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Four Pillars Chardonnay Barrel + Sherry Cask Gin Below are the latest releases from Four Pillars. I received my pre-release order last week, but this has just gone on sale in Australia, with a limit of one order per customer. I expect them to sell out quickly. The Four Pillars website categories these releases thusly... Purchase the two additions to the Four Pillars Gin family as an at-home tasting pack - both our new barrel-aged gins, each with very distinct characteristics. You'll get one 500mL bottle of our first ever Sherry Cask Gin blend from our 42 cask solera of Spanish Sherry and Australian Apera casks. The final blend has been given a tweak of Amontillado Sherry from Spain, producing a sipping gin with nutty, sweet flavours plus juniper and notes of crushed coriander seed. Plus one 500mL bottle of Solera No. 7 of our newly christened Chardonnay Barrel Gin. This has been in barrel about six months longer than the 2017 release, showing even more of those gorgeous preserved ginger notes, richer spice, and oaky sweetness.
The Alexander Cocktail is a mixed drink, commonly referred to today as a 'Brandy Alexander'. The modern drink uses Cognac, White (or Brown) Creme de Cocoa and Half-and-Half. If you don't have half-and-half, make it yourself by combining some full cream milk and cream. The Creme de Cocoa may be white or brown, all that changes is the colour of your drink. My Ingredients: 30ml (or 1 ounce) cognac 30ml brown (or white) creme de cacao 30ml to 60 ml (1 to 2 ounces) light cream (or half-and-half) My Method: Shake all ingredients with ice and strain contents into a cocktail glass. Sprinkle nutmeg (and optional cinnamon) on top and serve. The recipe calls for nutmeg to be sprinkled on top, but I like to add a little sweetness and spice to my Alexander cocktails, so I add cinnamon. However, did you know you can make this drink with Gin? The original recipe had a variation containing gin. When I make it with gin, I like to use White Creme de Cocoa to give the drink a lighter colour. Difford's Guide has a recipe for a Gin Alexander here. My Ingredients: 30ml (or 1 ounce) gin 30ml white creme de cacao 30ml to 60 ml (1 to 2 ounces) light cream (or half-and-half) My Method: Shake all ingredients with ice and strain contents into a cocktail glass. Sprinkle nutmeg (and optional cinnamon) on top and serve. Again, my preference is to add some cinnamon to the nutmeg sprinkled on top. Why not give it a go and try this cocktail (either with Brandy, Cognac or Gin) with your next cigar!
Below is a link that discusses current retailers who manufacture gin in Australia. It certainly has become a boutique industry. http://www.goodfood.com.au/drinks/cocktails-spirits/gin-101-the-perfect-gin-and-tonic-plus-10-australian-craft-gins-to-try-20170926-gyp96l
Last weekend, a few of the Sydney crew got together to enjoy the only sunny day so far March 2017 (okay, well I exaggerate, there have been three days this month without rain in Sydney, and it has been the wettest March in 33 years!) This Sunday was a balmy 31° C, hence why we were clustered in the shade. We took this opportunity to enjoy some fine wine and cigars, but we also enjoyed the opportunity to sample some fantastic Four Pillars Gin releases. Four Pillars Gin is an Australian Gin distillery based in Melbourne, as personally I am grateful that @Ken Gargett knows the guys who make these unique gins. The Bloody Shiraz Gin is much more than a version of the traditional sloe gin, it is a combination of pressed Yarra Valley Shiraz grapes and Rare Dry Gin, that when combined with tonic or soda water and ice, is simply sublime. The same can be said for the Australian Christmas Gin, which tastes much like Christmas Pudding! The third bottle, the Sydney Underground Gin, is a gin unlike any that Four Pillars have made before. It's a bit salty like the Sydney surf, a bit citrusy courtesy of grapefruit, cumquat and lemon, and a bit exotic thanks to olive leaf, nori seaweed and fresh Tassie-grown wasabi. If you can source a bottle of these craft gins from Four Pillars, do so, they are certainly worth it. However, be aware, many Four Pillars releases sell out quickly. If you've missed out, the good news is that the Bloody Shiraz Gin is coming out again in a new batch in autumn 2017 and the Australian Christmas Gin will be re-released on Derby day, November 4th, 2017.