David Box is the founder of Gintonica, a central resource to all things gin, from recipes to pairings to gin makers. The company has become beloved for its Aussie Gin advent calendar, while also offering gift packs and curating Australian Craft Gins in 50ml bottles. Box has an abundance of knowledge on the Australian gin scene, having spent years seeking out distilleries across the country to learn all about their processes and traditions.
An introductory note from David: Before I choose my first gin, I first wanted to share that I have selected only Aussie gins. Gintonica only sells tasters and full sized bottles of Aussie gin. We carry over 250 gin tasters, and soon full sized bottles at any one time. Not only do I believe that we have enough choice for any gin lover, but because the world doesn’t need to feed the beast of globalisation. Now more than ever we need to support local.
Gin #1: Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin
My first desert island gin is the second Aussie gin I ever tasted. Four Pillars Rare Dry was first and their Spiced Negroni Gin was second. It has stayed with me for the last six years and is still my favourite from their regular stable. What Matt, Cam and Stu have done to put Aussie gin on the world stage should make any Aussie gin lover proud. Although it is great in a Negroni, I also love it in a simple G&T with orange garnish.
Gin #2: The West Winds Distillers The Cutlass
Number two is also a gin that has stood the test of time and, let’s face it, a gin more than six years of age is, in Aussie gin terms, old. An appropriate nomination for a desert island, The West Winds Distillers headed by Paul White, is a little WA distillery that keeps coming up with medal winners. I could have opted for their Wild Plum Gin, from which I’ve made a great duck sauce, but I return to The Cutlass year after year. A very versatile gin, which does a great martini, but again, just a fine G&T does it for me.
Gin #3: Animus Distillery Ambrosian Gin
My third gin is not the final of three, but the start of at least three cases of different Aussie gins I’d want to take with me. To cut my selection to three is really crazy. I just had to bite the bullet and I went with Animus Distillery’s Ambrosian Gin. They have a host of great cocktail recipes on their website.
These guys took years to put the most amazing botanical combinations together in their gins, which they maintain at a healthy 50% ABV to bring intense flavours. My favourite serving suggestion is to go to their bar in Kyneton, Victoria and drink what they are serving on that day (or check their website). I love their gins not only because they are great Aussie gins, but because, as I mention in my book, the whole concept and definition of what it takes to be craft is to be local, and for customers to know and meet the makers.
So, my final word is to go local and go Aussie gin.