon myrtle, Wattle seed, coriander or native bush tomato too.

The handsome taller and younger playmate of my other pal, a squat and serious Hendricks, this gin, is remarkable.

I interviewed a bloke behind it not so long ago, Jeremy (Jezz to his mates). He’s a gin fan through and through, give him a minute and he’ll talk about it for hours.

Together with his compatriots, who he describes as “Doctor Paul White, Jackie Chan and Mayo Clarke,” (a fiction) he makes the good stuff in Western Australia’s Margaret River, but resides here in Melbourne.

The mission? “We want to show Australia and the world that we can distill and produce great spirits. We have been making great beer and wine in this country for over 200 years; it is time for hard liquor to stand up.” Indeed.

“We wanted to make a contemporary yet locally-flavoured gin. It is important for us to utilise as much local product as possible, whilst retaining a global feel. The coriander is from Margaret River and we only import a small amount of juniper. We used cinnamon myrtle and lemon myrtle for spice and Wattle seed for texture and mouthfeel, in our English dry style, The Sabre. For The Cutlass recipe we increased the coriander: both root and seed and then added our native bush tomato. This little berry-like matter delivers a savoury, vegetal tone unlike anything seen before. To compliment this we have used Margaret River water as most of us spent our teenage years kicking around the clean surf and rolling green hills down south.”

Try the two but for my vote, it’s The Cutlass (the green bottle), a good book and some sunshine.


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