Tasmanian whisky has an international reputation not to be reckoned with, but Tasmanian gin is not far behind, and The Splendid Gin is not hurting the state’s growing reputation for the finest Australian gins.
Distilled in Cranbrook on Tasmania’s east coast, Splendid Gin takes advantage of grape-growing locale by using a triple distilled grape spirit as it’s base. But that’s not the only nod to wine. Distiller Nat Fryer was once the head winemaker for iconic Tasmanian sparkling wine brand Janz.
The nose is light and sweet with mandarin at the fore and just a subtle backdrop of juniper.
The flavour is juniper at the front, but only subtly so, with the sweet top note of mandarin making a strong entrance over the top. Rosemary offers a hint of herbaceous freshness. The finish is very long and sweet thanks to the soft grape spirit and the pure Tasmanian spring water it’s blended with. It’s a delicate gin that asks for a delicate hand in the drinking of it.
The use of garnish can make or break a gin and tonic. A good gin and a good tonic with plenty of good are a given, but the addition of garnishes is a balancing act. I usually experiment with either matching or contracting the flavours in the gin. So for The Splendid Gin I tried mandarin peel and fresh rosemary to match the flavours, and a sliver of lemon peel to contrast the gin. In this instance I found the addition of mandarin flavour was too much, to sweet and a bit overpowering, where the contrast of the lemon tang was a welcome cut through note. I would recommend lemon peel in your Splendid Gin and tonic.
With the delicacy of The Splendid Gin it is not the right spirit for a cocktail that needs a big juniper punch like a Negroni. However, it offers a lovely backdrop a cocktail with it’s own delicacy like the slightly floral lime flavour of a Gimlet.
2 parts The Splendid Gin
1 part fresh lime juice
1 part sugar syrup
Combine ingredients with plenty of ice in a shaker. Shake vigorously until well combined, strain into a chilled nic and nora glass or martini glass.
Drink well and enjoy!