The innovation keeps coming from Never Never Distilling Co, with the latest of its Dark Series drinks, an Oyster Shell Gin, created in collaboration with Society, at 80 Collins St, Melbourne and using Pacific oyster from Kangaroo Island.
The oysters are consumed, with the shells then cleaned and added to the pot still, which according to Never Never’s Brand Director, Sean Baxter, brings a brightness to the gin’s complexity and a savoury note.
“Oyster shell is an ingredient which delivers minerality and a subtle sea spray character to our gin,” Sean said.
“It’s a flavour supported by the carefully considered inclusion of other coastal ingredients such as Geraldton wax, saltbush and Tasmanian wakame.
“The gin makes an exquisite Martini,” Sean added, “the lashings of wax flower and salinity scratch the itch of anybody who loves savoury Martinis.”
“We love it dry with a lemon or grapefruit twist, obviously accompanied by a fresh local oyster where available.
“For those partial to a gin and tonic, it works really well with Fever Tree Mediterranean tonic water and a lime leaf garnish, it’s the perfect example of a sophisticated, citrus-forward coastal highball.”
Oyster shell is not a new gin botanical, with several other gins of this style available as Sean explained.
“The guys at North of Eden Distillery in NSW actually released their own expression of oyster shell gin several weeks before ours, and there are also some fantastic expressions out of Japan & Scotland as well.
“Each offers a unique take on this incredible coastal flavour,” says Sean.
Society offers a range of exciting seafood experiences and the team worked alongside Never Never to help guide the direction of the gin, to work with some of the venue’s signature dishes.
Beverage Operations Manager at Lucas Group, John Ross-Jones, described the collaboration as a meeting of ‘flavour minds’.
“We have always loved the flavour these guys are able to squeeze into each bottle,” he said. “Their gins have always made the very best examples of martinis and gin and tonics so to work with them on our own representation was an opportunity too good to miss out on.
“When it comes to the Oyster Shell Gin, we are thrilled to see the way it has aligned with our restaurant’s focus on delicate, beautiful flavour. When you try it alongside the oysters in the restaurant it really comes to life, the collaboration is really a reflection of our commitment to quality and finesse,” John said.
The Oyster Shell Gin is available now at Society and the Never Never website, with plans to make it more widely available early in the New Year.