Four Pillars’ citrus experiments

September 6, 2021
By Ioni Doherty

Four Pillars’ Rare Dry Gin was first released by the distillery in 2013 and even today say it is the perfect gin for creating a classic Gin and Tonic. Now they are releasing two new, extremely limited-edition gins: Rarer Dry Gin and Rarest Dry Gin.

The distillery’s original – Rare Dry Gin – uses nine botanicals in the pot and sits oranges in the vapour basket above the pot. With Rarer and Rarest, all nine botanicals remain the same, with the citrus in the vapour basket the singular change.

For the Rarer Dry Gin, Four Pillars swapped its trademark oranges for locally grown fresh yellow yuzu while for the Rarest Dry Gin, the oranges were swapped with bergamot.

The crops of both fresh local citrus ingredients are both grown in Ovens Valley just outside Myrtleford.

The yuzu adds mandarin, lemon and cumquat aromatics and flavours to the gin. This gin makes a stunning bright and lifted G&T and an equally delicious Gin & Soda Highball. It is also great with the StrangeLove Yuzu Soda – no real surprise there.

Rarest Dry Gin: Green bergamot is widely considered a hybrid of lemon and bitter orange. How’s that not awesome? So out with the oranges and in with the bergamot. The green bergamot adds herbaceous and bitter orange notes to the aromatics and palate. This makes a superb deeper and more herbaceous G&T that goes well with a rosemary or thyme garnish.

“Jane and Brian from Mountain Yuzu were chestnut farmers before they switched to citrus and we’re sure glad they did,” Distiller and Co-founder Cam Mackenzie said. “We picked the bergamot when it was dark green, like the Italians do for bitters. The oil is bigger, hugely aromatic and more bitter. When we zested it over a few days the whole distillery smelled of bergamot.”

As with Rare Dry Gin, there were juicy and delicious bi-products from the distillation from which 800 jars of Yuzu & Bergamot Shred Marmalade was made.

“The marmalade is super limited because once the citrus was steamed it was a bugger to squeeze but we managed to get 800 jars out of the fruit and have made a shred marmalade that is pretty groovy on a cheese platter, with a pâté or with warm croissants or crumpets with just a little too much salted butter,” say Mr Mackenzie.

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