It's been the goal of ours ever since we started Applewood, to celebrate the sites and soils of this great country through spirit with the use of native ingredients, that is where our passion lies first and foremost. Over the last 5 years, with our Signature Applewood Gin, we championed Australian desert ingredients to create a spirit that is a true reflection of our iconic outback, only to amplify that even further with our Navy Gin by doubling that botanical load. When conceptualising our Coral Gin, the goal was to capture another landscape, not just in flavour - pardon the pun - but in spirit.
What we intended to capture that feeling of being so close to the ocean, but at the same time, being so close to some of the worlds most iconic and ancient tropical rainforests. The Daintree is only a spitting distance from the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, so crafting Coral Gin was an exercise in harmoniously balancing tropical rainforest with saline coastal botanicals.
The star was always going to be Strawberry Gum. A botanical that has been a favourite in the distillery since day dot, and after last year releasing our Limited Edition Strawberry Gum Gin, it became a fan favourite too - a native ingredient well and truly on the rise. The next step was to harness Karkalla for it's sea spray saltiness, to not only balance the fruity element brought to the table by Strawberry Gum, but to use that flavour as the experiential aspect, along with added complexity and drinkability. The missing pieces of the puzzle were Riberries, the hallmark botanical for our Økar Island Bitter, as we were looking for a layer of spice for balance. Then we grounded it with our gin base, with plenty of Juniper, Corriander Seed and Liquorice Root allowing our star ingredients to shine.
The only thing left to do was to celebrate the Great Barrier Reef even further, inspired by its vibrance and colour, we decided to give it a coral pink hue. In our searches for natural colourant, none have entirely captivated us, so we added a minuscule amount of a synthetic food grade-safe colourant. We wanted to keep it completely vegan friendly, so products like carmine were off the table. Butterfly Pea is a gorgeous colourant, but distilleries like Husk with their Ink Gin have used that as their signature. We considered a grape based colouring, but unfortunately the colour fades over time, and having a gin inspired by coral reefs degrade in colour over time seemed a bit too on the nose...
On top of the visual and flavour inspiration, we're donating portion of the proceeds to a Great Barrier Reef restoration charity, one we have not entirely decided just yet as we are reviewing many to decide upon the most ethical, responsible and effective group. Overall, we've been absolutely wrapped with the quality of the gin, and the response we've received from you guys has been astonishing. We do hope you all have been loving our Coral Gin whether it be in a gin and tonic or a cocktail of your own creation.