Hand-crafted local gins are drawing on inspiration from the ocean to include seaweeds as part of their winning botanical flavourings.
Staff from the wine and spirit retailer Nicks Wine Merchants, in Melbourne, describe boutique gins that are part of a new ocean-influenced trend as "clean and bright". And seaweed is proving a winning contributor to their flavour profile.
We've tracked down 3 of these craft gins, all coming from Australia's east coast, produced in Tasmanian, Victoria and NSW, and made in a traditional dry gin style with their own unique influences.
Dasher & Fisher 'Ocean Gin'
Southern Wild Distillery, Devenport, Tasmania
This distillery was founded in 2017, and its Ocean Gin is one of 6 gins the company produces, each inspired by the Tasmanian landscape. The Ocean Gin includes wakame seaweed, hand-harvested by local divers, as one of its botanicals. It was awarded a gold medal (93/100) at the London Spirits Competition 2022.
Balcome 'Coastal Gin'
Balcome Distillery, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria
Balcombe Coastal Gin is produced by the team at Garagiste Vintners (founded in 2003) and includes 20 different botanicals inspired by the Mornington Peninsula. These include foraged kelp, samphire, saltbush, wild fennel and wild fennel pollen, along with Java long pepper, blood orange, lemon verbena, coriander and ginger. It was a silver medalist at the 2018 Australian Distilled Spirits Awards.
Winding Road 'Citrus and Sea Gin'
Winding Road Distillery Co., Tintenbar, NSW
This gin achieved a gold medal at the Australian Gin Awards, 2022, and a silver award at the Melbourne Royal Australian Distilled Spirits Award, 2022. It infuses local kelp with citrus, native pepperberry and strawberry gum leaf. The Citrus and Sea Gin is one of 4 spirits the company produces. It was established in northern NSW in 2017 to create unique, small-batch craft spirits.
All makers suggest sampling these gins on their own, and as an ideal base for cocktails, particularly martinis.
If you know of other seaweed-infused spirits, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, so we can add to this article.
The seaweednews.au team was not paid in any way for mentioning these products. We just love that they include seaweeds as part of their flavour inspiration. We have also enjoyed sampling these gins.
We purchased Balcome Ocean Gin and Dasher & Fisher Ocean Gin from Nicks Wine Merchants and Winding Road Gin directly from the distillery. Nicks Wine Merchants rates Dasher&Fisher 91/100 in its standardised 'Winespider' taste testing and Balcome 94/100. It does not stock Winding Road products.
Our own, very unofficial tasting notes (followed by some excellent G&Ts):
Dasher&Fisher: Dry and bright, floral aroma, hits the middle of the palate, salt and pepper notes.
Balcome: Bright and clean, very dry, herby aroma, hits the front of the palate, notes of pepper and salt.
Winding Road: Bright, smooth, citrus aroma, mild, salt and pepper tones.
As always, drink responsibly.