What's a distiller to do when he finds himself with a quarter of a ton of surplus Yarra Valley shiraz grapes?
Four Pillars gin man Cameron Mackenzie destemmed them, steeped them in gin for eight weeks, pressed the fruit, then added more gin.
The result is Bloody Shiraz Gin, an unfiltered, no-other-additives beauty that packs a potent purple punch at 37.8 per cent alcohol.
Its colour is reminiscent of sloe gin, but that's where the similarities end. "I've never been a huge fan of sloe gin," says Mackenzie. "It's incredibly tart and acidic and [the flavour of the fruit] overpowers the gin. It becomes a liqueur."
The spice of the shiraz grapes and the sharp citrus notes of the gin combine to create a highly smashable winter warmer best drunk straight, Mackenzie says, over ice. Or try it as a G&T - diluted with tonic, the gin's colour changes to a vibrant acrylic pink.
Bloody Shiraz Gin is available online, from Four Pillars' distillery in Healesville, Victoria, and from select retailers.
This story originally appeared on Gourmet Traveller.
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