Would you try turkey flavoured gin this Christmas?
Gin is booming globally, with many brands now veering away from the classic G&T and pushing the envelope with unique new flavours.
The latest flavour innovation might be the most unusual yet: turkey gin. Yep, Portobello Road Gin has gone there and created a Christmas turkey gin inspired flavour. Drawing from the production methods of Pechuga Mezcal, an agave-plant based spirit that has had the breast of a turkey suspended in it, Directors Cut No.03 Pechuga Gin does exactly that with gin.
'Pechuga' translates into English as ‘breast’ and refers to the fact that a chicken or turkey breast is suspended in the still, which is slowly cooked by the vapours of the mezcal during this distillation and is said to add subtle flavours to the spirit.
This is the world’s first turkey gin, and will also be distilled with all the delicious Christmas turkey flavours such as apples, pears, plums, currants, raisins, sultanas, apricots, brown rice, passion fruit, cinnamon and cassia bark as well as nutmeg and mace.
Director’s Cut No.03 Pechuga Gin is available from the Portobello Road Gin website.
Aussies no strangers to unique gin flavours
If turkey gin sounds unusual to you, Australia makes its very own strange flavours from coriander to ant.
While many spirit connoisseurs prefer their beverages straight up, Cameron Mackenzie, Gin connoisseur and the distiller at Four Pillars Gin in the Yarra Valley says gin is meant to be mixed, experimenting with gin flavours that reflect “modern Australia” for years.
"When researching Gin in bars and restaurants, one thing that really stood out was the mix of flavours and backgrounds. So we settled on a recipe that draws inspiration from cultures far and wide," he noted on the Dan Murphys website.
For Mackenzie, that meant experimenting with 80 different flavouring botanicals, including distinctly Australian ingredients such as lemon myrtle and Tasmanian pepper berry.
"Someone suggested we try fresh organic oranges, so we got some and steamed them in the Gin for about six hours until the vapour carried throughout the blend. We instantly loved the vibrant Mediterranean twist, which also captured what modern Australia is about," he said.
Four Pillars also creates its own festive gin each year - Australian Christmas Gin - which smells and tastes like Christmas. It features aromatics of classic juniper and a hint of cinnamon, backed up with a rich, luscious palate with a hint of sweetness from the Muscat and richness from the extended barrel ageing.
Husk Distillers - Ink Gin
This gin is literally luminescent. A floral infusion of butterfly pea flowers gives Ink Gin a distinctive dark blue/magenta colour which turns pink when mixed.
But it’s not just for show, this exotic flower adds astringency to the complex flavour profile, which is made of numerous botanicals, both local and international. Boldness and pungency comes from coriander, cinnamon, cardamom and orris root, sweetness from orange and pepperberries add spice.
This exquisite gin is rounded out with citrus notes from Lemon Myrtle and subtlety of elderflower.
Adelaide Hills Distillery - Australian Green Ant Gin
Traditionally sourced for their protein and medicinal benefits, Green Ants display vibrant flavours of Lime and Coriander. This unique bush tucker is hand harvested in the Northern Territory by the Motlop family of the Larrakia people. Other botanicals include Boobiala (Native Juniper), Finger Lime, Strawberry Gum, Lemon Myrtle and Pepper Berry.
What’s with the weird flavours?
With gin sales rising exponentially on a global scale, more and more brands need to compete for innovation.
A recent IWSR report shows that gin sales increased by 3.7% globally, largely led by European markets. In Australia, Roy Morgan research states that gin is overtaking vodka as Australia’s spirit of choice, with the average number of monthly gin drinkers nationwide growing from 633,000 adults in 2010 to 860,000 in 2015. And in the UK, gin is quickly becoming the biggest selling spirit, with British people consuming the equivalent of 1.12 billion G&Ts in 2016.
This surge in popularity has seen the number of gin brands more than double since the beginning of the decade, with more distillers trying to stand out from the crowd by making unique and unusual flavours.