Where the love of Gin began, with botanicals.

Botanical Wall at Puss and Mew Distillery

One of our favourite elements of our Gin distilling journey, from when we first got started and still to this day, is becoming immersed in the world of Gin botanicals. There is just something about exploring a world of flavour that can be used to craft delicious gin recipes that was, and still is, so special to us. Though we had such fun learning about core Gin ingredients, complimentary botanicals and creating well balanced flavours, the process of coming up with four delightfully refined flavours was no walk in the park. There is an almost endless variety of different botanicals that can be used in Gin distillation, and an even broader array of potential flavour combinations to choose from.

Starting off simple, the most common and crucial element of a Gin recipe is Juniper – with some Gin experts mandating that Gin is simply not Gin unless it has a predominant Juniper taste. Next up on the list of core Gin botanicals is Coriander, which interestingly provides a Gin with much of its citrusy flavours as well as a hint of subtle spice. At Puss & Mew, we consider these two botanical ingredients to be pretty much Gin royalty – the absolute core foundation for any good Gin.

After the base of the Gin was sorted, that’s when things got interesting. As new distillers entering the world of Gin creation, we were nothing short of overwhelmed at the sheer spread of botanicals that can be used in the distillation process. When we talk about botanicals, it means pretty much any element of a plant – ranging from roots to petals, leaves, seeds, bark and fruit. So, not only do you have this huge array of flora to select from, but you also must specifically determine which part of the plant is to be used. As you can imagine, there’s quite a lot to be considered.

We started by sitting down with a vast collection of various herbs, spices, seeds, florals and so on – then slowly we began to narrow down our selection and experimented with different combinations of botanicals. It took a long time, but finally we were able to reach a stage where we had developed four different Gin recipes which we were so in love with – and that was the start of Puss & Mew and our Australian made core Gin range.

In selecting botanicals for different Gin recipes, one of our top considerations was having diversity in our Gin collection. We wanted to delve into unique flavour combinations and include interesting botanicals such as Hibiscus, Cloves, Nutmeg and toasted Coconut – as seen in our Spiced Turkish Delight and Honey Coconut Gins. Despite dabbling in more uncommon and innovative ingredients, we still wanted to ensure that we did justice to the classic Gin flavours and included key botanicals such as Juniper and Coriander throughout our Gin range.

As an Australian gin distillery, we are proud to incorporate native Australian botanicals into our gin recipes – including our Signature Dry and Navy Strength Gin, which both contain lemon myrtle and strawberry gum to provide a well-balanced flavour. However, in equal importance, we also wanted to share flavours from around the world and expand the horizons of Australian Gin as we know it. Featuring ingredients such as Cassia Bark from China and Grains of Paradise from Africa, our Gin range seeks to push boundaries and combine the greatest flavours from across the globe into one special little bottle.

So, that is the story of how we embarked on our journey of botanical selection and flavour creation – which still continues to this day, we are always contemplating what could be our next ground-breaking Gin recipe. It has been one of the most intriguing, exciting and rewarding experiences and we are so grateful to have had the opportunity to explore such magical flavours, and most importantly – share them with all of you! 

If this blog has sparked your interest in the world of Gin distilling and exploring botanicals, we would like to invite you to join us for a Puss & Mew Gin Masterclass, where we teach you the entire process of Gin creation. Learn how to select a combination of botanicals that will make for a perfectly balanced and well-rounded Gin. After that, we will guide you through the practice of distilling your very own uniquely flavoured Gin – teaching you all the skills of a true Gin master. Of course, professional Gin-crafting is important work, so we will of course provide a selection of well-deserved bites to eat and some Gin tastings to keep you going. At the end of the session, we will package up your bespoke creation into your very own Gin bottle – ready for you to take home and share with only those who deserve to taste such excellence. To learn more about this unique experience and to book, just head over to the Puss & Mew website and if you have any questions – don’t hesitate to get in contact with us.

Watch our Gin Distilling Masterclass process on YouTube HERE.

Author – Brett Clayton – Director of Puss & Mew Distillery.