The whole Settlers range is based off a neutral grape spirit produced from the grapes grown in the distillery Vineyard. A couple of points to note with this, is firstly producing your own grape spirit is hard! Rowland plays this down somewhat, but it’s a time consuming and generally more costly process. It requires extra distillation runs and frankly it’s impressive that Settlers manage this process in amongst producing such a large range of gins (and whisky).
What the grape spirit does mean though is generally a softer mouthfeel to the range. Combined with blended botanicals the Rare Dry Gin is a lovely balanced (modern) dry gin.
The first thing you’ll notice when you breathe in the gin, is that it has a lovely aromatic profile on the nose. It’s been a while since we brought you a gin with the popularly used Lemon Myrtle and this is obvious in smell up front. Different to some other gins using the myrtle though, is the rare dry is balanced with orange, which gives it a rounder citrus profile.
The rare dry’s botanical mix includes some interesting natives such as muntries, native saltbush and pepperberry, alongside caraway, lemongrass and cucumber. We had to delve deeper into the muntries (native apples), being a native we weren’t familiar with. Roughly the size of your little finger nail, muntries are commonly referred to as native apples due to their look (and flavour). Contributing a spicy, cinnamon, apple flavour the muntries are a really interesting addition to the rare dry and while subtle, once we knew what to look for definitely become apparent.
As an interesting aside, the muntries are farmed and harvested by the local indigenous community, along with the saltbush that Settlers also use in this gin. It’s this blend of thousands of years of indigenous botanical knowledge, combined with contemporary gin making that gives Australia such a unique place in world gin production.
The more you drink the rare dry the more you find to enjoy. With a relatively large botanical mix blended in, the gin has a warming spice to it, that we think you’ll find more than pleasant through the winter months. Don’t hesitate to bring it back in spring and summer though, to play with the brighter citrus flavours in the hotter months.
We think this is a really complex, balanced gin that will reward you for playing with both the citrus and savoury spice elements. An ideal serve with G&T will have you adding both elements for garnish. Try with orange and rosemary, lime and thyme, or for Rowland’s favourite when it’s in season Mango and black pepper.
Cinnamon Apple Fashioned
60ml Settlers Rare Dry Gin
5ml Cinnamon Syrup
2 dashes orange bitters
Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into glass. Ideally 1 large ball or square of ice.
Garnish with a slice of red apple.