Have you ever tried to ‘make’ or blend your own gin? A great thing about the craft industry is the number of distilleries that offer guided gin making classes or kits.
If you’re like us, it’s not particularly confidence boosting in your own gin making skills. What it does do, is give you a greater appreciation for the skill and dedication for the craft. It also means when a distiller like Kyle at Finders tells you he worked on his gin recipe for 1.5 years, you truly believe it.
We were fortunate to receive a deeper insight into the process behind Finders first release, their Australian Dry Gin. Kyle has just about every botanical he considered and experimented with, bottled as single distillates. The opportunity to smell and even taste some of these botanicals and see their place in the final recipe was incredibly educational.
We’ve had the chance to do this at a few distilleries and it opens your senses far more to the pieces that make up the final bottle product. It’s also kind of fascinating to hear about, then smell or taste, some of the botanicals that don’t make the cut.
In Finders case the recipe is relatively simple in terms of overall botanicals. Just nine make up the recipe including orange peel, camomile (wow), native gum and wattle seed (which we love) in addition to some of the classic gin botanicals (juniper, coriander seed, oris, angelica and cassia).
When you first smell the gin, it’s reassuring to discover a healthy amount of juniper. You’ll also find soft citrus from the orange peel, blended with sweet floral notes from the chamomile and soft eucalypt from the native (peppermint) gum.
Both on the nose and palate, one thing we admire about how Kyle has produced this gin is how he’s balanced some otherwise dominant botanicals. A number of the botanicals, particularly the orange peel and wattle seed could easily throw out the balance if not used sparingly. Kyle has taken these and woven them in beautifully, to the point where it’s challenging to pick them out until you’re looking for them.
On the palate the gin is smooth and sippable. The juniper is forward as on the nose and accompanied by subtle citrus. The gin has a long savoury finish kindly delivered by the wattle seed. It’s subtle, but after a few sips and letting the gin sit on your tongue those chocolate, caramel notes come through right at the end.
This is a simple, yet complex gin at the same time. As Kyle explains he didn’t want any one botanical to be the hero. He just wanted each botanical to have its place, work together, but to provide interest and complexity to discover. If you ask us he’s absolutely succeeded and we love this gin for that reason.
If you’re enjoying this as a g&t we recommend ruby grapefruit with Capi’s regular tonic. The slightly higher sugar content works here over our usual dry tonic.
For a cocktail suggestion we’re happy to recommend a Martinez. This precursor to the martini really suits Finder’s dry gin.
Special thanks to Charles at Moya’s Juniper Lounge for whipping this one up for us. If you’re local and it’s too much trouble to mix this up for yourself, we highly recommend heading over there where they’ll do a sterling job for you.
40ml Finders Cry Gin
30ml Punt e Mes – alternatively 20ml sweet and 10ml dry vermouth of your choice
Teaspoon of Grand Marnier
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Stir over ice until chilled and serve in your favourite martini glass. Garnish with glace cumquat.