Our Australian Christmas Gin
This very special gin is Cam’s tribute to four things he loves: Australia, Christmas, gin and his late mum, Wilma.
Each year Wilma would use the 1968 Australian Women’s Weekly recipe to make her puds on Victoria Derby Day, while the rest of the family listened to the races. To this day, one of Cam’s great childhood memories is how his house would smell like Christmas over Cup weekend.
“I found the exact recipe when I was cleaning out some boxes a few years back, and thought it’d be fun to start doing it with my girls every year.
The first time ’round Viv was our chief measurer and in charge of the playlist (T Swift got a decent run). She was meticulous, down to the last currant.
Lizie was our stirrer (quite appropriate) and literally got her hands dirty – not sure she knows we have a sink because I was chipping dried pudding mix off various furniture for weeks afterwards.
And then we had Alice, because no Christmas pudding day is complete without a supervisor (or heckler), so she talked some good game and was enthusiastic in offering advice on something she knew nothing about.
And Leah and I cleaned up the mess! Our kitchen looked like Santa’s reindeer had eaten the mushrooms near the back shed…
But even as I was buying all the ingredients at the shops (mixed peel, oranges, dried fruit), I just kept thinking how well it would all distill. And with juniper having such a great pine needle character to begin with, it just started to make sense really quickly.”
So Cam distilled the Christmas puddings by putting them in the botanical basket of a still and distilling a base of juniper, cinnamon, star anise, coriander seed and angelica over the top of them.
He was also working on a gin aged in 125-year-old ex-Grants Whisky barrels that stored Rutherglen Muscat for 80 years, which he blended with the pudding gin. To finish, he added a slight tweak of Rutherglen Classic Muscat to round out the palate with a touch of richness.
The result smelt like gin and tasted like Christmas. With juniper-led Christmas tree notes and plum pudding character, it is perfect sipped over ice, mixed with ginger (ale or beer), or made into one of these delicious cocktails.
For our 2017 release, Cam added a touch of our own muscat that has been sitting in barrels which previously aged Pedro Ximenez. So we got more depth, more complexity and an even more Christmas-y gin.
And since 2018 we have made the gin even more special, as the puddings for the distillation are made by the three founders and their kids – Mackenzies, Gregors and Joneses. As an addition to Wilma’s go-to recipe, we add a splash of last year’s Australian Christmas Gin.
It is, without a doubt, our most lovingly crafted gin, from the multiple techniques and processes that have gone into making it taste extraordinary, to the original artwork commissioned for each label. In 2016 we had ‘Warm and Christmas’ by Australian artist Jade Suine, in 2017 a vintage Christmas Beetle adorned the label by Darren Song, in 2018 it was all about summer with ‘Basking in the Sun’ by Melburnian Stephen Baker, and in 2019 Tim Summerton’s exquisite ‘Flame Trees’ adorned the bottle.
This year’s artwork is by the incredibly talented painter Jane Reynolds. Jane’s art is all about the relationship between colour, form and light. We challenged Jane to come up with one of her signature hyper-real compositions in a way that celebrated the colour and iconography of Christmas. Her response was this stunning abstract Christmas scene, with the presents arranged around the tree.