The Gin distilling industry in Tasmania is booming, and the addition of Kristy Booth and Apothecary Gin will only add to that, especially given her heritage.
Kristy Booth knows distilling. Plenty of people in the industry like to make lofty claims about their experience and pedigree, but Kristy takes that it to new levels.
The daughter of Bill and Lyn Lark of Lark Distillery, was 12 years old when her parents first started Lark out of their Kingston home and set up a still…outside her bedroom.
“The still bubbling away while I slept was normal to me,” says Kristy. “I guess you could say distilling was always a part of my life.”
Kristy grew up with the business, working in every role within the distillery, from packing boxes to mixing botanicals, where she eventually found her passion. The creative side of the industry, and the discipline required to create consistent batches was where she was most happy, and where her natural talents shone through. When the family business was sold, Kristy decided to strike out on her own. Working in a senior role within the distillery, she was based in New South Wales, but the authentic tastes and smells of home were calling. Killara Distillery was founded in Tasmania and produces both whiskey and their brand of gin – Apothecary.
The bottle – obviously – takes it’s inspiration from the original traditions of gin.
“I love the stories of how gin was first created to make tonic water taste better and it’s medicinal properties,” says Kristy. ” We have also maintained that tradition within the gin itself, using what were considered to be medicinal products such as chamomile. Oh, I’m not claiming that my gin is medicinal by the way.”
We are. It certainly tastes like it should be able to cure something, and with the care taken by Kristy, perhaps she’s more a scientist than a distiller. Kristy distills the botanicals individually, and then marries them together, taking careful note of seasonal produce to ensure a consistent taste. She describes how small variables in produce can have a significant impact on the end result, and that result is personal to her. That same passion also comes through when she describes her commitment to the creative side of distilling.
“I love trying new things. For me, combining botanicals and trying new tastes and flavours is the most exciting part of the process. My mother was amazing when it came to creating new recipes, and trying different combinations, I guess I got that from her.”
Kristy is also thrilled at the prospect of returning to Tasmania, and the vibrant brewing community there.
“Everyone is trying to create the best possible product, and help the industry as a whole. If you need help, all you need to do is ask.”
In the future, Kristy is looking to explore the development of a stronger gin, and will be developing new combinations of traditional Australian botanicals, specifically those from Tasmania, where it seems the potential of the industry is limitless.
Learn how to take Apothecary Gin, and make a Negroni that will blow your mind.