It was one of the most exciting and hard-fought clashes between India’s finest and Australia’s best over the summer 2020/21. And believe it or not, it wasn’t the epic Test Series won by the superbly determined Indians.
It was gin making via Zoom.
The stars were not Pant and Smith but Sakshi, Vidur and Rahul from Stranger & Sons and Cameron at Four Pillars determining whether green Szechuan should be higher in the batting order of botanicals than black cardamom and whether Australian macadamia deserved a slot in the All-Star team alongside Indian cashews and spicy sarsaparilla.
It was an incredible, colourful, spirited and unique journey that saw Four Pillars arrive at the fourth in their Distiller Series gin – the Spice Trade Gin, made with India’s Stranger & Sons.
Fit for its release in the same week as Holi, India’s annual ‘festival of colours’, this gin is a festival and a celebration. It’s loud, fun, flavoursome and fresh.
Four Pillars and Stranger & Sons at first crossed paths in 2019 at Bar Convent Berlin (when international travel and global drinking events were still a thing). Stranger & Sons was the first Indian gin to win a Gold Outstanding Medal at the International Wine and Spirits Competition in London. The same year Four Pillars were awarded International Gin Producer of the Year.
From a collaboration conducted entirely over Zoom, Spice Trade Gin was created by the two distillers: a Goan spice bazaar, meeting some Aussie natives in a bottle, a cornucopia of bright vibrant Indian botanicals and some of our favourite native Australian flavours. It is big, bold, spicy and delicious. This is definitely not a gin for the faint- hearted.
“Spice Trade Gin is quite literally a spice bazaar in a bottle. It is vibrant, aromatic and, if ‘colourful’ was a sense, then it would be that too,” said Four Pillars distiller Cameron Mackenzie.
Sakshi, Co-founder at Stranger & Sons agrees: “We’ve been flagbearers of showcasing India’s agricultural abundance and wanted to share the wonderful spices and flavours that are rooted in India’s heritage. The team at Four Pillars have managed to capture those bold and complex flavours of Indian spices and botanicals perfectly in the Spice Trade Gin.”
Cameron Mackenzie says, “Firstly, it is unmistakably gin. There is a huge weight of juniper which we needed because the power of the botanicals needed a solid canvas. Then you get powerful aromas of finger lime, chilli, cardamom and turmeric sourced from the western mountains (ghats) and coast of India.”
“The palate is huge. The weight is built from macadamia and cashews along with sarsaparilla and cassia which hold the spices together. The warming spices of green Szechuan, long pepper, fresh red chilli and black cardamom blend with lemon and anise myrtle to add to the power and depth of the gin.”
Spice Trade Gin is available from Four Pillars Distillery, the Gin Shop and fourpillarsgin.com from March 25. Also available at independent liquor retailers, Spice Trade Gin retails for $85.