Gin dis­tiller

Time Out (Melbourne) - - CITY LIFE -

Cameron Macken­zie Four Pil­lars Gin What makes gin, well, gin

“As long as there is a dis­cernible ju­niper char­ac­ter you have a great deal of room to move. It’s like paint­ing. The can­vas is ju­niper, but what you choose to blend over and above this is unique. You have amaz­ing botan­i­cals that cover spice, flo­ral, savoury or cit­rus. And within those cat­e­gories there are dozens of op­tions. Add to this the amaz­ing lo­cal botan­i­cals on of­fer, and there are thou­sands of pos­si­bil­i­ties.”

How to mul­ti­task while gin is dis­till­ing

“The stills have been filled the night be­fore so we can start to heat them up. Or­anges are freshly cut ev­ery day and loaded into the botan­i­cal bas­ket as the stills are heat­ing. Then [we do] cof­fee and emails, and we do a moun­tain of pa­per­work, di­lute gins for bot­tling, look at var­i­ous bar­rels’ blends, weigh out more botan­i­cals. If we are bot­tling we are on and off the bot­tling line, pay tax (ev­ery Mon­day). There isn’t much down time!”

What to do with ginny fruit and botan­i­cals

“All of our gin-steamed or­anges are turned into the most amaz­ing mar­malade. We feed our spent botan­i­cals to some lo­cal, rare breed Berk­shire pigs. This has led to our Gin Pig Dinner se­ries, where we work with great chefs. And Jack Hol­man, our lo­cal cheese­maker, uses some of the liq­uid from the stills to make a washed-rind cheese.”

What ab­so­lutely does not be­long in gin, ever

“Not ev­ery­thing sees the light of day. I al­ways laugh at our as­para­gus gin at­tempt. Not sure what we were think­ing, but it was a epic fail­ure – there’s a sur­prise!”

How to cure a hang­over

“Dumplings. Just dumplings.” Cas­sidy Knowl­ton Four Pil­lars Cel­lar Door, 2A Li­ly­dale Rd, Healesville 3777. 03 5962 2791. www.fourpil­lars­ Sun-thu 10.30am-5.30pm; Fri, Sat 10.30am-9pm.

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