We were really excited for the chance to play with the tropical fruit, Bush Apple. Locally known as Djarduk by the Maningrida community, located in the heart of Arnhem Land. It's from the same family as Lilly Pilly and Riberry - Syzygium! Interestingly, the Bush Apple tree is able to tolerate extreme fire and helps to attract bees; making it a vital addition to the native landscape.
The start of the wet season signals the harvesting season for Bush Apples from October through to January. Looking like a cross between a pomegranate and red apple, the fruit itself has a thin white flesh which is sweet but also intensely tart and tangy and with a large seed at its core.
In a contemporary setting, fresh Bush Apple fruit is used to make jams and juices and may also be baked in pastries and crumbles. Although traditionally; the juice was used to cure sore throats, relieve coughs and chest congestion.
Ben Shewry - the chef and owner of the internationally acclaimed fine dining restaurant, Attica - has experimented with Bush Apples in his iconic dessert; the Black Ant Lamington. He used the juice from Bush Apples to make a sorbet which forms a part of the filling for this tasty dessert.
Our distiller was inspired by the aesthetic of Bush Apple when creating our crisp Bush Apple Limited Edition Gin by also adding tart Pomegranate and Riberry into the distillation which was rounded with some classic spice notes from ginger root, cassia bark and black pepper.