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Eight Beehives, 640,000 Bees And One Fine Bottle Of Raw Honey Gin

New Gin Alert! We’re buzzing with excitement over the latest release in our Harvest series — a honey-infused concoction to set the tone for the equally buzzy and bustling summer to come (pun very much intended). Our new Raw Honey Gin, Harvest 2022, comes courtesy of yours truly with the help of nature’s favourite black and yellow pollinators — that’s an estimated 640,000 European Honey Bees that live onsite with us at our Sydney distillery.

This is how the magic happens: we house eight hives together with our friends and collaborators at The Urban Beehive, Sydney's leading beekeeping shop and urban honey supplier, which was founded in 2010 by seasoned beekeepers Vicky Brown and Doug Purdie. The pair have set out on a mission to not only protect pollinating bees in Sydney but also to ensure our city's flora and fauna can thrive in the big smoke. Over the last decade they’ve rescued and rehoused hundreds of thousands of our city’s bees by setting up hives city-wide. We jumped at the chance to house some of our own. Why? They make honey, we make gin — and we both have a thing for botanicals. It’s a perfect alignment, making for an even more perfect spirit.

Meet the stars of our buzzing distillery. Their names are as sweet as the honey they produce: Starling, the inner-west traveller rescued from Lilyfield; Audrey, the high-flying globetrotter (a rescued swarm from Glebe); Robey, the beachside bees from Maroubra (these guys are very calm, courtesy of the seabreeze they’re used to flying on); Motorbike, the urban adventurer (yep, their hive was hooked onto an abandoned bike); Scooter, the thriving offspring (basically, they broke the bike. Hive was too big!); Jock, the garden wanderer (their previous home: the Botanic Gardens); and Tripitaka. Brie — our latest hive, is poised for the move to Archie Rose from the Qantas apiary after a period of quarantine. Each hive, with its unique tale, contributes to our exceptional gin crafted by nature's alchemy. Now that you’re introduced, let’s get deep into that honey eyed gin.

Reminiscent of freshly-poured honey, fennel blossoms and young pine needles, our Raw Honey Gin, Harvest 2022, blossoms into more subtle notes of golden wattle, honeysuckle and beeswax. In your glass? More honey, of course, followed by glacé pineapple and soft green herbs with a dash of native florals, orange sherbert, eucalypt and a touch of spearmint to finish. Bliss.

Wondering which bees did what? Well we’ve named them — not each bee of course, that would be millions, rather we decided to name each hive

This release is the first time that a Harvest Gin features an ingredient grown on-site at the Archie Rose Distillery, in collaboration with The Urban Beehive. Each harvest from our beehives carries a distinct flavour that changes with the seasons, depending on the flowers the bees come into contact with. In 2022, that’s water gum, paperbark, clover and red bottlebrush.

"A celebration of our love affair with honey. In 2016, Urban Beehive introduced us to the diversity of flavour that honey can give you, and we fell in love…not the processed, pasteurised honey from the supermarket shelf; there was an authenticity and complexity to this material.” — Master Distiller, Dave Withers

In the words of Archie Rose Master Distiller, Dave Withers, “This release is our love letter to the busy bees and their fabulously delicious creation." Sure enough, it’s a laid back, supremely balanced sip to enjoy this spring and into summer, a dream served with tonic or soda.

Before we sign off, here’s our go-to recipe of late. Combine 30ml Raw Honey Gin with 100ml FeverTree Elderflower Tonic. Pour over ice and garnish with a refreshing slice of cucumber.

Ready to add-to-cart? Raw Honey Gin, Harvest 2022, is available via our website and at the Cellar Door in Rosebery, as well as all good restaurants, bars and bottle shops.

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