A Deep Dive Into The Food That Has Inspired Some Of Your Favourite Archie Rose Spirits
It wouldn’t be a Food Journal without an article on the role food has played in inspiring and creating some of our favourite spirits to date! From initial ideas to the final incarnation, ingredients and food have, and continue to play an inspiring and often surprising role, encouraging us to expand our understanding of what uniquely Australian spirits can be.
Our most recent limited edition spirits release, Sea Salt Gin and Pink Peppercorn Vodka was born from an idea Archie Rose founder Will had to create an umami spirit. Master distiller Dave then started exploring the possibilities, trialling umami ingredients such as soy, mushrooms and even parmesan cheese. And whilst those ingredients didn’t make the best fit when it came down to it, two of the greatest table standards that ever were - salt and pepper - were deemed the perfect underpinning to this savoury exploration of new flavour profiles.
Created as the ultimate party starters for the lovers of truly exceptional spirits and cocktails, we are proud to now be showcasing these seriously phenomenal seasonings in a spirit kit. Featuring a Sea Salt Gin made with botanicals including native sea celery, sea lettuce and lime along with a Pink Peppercorn Vodka, which celebrates the exotic union of local lemon leaf and pink peppercorn, this kit was designed for those with a savoury disposition for two of the greatest good times cocktails, the Bloody Mary & Martini.
Inspired by Australia’s love for umami-rich breakfast spreads, this release was loaded with the nostalgia of buttery, crunchy sourdough breakfast toast loaded with savoury mite flavour.
An unaged spirit, we teamed up with local mates Pepe Saya and Sonoma Bakery to create this beauty, using a combination of individually distilled ingredients including 25kg of freshly churned Pepe Saya Butter, 15kg of toasted Sonoma sourdough and a selection of blended yeast-extract spreads (“mites”). In terms of technique, the production team trialled a few methods to draw out the rich, creamy flavour of the cultured butter including fat washing, blending and straining - with the final result a simple embrace of pure distillation.
For the toast, the team ran a whole bunch of different types of Sonoma bread through the still with Sonoma’s classic white sourdough winning out. The team specifically asked for day-old or leftover white sourdough bread toasted in the Sonoma oven not only to minimise food waste but because drier, crisper edges would result in a better toast flavour. “We were surprised that we managed to get that same crisp edge to the distillate,” says Dave. “It has a real visceral edge and bite. You can really sink your teeth into it.”
Delicious, divisive and mitey, we must admit that ArchieMite was a limited release and is now out of our ‘sitey’. For those with a bottle or two check out our favourite ArchieMite recipes here.
As the first spirit in our annual Harvest Series, a range that celebrates the bounty and diversity of Australia’s produce, harvests and growers, Poorman’s Orange Gin - check out Archie’s Journal for more - was released in line with our values surrounding ethical and sustainable sourcing and ensuring we work with local producers who focus on sustainability and understand the impact of their growing, harvesting and processing methods.
In this case, we reached out to grower Peter Dryden from NSW’s Hunter Valley region to supply us with this unassuming ingredient. Harvested in the June of 2019, the crop, including flesh and peel was shared between Archie Rose and Jock Zonfrillo’s Restaurant Orana 2019 Sydney pop-up residence, during which time, Archie Rose distillers noticed their supply prematurely dwindling due to the enormous amount (700kg in fact) that Orana required. However, Archie Rose, just needing the peel and not the flesh, arranged with Orana to take the reclaimed orange peel for distilling. We ultimately got the supply we needed, and plenty of it, and were able to craft a gin so indicative of a moment in time, a specific harvest, a gin of 2019.
As well as the individually distilled Poorman’s Orange, this gin also saw bergamot orange peel, emerald green finger lime and lemon-scented gum, resulting in a gin every bit as bold as it was complex.
Speaking of oranges, our expert distillery team makes sure to waste not, want not! Whilst reclaimed orange peel is used to produce our orange distillate, the flesh of the oranges is juiced for future consumption (yum)!
Spent Grain into Cattle Feed
We give the spent grain (also known as draff) that is used to make our whiskies to a variety of local farmers for their livestock. Given the high protein present in the spent grain, farmers love partnering with distilleries such as Archie Rose, as it keeps their livestock happy, healthy and strong. In the case of Archie Rose, we freight our spent grain to feed both beef and dairy cows. This practice is commonplace in whisky distilleries and is a great way to give what is otherwise a waste by-product from the distilling process a new lease on life.
Closed Loop Bartending at the Archie Rose Bar & Cellar Door
At the Archie Rose Bar & Cellar Door, our expert team of bartenders is always looking for new ways to be sustainable in the shaking and making of your favourite cocktail serves. Across our cocktail menu, drinks have been designed where possible to employ closed-loop bartending. A great example of this is the Big Banana cocktail where the syrup has been made from banana peels and the leftover bananas dehydrated to make cocktail garnishes. using all parts of the banana in the process.