There’s an additional story to tell with the Summer release, that ties into the McHenry story. Bill is keen to stress that visitors to the distillery are encouraged. Along with gin making workshops…yes you’ll make and bottle your own gin to take away with you, McHenry’s also do gin degustation dinners.
Inspiration for using saffron in a gin came from serving oysters with a sweet chilli sauce, which included saffron. The flavour that came through made Bill sit up and wonder how it would work in a summer release gin. Sourcing saffron locally from the Huon valley in Tasmania (who knew!), Bill set to work.
Using a product more expensive than gold, means being smart about the process. Bill explained to us that the saffron is steeped in the gin for up to 6 weeks, after the distillation process. Now you can understand just where that vivid yellow colour has come from.
Like the saffron, the beautiful orange blossom is also steeped post distillation. It’s these flavours, combined with the recognisable smoothness of a typical McHenry’s gin, that makes this gin such a unique drop to drink.
Bill explains the summer release is a botanical driven gin. You won’t find the juniper, or heavier spices to be very forward here. It has a soft, light style, which is helped along by the sugar cane derived alcohol McHenry’s uses for their gins.
We found little hints of orange from the blossom, as well as some honey. We’re told that people taste saffron very differently, so we’d love to hear from you what you take away from this one also.
Bill recommends you keep this one pretty simple when drinking it. Once you’ve had an initial taste by all means crack open some tonic and pour yourself as lovely summery G&T. Garnish with lime or grapefruit (our pick is grapefruit).
When it comes to cocktails Bill recommends sticking with the lime theme, perhaps a gimlet, or ‘The Stay up Late.’
However you partake of this, savour it knowing that you’re in a very exclusive group who will have the pleasure of this lovely release.