In one of the great traditions of the Age of Exploration— Europeans named indigenous plants after their closest analogue back home. This has brought to us several gin botanicals like the West Winds Cutlass’ Bush Tomato; Botanic Australis’ Lemon Scented Myrtle; and the centerpiece of That Boutique-y Gin Company’s Finger Lime Gin— the Finger Lime.
An intreresting fruit in its own right, the finger lime captured the imagination of Australia’s first colonial settlers who immediately wanted to start cultivating it. Native to Australian rainforests it grows in the understory as a bushy little shrub that produced finger sized, seedless fruits filled with lime-flavored beads inside. These tiny, lumpy vesicles— to borrow another metaphor— resemble caviar or roe, hence the fruit’s other name, the “caviar lime.”
In recent years, the burgeoning “bush food” trend has exploded drawing new attention to many native Australian fruits and plants. They’ve begun appearing on menus, in gin, and around the world. Demand has strained the local agri-economy. But entrepreneurs have taken cuttings and seeds and now gardeners in the United States can indeed grow their own finger limes.
Pleasant citrus notes on the nose. Hints of Persian lime flesh, juniper, and even a lemon Myrtle note that reminds me of the nose of the aforementioned Botanic Australis. There’s a playful fruity note as well. Finger Lime Gin is more than a one note wonder at first sniff.
The palate is rich with lime flavor. Immediately it calls to mind Key Lime and Key Lime pie, replete with notes of meringue and custard. Mid-palate the intense lime is complemented by a floral note of violets and violet candy. The finish is warm and gently spiced, adding depth to the citrus. The lime notes begin to give way to notes of white grapefruit while background of pink peppercorn, tonka bean, and a touch of juniper ushers in a quite long and delicately warm finish.
Finger Lime Gin is quite striking on its own.
As a study of the finger lime as an ingredient, Finger Lime Gin is incredibly successful. It’s unique and memorable. In cocktails, it is at its best and brightest when it is the centerpiece. Finger Lime Gin is perfect in a Gin and Tonic or Gin and Soda/Gin Fizz. It’s also nicely showcased in a quite dry Martini, naturally garnished with a twist.
Though notes of the finger lime come through, Finger Lime Gin blends into a citrus profile in drinks like the Tom Collins. It’s certainly good there; however, I’d suggest preparing it simply and letting the showcase botanical be the star.
Fans of contemporary style, citrus forward gins will find a lot to love here. Finger Lime Gin is a beautiful expression of a single botanical that I’d love to see more of in gin.