Australia: Day 4 – Distillation
I walked into Four Pillars this morning to find a smorgasbord of botanicals awaiting me; all kinds of fun stuff like red and green szechuan, grains of paradise, and peppermint gum. My job was to get an idea of what I wanted our K&L batch of gin to taste like, map out the recipe, and fill Cam in on the details. I already knew the direction I wanted to head. I wanted to build on the core pillars (pardon the pun) of the brand and simply dial them up in a different way: big citrus and big fruit, accented by sweeter spices and oily residues. I got to nosing and note taking.
Cam had a big batch of juniper berries soaking in the still as I started to dump in my selections: roasted wattle seeds, strawberry gum, lemon myrtle, cubeb, cassia, and Tasmanian pepperberry, followed by a heaping handful of sandalwood nuts. "These should release heavier oils, right?" I asked Cam as I haphazardly began tossing more spices into the pot. "Absolutely, and that will add texture," he answered.
As the small Carl still began to boil, you could start to smell the citrus aromas from the botanical basket permeate the room. In addition to the spices, herbs, and nuts we tossed into the liquid, we also hung a huge selection of various fruits and citrus into a bag for the vapor to pass through, adding an aromatic and zesty element to the liquid. It's been about an hour since we started and we've been trying the gin about every ten minutes or so. The first drops were full of lemon peel, but after about twenty minutes you could really taste the nuts. It's very flavorful and incredibly potent already. I'm hoping it continues to develop!