Australia’s Applewood Distillery— makers of their namesake Applewood Gin— are inspired by the history and culture of Australia’s landscape: from the Precambrian rocks all the way up to Australia’s first peoples.
Applewood Gin is distilled with local botanicals, including peppermint hum, desert lime and wattle seed. It mirrors the approach of many Australian distillers who have similarly highlighted botanicals named by Europeans for what they reminded them of back home.
For example, the Australian Lime is native to Australia. It’s related to the Finger Lime and Large-Leaf Australian Wild Lime. None of which are closely related to what is usually called a lime in the Western World.
Strong notes of eucalyptus and menthol on the nose. Lemon mint, pineapple sage and a nutty hint of wattle seed. Nearly everything about Applewood Gin seems distinctively Australian— it bears a striking resemblance to the nose of Botanic Australis Gin.
The palate is intense with eucalyptus notes throughout; however, while that is the dominant botanicals, there’s a really nice unfolding of the supporting botanicals—
Juniper and camphor add a bright lemony citrus facet. Mid-palate the eucalyptus is at its strongest with a flash of French Lavender. Just past mid-palate the camphor glow begins to recede. Hints of almond, finger lime, and lavender. There’s a hint of juniper on the finish that barely pokes its head through above the eucalyptus.
Applewood Gin is its own thing— in fact it’s a distinctively Australian-style gin. Bartenders should treat it as such. The gum leaves are the star here. The closely analogs out of the Americas for example may by Cardinal Gin.
While a Southside might be the literal option to play up the fresh camphor and mint notes, I think that Applewood Gin is best presented as is. Simply done in a 10:1 Martini with a nice wormwood and herb-forward Vermouth. Garnish with an olive or do it Gibson style.
Overall, Applewood Gin
Clean, eucalyptus-forward with a nice balance of citrus and Australian spice. Gin fans will find it a bit lacking in juniper. But it more than makes up for that in terms of balance, mouthfeel and flavor. If you’re looking to get into Australian gin— Applewood Gin is an excellent first step.