There is a new Australian gin coming to bars and Papa Salt Gin has a touch of celebrity as it has been launched by Margot Robbie, her husband Tom Ackerley and friends Josey McNamara, Regan Riskas and Charlie Maas.
The gin, which has been five years in the making, champions native Australian botanicals, including roasted wattleseed, pink peppercorn, wax flower, cardamon, ginger, orange and lemon peel and there is a little minerality from Oyster shell – juniper is the only Papa Salt ingredient not sourced from Australia.
Speaking to Bars and Clubs about the gin and why the process took so long, the founders said: “It started as just an idea between five gin loving friends five years ago. After many sunny afternoons in the backyard concocting compound gins using every combination of ingredients we could think of we finally got serious and started working with Brian, our distiller, to hone in on our favourites. Fifty-nine recipes later – here we are.
“The first hour of tasting is always very productive but the results of that productivity is always somewhat hazy the next day. To make things more difficult, we gave ourselves the objective of making a gin that would work well in a martini, a G&T and in a gin & soda.
“It’s tricky to accomplish all three with the same liquid. But we never had any deadlines or bosses to answer to, so we took our time with it.”
The founders, who all met in some way through the film industry, also talked about how they believe the gin will stand out in the market, and how they think bartenders will use the gin.
“The bottle is pretty darn gorgeous,” they said. “Also, the liquid is incredibly versatile. We’ve had a lot of bartender mates play around with it and it does an incredible job of supporting and enhancing other flavours without ever overpowering them.
“We’ve found that talented bartenders can tease out different flavours of the botanicals. Some Papa Salt cocktails feature the zing from the peppercorn and ginger, while others play on the minerality of the oyster shell, and some lean into the savoury wattleseed and cardamom. The versatility of the juice is what makes it fun to play with (and drink).”
In terms of a signature serve, the founders told Bars and Clubs: “This very question has caused many heated debates within the group, but what we keep coming back to is a Papa Salt and soda with a wedge of grapefruit. Easy drinking at its best. If you are looking for something a little punchier, it makes a mean Martini. You’ll find some of our favourite serves on our website papasaltgin.com.”
The team also talked about the process of making the gin, saying: “The base spirit is neutral cane spirit (NCS) and in distillation we use the filtered soft spring water from [distiller] Brian’s farm. The botanicals are macerated overnight in the NCS, then distilled in a hand beaten copper alembic still from Portugal. It’s a beautiful piece of equipment.”
While it’s clear this is a gin borne of fun times and will be a fun one for bartenders to get creative with, it is a serious gin in an eye-catching bottle that promises to capture the attention of the Australian public.
Having recently partnered with one of Australia’s fastest growing independent spirits distributor’s – Queensland-based ICONIC Beverages – Papa Salt Gin is now available in a selection of Australia’s best independent bars and retailers. For trade enquiries, visit www.iconicbeverages.com.au.