Four Pillars’ popular Australian Christmas Gin is back for its third festive season.
The gin is distiller Cam Mackenzie’s tribute to four things he loves: Australia, Christmas, gin and his late mother, Wilma.
Inspired by Wilma’s famous Christmas puddings (which she made on Derby Day every year) Mackenzie uses Derby Day to distil some Christmas puddings – homemade to Wilma’s recipe. They’re placed in the botanical basket of the Four Pillars still (which is also named after Wilma), with a base of juniper, cinnamon, star anise, coriander and angelica distilled over the top.
The Christmas pudding gin is blended with gin ageing in several 100+ year old Muscat barrels, including two 125-year-old ex-William Grants whisky barrels that, prior to arriving at the Four Pillars distillery in Healesville, stored Rutherglen Muscat for 80 years.
They also add a small amount of Classic Rutherglen Muscat as well their own Muscat, which is maturing at the distillery in old puncheons that used to hold aged Pedro Ximenez in the Barossa valley, adding an extra layer of complexity.
Four Pillars say the resulting gin “smells like gin and tastes like Christmas”, with aromatics of classic juniper and a hint of cinnamon, backed up with a rich, luscious palate and a hint of sweetness from the Muscat – as well as richness from the extended barrel ageing.
This year, Four Pillars have collaborated with Melbourne artist Stephen Baker to evoke the feeling of a hot Australian summer Christmas on the label.
“It’s the backyard Christmas I know, lying next to the pool and listening to the radio after a big Christmas lunch,” says artist, Stephen Baker. “The colours represent that afternoon summer heat and the cool relief of the pool or ocean.”
Serving Suggestion: Four Pillars Australian Christmas Gin Cobbler by James Irvine
- 50ml Four Pillars Australian Christmas Gin
- 25ml Fresh Lemon Juice
- 10ml Fino Sherry
- 10ml Sugar Syrup (1:1)
- 5ml PX Sherry (or any old Australian Muscat or Topaque)
Method: Build in Julep (or alternatively a wine goblet) with crushed ice and churn with a spoon. Garnish with a mint sprig, orange crescent, cherry, seasonal berries and a light powdering of sugar dusting.