Public and Holiday. Sunny and Weekend. Some words are just much happier in a pair. It’s the same with Gin and Jazz which delightfully happened on World Gin Day – June 9 for the novices – at the dizzying heights of the Skypoint Observation Deck at Q1.
True locals Husk Distillers (they are nestled in the caldera at TumBULgum. Or is it TumbulGUM?) joined forces with hugely popular Four Pillars distillers (they of the put-hairs-on-your-chest Navy Strength gin) and Herno Gin, from the northern-lands of Sweden, to present an evening of gin and jazz that was a true delight in every sense. Kick off for the lucky early ticket buyers was an informal masterclass with Mauricio from Brazil, one of the team of seven that hand process each of the steps of the distilling process for Ink Gin. Yes, Ink – but not squid ink or Indian ink – that hypnotically indigo-hued, gently flavoured gin you’d be seeing more and more of in your establishment of choice. The colour comes from butterfly pea flowers that are currently imported from Thailand but will soon be grown as an off-season crop rotating with the sugar cane that makes up the farmland surrounding the distillery. In fact, Husk is primarily a rum manufacturer under the watchful eye of Quentin the impossibly exotic Head Distiller who hails from Martinique in the Caribbean. Look out for their cellar door to open to the public around October with cafe, tours, grassy knolls to frolic on and of course much deliciousness in a glass to indulge in.
After we had imbibed our first heady mix, it was downstairs to the fabulous sounds of Jump, Jive and Wail, a brilliant show band borrowed from our Brisbane neighbours. While more ‘jive’ than ‘jazz’, their musicianship was impeccable and they treated the audience to a fantastic show. Bold vocals, confident brass and the crowd were up and dancing before long. More gin cocktails followed including a Bulldog and grapefruit juice, an Ink and lemon juice, a Four PIllars, ginger, lemon and tonic (think of the medicinal properties!) and a perfection of Ink, elderflower and tonic topped with basil flower and daisy garnish courtesy of the now dancing Mauricio . Final drink of the evening was the Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz. Served neat over ice it is an eminently sippable tipple that is highly recommended. Glamorous and smooth (another excellent word pairing), it reflected the evening perfectly. Obrigado and bien joué to all involved.
IMAGES (c) Nadia Achilles – NJA Photography