The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Indulgence -

I’M not sure which as­pect of St Fi­acre’s Aus­tralian Na­tive Spir­its is the most at­trac­tive: the Aussie herbs that flavour th­ese sub­tle new liqueurs or the story of St Fi­acre, the Ir­ish monk who founded a monastery in France and be­came the pa­tron saint of gar­den­ers.

Philip Moore is a botanic ex­pert who has grown herbs for 20 years; he es­tab­lished St Fi­acre Dis­tillery at the NSW cen­tral coast’s 30-year-old Fra­grant Gar­den and con­tin­ues to grow herbs at Erina.

He takes French liqueurs Char­treuse and Bene­dic­tine as mod­els to make herbal liqueurs that are purely Aus­tralian. Us­ing fresh fruits, herbs, leaves and ber­ries, he brews his po­tions in a tra­di­tional cop­per pot still. There are no ar­ti­fi­cial ad­di­tives or preser­va­tives.

Moore says his Lemon Myr­tle liqueur is ‘‘ limon­cello with at­ti­tude’’, dis­tilled from the leaves of Back­hou­siac­itri­odora , a rain­for­est tree na­tive to NSW and Queens­land.

Also in the range are Moun­tain Pep­per­berry, Aniseed Myr­tle, Wild Lime and Man­darin. Mix, stir and shake unique cock­tails or sip over ice. About $38 (500ml), from se­lected bot­tle shops.

St Fi­acre Dis­tillery gar­dens and cafe in Erina, NSW, are open Wed­nes­day to Sun­day, 10am-5pm. More: www.st-fi­a­cre­dis­tillery.com. Ju­dith Elen

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