The base spirit
To produce our gin we start with the finest wheat spirit – and we look no further than our own backyard, as Australia has the best wheat around. The decision to use wheat was a considered one, as in our book it provides the cleanest and smoothest base to infuse our gin botanicals.
Before distillation, we cut the spirit with local Sydney water that has been filtered six times for good measure, using a variety of processes. It may sound excessive, given the quality of the water to begin with, but in our opinion it’s worthwhile – and something you can appreciate with a direct taste from the tap at the distillery.
Then comes the distillation, which at Archie Rose is no mean feat: we distill all our botanicals individually to ensure we capture every distinct flavour; and we do it all in our one-of-a-kind handmade gin still, using three different techniques:
1. Maceration – by adding botanicals directly into the spirit and leaving them to steep
2. Hot vapour infusion – by suspending botanicals in a basket at the base of the neck of the still
3. Cool vapour infusion – by holding botanicals in our Carter Head style infusion point in the still’s Lyne arm
Between them, these three different infusion methods allow us to tailor the distillation to the individual botanical. This was a key consideration during the process of designing the still, and allows us to treat the lighter, more floral botanicals in a different manner to the bolder and spicier botanicals, to capture even the most subtle of flavours.
In the end, however, the still is only as good as its distiller and it comes down to experience, intuition and an acute sense of timing – traits both our distillers have in spades. Sure, we may be a little biased, but it’s quite a sight watching Dave, Shane and the team separate the foreshots from the hearts from the feints, as various flavours come to life at different points in the process.