Anther Distillery bottles the Botanic Gardens

December 6, 2021
By Ioni Doherty

Fans of Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria can now not only visit the beauty of the Gardens again, but can also taste it. A collaboration with award-winning Anther Distillery has created a new boutique gin called ‘Florescence’ made with plants from the Gardens.

“We have enjoyed sharing our knowledge and familiarity with the plant kingdom with Anther Distillery and exploring the properties of new and diverse ingredients databased and growing within our collections,” said Director and Chief Executive, Professor Tim Entwisle. 

“This is a real, one of a kind beverage, the official taste of Melbourne, with the delicate notes and scents reminiscent of the Gardens,” he said. 

Anther Distillery was founded in 2016 by Dervilla McGowan and husband, Sebastian Reaburn and just two years later in 2018 the ditillery won the Australian Champion Gin and Champion Australian Micro Batch Spirit in 2019 at the Australian Distilled Spirits Awards. 

Ms McGowan said of her latest creation, “Gin has plenty of potential for experimentation with plant ingredients.” 

“Working with Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria meant that we had a whole library of potential ingredients at our fingertips and access to scientists and botanists with an educated hunch about what might work. We enjoyed walking around with Gardens experts to explore and discuss ingredients.”

All  ingredients used to create Florescence are being. cultivated at both Gardens sites, Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne and Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne. The Gardens are home to thousands of plant species: 8,500 at Melbourne and 1,700 native Australian plant varieties in the Australian Garden at Cranbourne. This includes ingredients traditionally found in gin, such as Juniper, Corriander Seeds, Orange and Lemon peel, as well as unique selections of native Australian plants such as Tasmania xerophilia (Alpine pepper), Kunzea parvifola (Violet Kunzea), Baeckea gunniana (Alpine Baeckea) and more.

One ingredient, Tasmannia xerophila is a common shrub of the alpine zone and an ancient native woody plant in Victoria. The leaves and berries are aromatic but have a little heat that takes a little while to hit the palate. Another, Kunzea parvifolia is fairly widespread in Victoria. In spring its mauve bottlebrush-like flowers can light up its environment with a purple haze.

“I have personally taste-tested and approved of this gin. It has a fantastic aroma and a unique and charismatic flavour. We hope that you enjoy it,” said Prof Entwisle.

Florescence according to the Oxford Dictionary means “the process of flowering” or “the process of developing richly and fully”. 

The gin can be purchased on Anther Distillery’s website: https://www.anther.com.au/shop/ and through stockists listed on the website.

Proceeds from the sale support Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria’s landscapes, scientific and horticultural research and public programs. 

List of ingredients

  • Waratah
  • Tasmania xerophilia – Alpine pepper
  • Kunzea parvifola – Violet Kunzea
  • Zieria citriodora – Lemon scented Ziera
  • Baeckea gunniana – Alpine Baeckea
  • Cymbopogon obtectus – Silky heads
  • Honey
  • Macedonia Juniper
  • Corriander Seeds
  • Corriander seeds organic
  • Cassia Chips
  • Orris root
  • Angelica
  • Orange peel
  • Eucalyptus citriodora
  • Lemon peel
  • Lemon myrtle
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Finger lime
  • Liquorice root

Photo with thanks to the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria

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