Cauldron Distillery’s Mediterranean Gin - Crafting a New Season Masterpiece
It’s time to celebrate Spring at Cauldron Distillery with the launch of our new season, limited-release product: Mediterranean Gin. Inspired by our head distiller Darren Stewart’s family visits to the Mediterranean coast, this is a product that’s highly aromatic, wonderfully balanced in flavour and crafted with true passion.
With close family ties to the coastal town of Limassol in Cyprus beaches and with a series of bi-annual visits to the Mediterranean over the past decade, Darren has managed to capture the true essence of the Med within the new gin after casting his mind back to time spent exploring the beaches and landscape.
‘There are a couple of beaches near my wife's family's hometown of Limassol, and they don’t look anything like the beaches here in Australia. But when you're in the water, looking up at these ancient ruins, escarpments and sheer cliff faces, you wonder how anything actually grows there at all.’
‘But then you walk into a meadow, a pasture or ancient olive groves, where the plants are hundreds of years old - twisted and gnarly. And then you turn the corner to discover a garden filled with oranges, pumpkins and gourds - all sorts of cool things. It's a pretty cool part of the world.’
Faithful representing the tastes and aromas of the Mediterranean, Darren has focused on layering herbaceous elements with citrus, spice and sun-baked, flavour-enriched dried fruit.
The distillation botanicals include dried sage, whole coriander seeds, dried rosemary and olive leaf - ‘a fairly distinguishable flavour,’ explains Darren.
‘We think it adds quite a savoury, almost oily element on the palate.’
To freshen things up orange and lemon citrus peel has been added as-well-as dried figs, which dominate the front palate but do a nice job of also rounding out the body of the gin, bringing texture and warmth.
‘While piney spice elements that originate from juniper are a standard inclusion in gin, for the Mediterranean Gin, we also very judiciously added star anise into the mix. This has added a colourful touch of spice to the back palate’, explains Darren.
Perfecting the Batch
As one might imagine, making the perfect gin takes time and patience. A series of trial batches were made before the ultimate expression of Mediterranean flavours and aromatics became harmonically balanced. Darren explains how in earlier batches, the inclusion of star anise proved somewhat problematic.
‘Star anise was a dominating aromatic. I ended up having to dial it back and back and back - so I ended up with only 0.05% of a gram per litre in our pot. An extremely small amount compared to the other ingredients. Dried figs were a mid-batch testing addition as well. At this point, I felt the gin blend needed a little bit more body. But that's the fun part about making gin - you can quite rapidly go through a testing process, and you know, relatively quickly whether you're in the ballpark or whether you've got to go back to the drawing board and start again. More often than not, it's about reducing elements rather than necessarily increasing them’, says Darren.
The Final Result
Overall the final product presents with a pronounced fruit-driven character, gently weighted herbaceous tones. Incredibly this aligns with a strong sense of place - similar to walking through a Mediterranean seaside garden.
The new Mediterranean Gin is striking in terms of balance, we invite you to be the judge. This limited-release 550-bottle run product is now available online and at cellar door; but get in quickly to snag a bottle or two as previous seasonal gin releases have sold out fast.
As always, those who sign up for our Customer Club gain exclusive access to new releases and enjoy the club’s points-based system, allowing you to gain handsome discounts on future purchases.