Gin is currently booming like no other alcoholic beverage in Australia, and everyone wants a piece of the action.
Even winemakers. Treasury Wine Estates, the multinational owner of Penfolds and myriad other brands, has launched Squealing Pig Rosé Gin.
An extension of its namesake rosé wine from New Zealand, the gin is a natural fit, according to Treasury marketing boss Angus Lilley.
Do it different
"Squealing Pig is a quirky brand that enjoys doing things differently," he says.
"We've had enormous success bringing some playfulness and fun to the typically serious wine category, making it more accessible to new consumers.
"We're not constrained by tradition and knew that we could create something really interesting by combining gin with Squealing Pig Rosé, the most popular rosé sold in Australia."
More than the commercial appeal of gin, Squealing Pig exemplifies the blank canvas that gin provides for distillers.
"After trialling different combinations of botanicals with our rosé, the final recipe was chosen comprising a balanced mix of ten different botanicals to best complement our rosé," says Lilley.
Imagination's the limit
Whisky is made from grain, rum from sugar and brandy from grapes. While gin should be led by juniper, beyond that, the options are endless.
"The Craft & Co has a core range of four gins; three more traditional styles and a Gingerbread Gin," says founder Paul Baggio.
An unfiltered and cloudy gin, Gingerbread is an oddball creation that is anything but traditional.
"[But] it is the one that the market want or enquire about the most," he says.
Bring it on
There's no shortage of traditionalists who argue gin has moved too far beyond its roots. Not Baggio, who says 'bring it on'.
"It's that very playfulness and non-stuffiness that feeds the remarkable growth and interest in the category," he declares.
"The coffee gins, the gingerbread gins, the beetroot gins all excite the market, and they like spending their money on them."
Wherever you stand, the floodgates are clearly open.
James Atkinson is creator of the Drinks Adventures podcast and a previous editor of Australian Brews News and drinks industry publication TheShout. A Certified Cicerone® and 2017 winner of the Australian International Beer Awards media prize, James regularly contributes to other publications including Halliday, Good Food, QantasLink Spirit and more.
Check out our selection of the most creative and unusual gins now available in Australia.