In the shimmering haze of the sunset, a full moon rises up over the cane fields in the suburb of Kalkie, Bundaberg. Standing on the back veranda of his home, Rick excitedly calls to his wife Kylie to come over – “The Kalki Moon is rising!” It’s this unique sight that led him to name the region’s first gin and vodka distillery after it.
For some Bundaberg is synonymous with rum, home to giant Bundaberg Rum distillery since 1888, but the region is fast becoming renowned for its craft beer, gin and whisky. Located at the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, turtles are a major tourist drawcard, and the vast range of produce grown in the area means the town is abundant with quality food and beverages.
In fact, along the day trip from Brisbane north to Bundaberg, there are a number of wineries and distilleries to enjoy, creating a decent beverage trail up the expansive coastline to Central Queensland.
After some 13 years as Master Distiller at Bundaberg Rum, Rick wanted to make a legacy for his own family. Tucked away in an industrial area of Bundaberg, the Prossers have built their own still, with the help of Kylie’s brother Michael, and Rick’s best friend Paul. This homemade still is dutifully producing award winning gin, vodka, and of course, rum.
The shed is due for expansion, due to the success of his popular liqueur range, and the creations are limited only by the imagination of Rick’s distilling desires. Drop into the distillery and you will be treated to some samples, and make sure you sign the huge visitors board as a memento of your visit.
Rick’s passion for local produce is reflected in the botanical choices, with two of the ten in his premium gin range sourced in Bundaberg. He proudly mixes his spirits with locally made ginger brews, and caused a mint shortage when he released his Kalki Classic Gin Gin Mule recipe to the townfolk.
Rick and Kylie are enthusiastic members of the community, working in partnership with tourist operators welcoming busloads of tourists to the distillery, as well as sponsoring race day events and participating in festivals and shows that showcase Queensland produce.
It’s this inclusive approach that makes the gin a sentimental favourite amongst us, because Rick has made a gin for us all to enjoy watching a sunset and moon rising, wherever we may be.