Water of Life - Christmas Gin Palooza
Australian Gin Association
Especially on terra australis, gin is back bigger than ever due to its idiosyncratic thriving craft and spirits movement, its versatility, and its increasing affordability. Having first emerged in the old world in the seventeenth century and refined by the Dutch, availability in England resulted in a steep price increase in a bid to curb alcohol related hooliganism.
Fast forward to the twenty-first century and given its versatility, it has firmly established itself as a mainstay of the most distinguished cocktail lists, with a myriad of craft distilleries offerings their own distinct variations by adding botanicals to the quintessential ingredient, i.e. the juniper berry, taking up prime retail space with aficionados being spoilt for choice.
With an abundance of flavours and affordable prices, the annual Gin Palooza is a happening that never gets dull as new, ambitious distillers appear on the scene. Curated by the Australian Gin Distillers Association last year, it is an event that usually sells out far ahead of time.
Showcasing more than two-hundred gins by over thirty gin distillers from all over Australia ranging from boutique outfits to major brands, there is a lot to discover and always a fun event.
Despite whisky being my usually go to, it is never not interesting to discover sippable variants, especially when it comes to smoky or barrel aged expressions.
Favourites of the COVID-19 safe incarnation of the Gin Palooza extravaganza, which was conducted in the spacious surrounds of Sydney’s International Convention Centre spread across two levels, included the emissions of the fantastic Prohibition Liquor Co., Newry Distillery, Distillery Botanic and Manly Spirits.
While Gin Palooza is a fun and what might appear to be a boozy event, it proves to be difficult to not have an educational experience as each booth has you engage with the distillers and / or brand ambassadors directly, who are eager to share their approach and the unique characteristics of the libations they proffer.
The event also offered themed masterclasses, which sees e.g. luminaries from the bartending and wider gin scene incarnate to showcase their craft, with e.g. Eddie from Cape Byron Distillery, which we recently feature.
A wonderful event that a lot of other tasting events can learn a lot from.