After having successfully set itself as home to some of South Australia’s major wineries, McLaren Vale has started growing as a hub of facilitating distilleries that offer locally-grown spirits. One such distillery is Settlers Spirits, where some of the finest gin (that I’ve personally tasted) comes from.
Owners Rowland and Shelley Short were present at this VIP event and were the stars of the show. With an entertaining and attention-grabbing speech, everyone in the room was highly appreciative of the drinks that were being concocted at the bar, using only the best forms of Gin.
Among the Spritz Collection, we were fortunate enough to try 5 beautiful cocktails (4 of which featured the Settlers Spirits). These cocktails not only delivered in appearance and taste, but also presented us with a variety of soft, subtle drinks that made #HumpDayTuesday a tad special.
We were first given the Blueberry Smash. This fancy look of paradise was made with muddle blueberry jam, fresh lime, Settlers gin, sugar syrup, and topped up with prosecco and soda water – shaken and served over crushed ice. This was a strong drink but had the sweetness from the blueberry jam and sugar syrup. You can’t have a big sip without feeling the buzz, so it’s best enjoyed in little amounts.
Next, we had the Sweet Cherry Fizz. This rosy goodness was made with Settlers cherry, strawberry cartron, disaronno, cranberry juice, fresh lime juice, and topped with prosecco and soda water – shaken and served over crushed ice. While this drink was a bit too sweet for me, I enjoyed the subtleness of the Gin. Nonetheless, it was a delicious drink that would be loved by those with a big sweet tooth.
We also had the Pacifico Spritz. This tropical drink was made from a shaken mix of cartron mandarin, Campari, Settlers gin, fresh pineapple juice, and topped with prosecco and soda water – served over crushed ice. This was another fantastic drink that was subtle in the Gin taste and tasted tantalizing over crushed ice. The citrus flavour coupled with the Gin complemented each other very well and proved to be a drink that most would enjoy in the sunshine by the beach!
The drinks kept coming and we were then invited to try The Unknown. What an intriguing name for a drink! Served in a wine glass, The Unknown was a strong and mouth-watering blend of Campari, Settlers gin, and topped with prosecco. I loved how strong this drink was, because it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with the purity of the Gin in it.
Last, but most certainly not the least, we tried the Sicilian. This was a twist on the classic Aperol Spritz, which had aperol, soda water, and prosecco – served over blocked ice with oranges and olives. While it had no gin in it, this was one of my favourite drinks of the lot. Similar to Pimms, this was a bubbly drink that gave the best tingling and cooling sensation from the first sip.
The Old Tom Gin won my gin-loving heart for its sweetness that was brought about from the liquorice and cinnamon in this recipe. Also consisting of nutmeg, cloves, native peppers and star anise, this Gin was refreshing for a hot, summery day in Adelaide.
The next one I loved was the Rare Dry Gin, which had a strong scent and aftertaste. The citrus flavours from the lemon and orange gave this drink the contemporary twist. This is definitely a drink that one would enjoy at home to relax after a long day’s work.
The Oak Aged Gin was so beautifully subtle in its taste in what was a Dirty Martini that you wouldn’t even realize the alcoholic content till you get towards the bottom of the glass. It was so smooth and had a smoky flavour from the French oak that was used to make this Gin. The cloves were a fantastic touch that brought out the aroma of the Gin with every sip.
We hope that this review made you want to rekindle your long-lost love (and/or continue your never-ending love) for one of the most glorious spirits out there. As the ever-so enthusiastic gin drinker Rowland charmingly said at the event, “You know what’s better than one gin & tonic? Two!”
Words by Fatema Sitabkhan
WHERE: 233 Victoria Square, Adelaide