Desert Island Drinks Interview

Desert Island Drinks: Cam Mackenzie, Four Pillars

Cam MacKenzie, co-founder and distiller at Four Pillars

Cam Mackenzie is the head distiller at Four Pillars. He co-founded the business with friend Stu Gregor in 2013 as one of Australia’s first gin-focused distilleries. It is now a global brand, with a colourful collection of gins making exciting and innovative use of the country’s native ingredients. Like Stu, Cam’s drinks industry career began in wine – but gin has long been a spirit of choice.

Cam shares the gins and cocktails he’d enjoy on our desert island.

Gin #1: Beefeater

Whilst we don’t make London dry styles at Four Pillars, I would still take one to the island!  Beefeater is just a great London Dry and, truthfully, the first spirit I stole from my parents when I was a teenager. If we can get the Beefeater from the US, it would be even better as the ABV is higher than other markets. I figure this desert island might be pretty warm, so a classic Gimlet (or a Southside if a lime tree washes up) would get me through the day and provide my daily intake of vitamin C. To this day, it is why I have escaped scurvy. 

Gin #2: Kyoto Distillery Ki No Bi

Just a beautiful gin: precise, elegant, and a great example of power without muscle. A dry martini with a twist would be ideal. It’s clean, cold and fresh yet loaded with lingering flavours of juniper, tea and citrus. If global logistics is still stuffed at the time of my marooning, then the Four Pillars Olive Leaf Gin would be an easy swap. 

Gin #3: Ransom Spirits Old Tom

This was the first barrel-aged gin I ever tasted and it blew me away. It’s complex, rich, textured and yet unmistakably gin. I think that’s what impressed me the most – it has so much character and complexity but it is still gin. Like most islands, the evening will no doubt be cold, so a Gin Old Fashioned might just get me through the night.

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