Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria team up with Geelong distillery for unique plant-infused gin
11.01.2022

Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria team up with Geelong distillery for unique plant-infused gin

In collaboration with Anther Distillery, the gin is infused with flowers from the Melbourne Botanic Gardens.

Attracting over 1,900,000 visitors annually, Melbourne Botanic Gardens is a treasured part of cultural life and a valuable asset to the heritage rich city. With its stunning vistas, tranquil lakes and diverse plant collections, the Gardens truly are a place of continual discovery and delight.

In one of the best collaborations to come out to 2021, gin-lovers can now get a taste of Melbourne thanks to a new boutique gin, produced late last year by the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, in collaboration with Geelong’s very own Anther Distillery.

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Founded in 2016 by Dervilla McGowan and Sebastian Reaburn, the world-renowned award-winning gin and spirits distillery based at the  Federal Mills in North Geelong is making some of the best gin you can find right now. From their flagship gin and the bold navy strength gin, to the Cherry Gin and indulgent chocolate gin, Anther continues to produce unique flavours that you’ll fall in love with time and time again.

Frequently using native Australian flora as part of its distillation process, the Geelong distillery was a perfect fit for the collaboration, which sees plants grown in the city’s famous gardens infused into a botanical gin named ‘Florescence’ – with sales supporting the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria’s landscapes, horticultural research and public programs.

A real one-of-a-kind beverage, and the official taste of Melbourne, all Florescence ingredients are currently growing at both Gardens sites, Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne and Royal Botanic  Gardens Cranbourne, which are home to thousands of plant species: there are 8,500 at Melbourne and 1,700 native Australian plant varieties in the Australian Garden at Cranbourne. 

This includes traditional ingredients such as  Juniper, Corriander Seeds, Orange and Lemon peel, but also includes unique selections of native Australian plants such as Tasmania xerophilia (Alpine pepper), Kunzea parvifola (Violet Kunzea), Baeckea gunniana (Alpine  Baeckea) and more. One ingredient, Tasmannia xerophila is a  common shrub of the alpine zone and an  ancient native woody plant in Victoria. The leaves and berries are aromatic but have a little heat that takes a little while to hit the palate. Another, Kunzea parvifolia is fairly widespread in Victoria. In spring its mauve bottlebrush-like flowers can light up its environment with a  purple haze. 

All these unusual native ingredients impart distinctive aromas and flavours truly making the gin one of a kind.

“Working with Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria meant that we had a whole library of potential ingredients at our fingertips,” says Anther Distillery co-owner Dervilla McGowan. “We enjoyed walking around with Gardens experts to explore and discuss ingredients.”

Proceeds from the sale support Royal Botanic  Gardens Victoria’s landscapes, scientific and horticultural research and public programs.

Florescence handmade gin is available via the Anther Distillery website