New gin features Australian natives

Canberra’s award-winning distillery – Underground Spirits – has released a new limited edition gin on the Australian market, the second edition of their popular Ad Crescendum gin, a collaboration with the Australian National Botanic Gardens.

Known as Ad Crescendum var. Flosferam, this gin features some of the gardens’ best-known and loved Australian natives. This edition follows on from a successful collaboration in 2020 with the Australian National Botanic Gardens (ANBG), launched for their 50-year anniversary.

Collaborating with the gardens means Underground had access to deep botanical knowledge, which aided the selection, foraging and handpicking of the botanicals that went into this year’s recipe. When trying to find the ‘true taste of Australia’ in the gardens, Underground couldn’t go past the new Banksia Garden.

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Experimenting with a wide variety of botanicals, the finished gin landed with some really special native specimens like Banksia ericifolia (red cluster, heath-leaved banksia), Austromyrtus dulcis (midgen berry), Brachychiton populneus (kurrajong) and Corymbia citriordora (lemon-scented gum). This collaboration speaks to the wonder of the ANBG, and the many different plants that call Australia home, with the gin taking you on a journey through the garden and Australian flora. 

And importantly for Underground Spirits, some of the profits from this gin will support the botanic gardens’ native plant conservation activities. 

“It’s been amazing to taste the final product. It really is an amazing interpretation of what the gardens’ Banksia Garden ‘tastes like’ and that’s not a sense that you instantly consider when you’re visiting the gardens. Most people are content to look, smell and touch what’s growing at the foot of Black Mountain – now with this gin, you can taste it as well,” said Underground Spirits’ CEO, Claudia Roughley, who shared her excitement around the new product.

“Gin is growing in popularity across the country and there is a real movement to find true Australian tastes and recipes that no-one else can replicate, and quality that can’t be copied. And that is what Ad Crescendum has become for us,” she said.

“Having access to the nation’s leading botanic garden, its plants and its talented horticulturalists has really given us all the ingredients to authentically produce a taste of the Australian bush. And it’s a taste that is a world first – there’s no native banksia-inspired gins anywhere on the market right now, and we’re proud to be trailblazing in this space with the ANBG team.” 

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The first time this gin project launched in Canberra in late February 2020 the nation was coming out of its worst ever bushfire season, the gardens had been devastated by a catastrophic hailstorm and was unknowingly heading into the pandemic.  

“This time around we are ‘launching in lockdown’. This might seem a bit strange to some, but for our biggest fans and loyal customers, they told us don’t want to wait any longer – they are keen to get their hands on it at home, and to start making their own iso-cocktails. We can’t wait to see what our friends across Australia do with this gin,” Ms Roughley concluded.

Ad Crescendum var. Flosferam is now on sale online direct from Undergroundspirits.com.au and at other speciality independent liquor retailers and bottle shops. RRP: $95 for 700ml.

Some of the proceeds from every bottle goes back to the Australian National Botanic Gardens for their conservation work and continued projects, including the National Seed Bank Project.  

The goal of this collaboration is to help Australians discover and learn more about native plants through the art of gin making – to make people aware of the gardens in Canberra, and to introduce a new market to conservation and Australian botanicals.

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What the name means
Ad Crescendum “To Grow” | var Flosferam – “Wildflowers”


Tasting notes
The nose is crisp and piney. A soft bright herbaceous beginning, with delicate floral notes across the tongue. Slight umami. Leads to rich sweet bush honey notes to finish. There is a lot happening in this gin.

Available online at undergroundspirits.com.au  

Are you interested in trying a gin made with Australian natives? What’s your favourite thing to drink with gin? Why not share your go-to gin in the comments section below?

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Written by Ellie Baxter



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