Wildflower Distilling: a masterclass in gin

There’s nothing random about success.

I can feel it around me when we visit Wildflower Distilling. Feel it as I take the crystal glass that’s handed to me, a piece of dehydrated orange floating on the clear liquid as I take a tentative sip.

Satin. The sensation of silkiness spreads across my tongue with barely a hint of the bite I’m expecting.

This is no ordinary gin. It’s a masterpiece, subtle and smooth. Liquid velvet.

I smile at the man who has just handed me the glass… James Greig, an entrepreneur who has programmed event management software used throughout the world in venues we dream of visiting; a success by any measure.

It’s a smile of ‘knowing’ that I give him, of understanding the three years of hard work that went into the making of this gin: gathering the team, concept building, the 76 iterations undertaken before they were satisfied with the product, the attention to detail – from the copper and stainless steel still to branding, printing and numbering each bottle with a ‘cigar label inspired’ label as a neat touch, and the secret ingredient in the gin…

“I keep hives of bees as a hobby,” James tells me, “and we’re using that honey along with juniper and another seven botanicals in making our gin. Our name is not about the wildflowers you’re imagining (I’d been talking WA). Instead, it’s derived from the wildflowers of Burleigh and Varsity – the four-kilometre area our bees forage; it’s bringing those flowers into your glass,” he says.

Master of Distilling, Tudor Duxbury, tells me that they wanted to make a broad appeal gin, a goal which they have well and truly attained. This gin is too easy to drink!

“Infusing alcohol with botanicals for flavour and honey for smoothness and mouth feel, the gin is watered down to acceptable alcohol levels with Tamborine Artesian spring water.”

“It’s not only about the composition of the gin, but also how we treat it,” Tudor tells me. “From each 1000 litre distil, we take hard cuts, keeping only the best part – about 75% – and recycling the rest into the next run to avoid wastage,” he says.

It’s all about quality control without compromise, even down to detailing and marketing, an adapted humidity-controlled cigar box, the ultimate executive presentation.

Serving their gin with Long-Ray’s Australian native tonic, a low quinine brew made in Brisbane, is the perfect match for Wildflower Gin, showing it off to the max, a piece of dehydrated orange the only embellishment needed.

The team are looking at seasonal variations of their gin, such as mandarin and jasmine flavours, as well as making whiskey and rum, longer term projects that have seen the commandeering of Wild Turkey barrels into use for added flavour.

In the meantime, you can test your own skills at gin making in a masterclass making your own special gin with thirty botanicals to choose from. Fun? Absolutely, but after that I’d settle for the ‘master’s touch’ gin! I haven’t tasted better!

Gin Masterclasses: Create your own gin in a 2-hour Masterclass using an Alembic Pot Still at the Wildflower Distillery. Included in the session is a cocktail plus a 500ml bottle of your gin to take home. Cost: $160pp | 2 hours

Wildflower Gin is available online or from the Wildflower Distillery.

2/486 Scottsdale Dr, Varsity Lakes Ph: 1300 683 471 Open: Mon – Fri 2.30pm – 5pm

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