14 Native Australian Plants Blended Together For A Unique Gin

14 Native Australian Plants Blended Together For A Unique Gin

Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt

London Calling For A Taste Of Queensland Gin

Victor P Taffa

A boutique distillery outside the tiny town of Walkamin, inland of Cairns, is taking the London bar scene by storm with a unique gin made from a blend of 14 native Australian plants.

After exhibiting its two Botanic Australis Gins (Original Gin and Navy Gin) at the London Junipalooza festival last year, Mt. Uncle Distillery has started exporting into the UK with help from Trade and Investment Queensland.

Visiting the distillery today, Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Curtis Pitt said the product’s popularity had already surpassed expectations.

“Selling gin to fashionable London bars is almost as tough as selling ice to eskimos.” Treasurer Pitt said.

“But this impressive local team is already defying expectations by managing to enter an already saturated market and cutting through to achieve great export success.”

“Last year Mt. Uncle exported 5,000 units and this year they are expecting to export 20,000 units and while they’re experiencing success in the UK, the biggest demand is coming from Asia.”

“Australian craft spirits industry is rapidly expanding so it’s great to see a small, independent Queensland distillery at the forefront of national innovation, research and market development.”

“Mt. Uncle Distillery is the perfect example of how smart local businesses are giving a new twist on an existing product and literally injecting a Queensland flavour to create unique products that hit the right note with consumers.”

Head Distiller at Mt. Uncle Mark Watkins took a 300-year-old London Dry gin recipe and spent two years finding local plants with the right match for the recipe.

“The really difficult part was trying to get the quantities of the botanicals right because Australian plants have very robust flavours.” Mr. Watkins said.

“While it smells like orange cake, the flavours are full of lilly pilly and strawberry gum, citrus from the lemon scented gum and lemon myrtle.”

“Quality factor in Australian produce is starting to take hold. Australian wines, gins and single malt whiskeys are becoming more and more sought after in Asian markets. We are now firmly looking to concentrate our exports to those regions.” Mr. Watkins said.

During the production process 14 locally foraged native botanicals are cold macerated before the infused alcohol is distilled.

These include:

  • Anise myrtle,
  • Bunya nut,
  • Cinnamon myrtle,
  • Eucalyptus gum,
  • Finger lime,
  • Juniper,
  • Lemon myrtle,
  • Lemon scented gum,
  • Lilly pilly,
  • Native ginger,
  • Pepper berry,
  • Rivermint,
  • Strawberry gum leaf,
  • Wattleseed.

Trade and Investment Queensland arranged for Mt. Uncle Distillery to co-sponsor the Queensland Day Reception at Australia House in June last year where it ran the bar and demonstrated Botanic Australis and its other products.

“On the Queensland Day in London we were able to make a few good business connections and we had a very positive customer response which is a great help when you are pretty far from home.” Mr. Watkins said.

“We’ve also started exporting our Iridium Gold Rum to the UK, in addition to our gins and we expect both markets to do well due to their distinct flavour and quality difference.”

Mt. Uncle Distillery was founded in 2002 by Mark Watkins and family on the Atherton Tablelands. It has 7 products in its range.