A taste of the Botanical Gardens in a new Underground Spirits gin

The new gin Ad Crescendum var. Flosferam. Picture: Paul Chapman, Mode Imagery
The new gin Ad Crescendum var. Flosferam. Picture: Paul Chapman, Mode Imagery

Underground Spirits and the Australian National Botanic Gardens have collaborated on a new limited-edition gin, the second edition of their popular Ad Crescendum Gin.

Known as Ad Crescendum var. Flosferam this new gin features some of the garden's best known and loved Australian natives. This edition follows on from a successful collaboration in 2020 which the gardens launched for their 50-year anniversary.

Collaborating with the gardens gave Underground Spirits 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, they couldn't go past the new Banksia Garden.

Experimenting with a wide variety of botanicals, the finished gin landed with some really special native specimens such as Banksia ericifolia (Red Cluster, Heath Leaved Banksia), Austromyrtus dulcis (Midgen Berry), Brachychiton populneus (Kurrajong) and Corymbia citriordora (Lemon Scented Gum).

"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," says Claudia Roughley, Underground Spirits chief executive officer.

"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. 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 them all the ingredients to authentically produce a taste of the Australian bush.

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"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 Australian National Botanic Gardens team."

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 they didn'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."

Part of the profits from this gin help support native plant conservation activities by the gardens.

This story A taste of Australia with a new gin first appeared on The Canberra Times.