Like many of the native botanicals that we highlight here at Applewood, Lemon Aspen, also known as Rainforest Lemon, have been used by Indigenous peoples for thousands of years for both medical and culinary uses. The small pale green or yellow fruit is high in calcium, potassium, iron and magnesium; they also contain higher levels of antioxidants than blueberries.
Native to tropical North Queensland and the Atherton Tablelands, Lemon Aspen were first recorded by botanist Ferdinand von Mueller in 1864. With the increase in popularity in recent years, there are now more trees being cultivated than there are found in the wild.
The fruit has intense lemon, grapefruit and apple flavours with a hint of spice and conifer. It is best harvested when just under ripe and is available as a juice or frozen whole fruit and can be processed down into a powder or freeze dried. Lemon Aspen has many culinary uses such as jams and juices, and is also found in anti-ageing cosmetics due to its high antioxidant properties.
When it came time to craft our Limited Edition Lemon Aspen gin, we wanted to highlight the zesty kick with Tasmanian Yuzu and also dial up the spice with native Pepperberry, to make a refreshing and highly more-ish gin!