Right now across the beaches of Australia, you will see a sea of purple flowers. This is Karkalla. A phenomenal coastal native, where it thrives in sandy and coastal environments. It prevents erosion by literally holding together the dunes that surround our incredible continent.
It's a hardy plant that is able to withstand brackish soil, under-fertilized soil, as well as a whole host of formidable conditions that impact the coastal areas of Australia. If you want to grow it yourself it's incredibly easy, and will even win over the most deadly of plant-killing households.
Right now its blossoms dot the coastline and incentivise pollinators to come close. These beautiful purple flowers can be used as a dye and their leaves when eaten are bright, salty and refreshing.
For us, the best way to process Karkalla is to pickle it in a traditional brine. With its flowers releasing their colour in the vinegar the result is this unambiguously strange but delicious pickled native Australian treat.
The Gibson, a brilliant classic cocktail calls on pickle brine instead of the usual olive brine - a subtle yet elegant twist on a dirty martini. When paired with pickled Karkalla and our Coral gin the Zissou is a fascinating rendition of a cocktail steeped in tradition and history.
60ml Coral Gin
15ml Dry Vermouth
2 Barspoons of Pickled Karkalla Brine*
Stir your ingredients over ice in a mixing glass and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with a piece of pickled Karkalla**
*You can always use any pickle brine for this drink
**If you are in a location with no Karkalla, use a cocktail onion instead