For John Bradbury there’s no better way to show off what Laceys Creek has to offer than creating a gin that incorporates the flavours that make this part of the world special.
So, since July 2018 he’s been distilling gin with a local twist, with the help of partner Cassandra Vale and ‘assistant’ Pepper the dog.
They now produce three varieties of gin as well as vodka and ‘moonshine’ from their 40-acre property at Laceys Creek under the brand Laceys Hill Distilling Co.
“We really wanted to produce something in the local area that showcased the local native botanicals and bring artisan spirits into Brisbane,” John says.
According to John, the industry is growing around Australia, but not so much in Queensland giving them an opportunity to meet a blossoming need.
They ferment and produce their own spirit, which John says is in contrast to many others who buy it from South Australia and New South Wales and flavour it to make it their own.
Making his own gives John control over the profile of the base spirit, which he also sells as vodka.
Laceys Hill Distilling Co produces about 5000 bottles per year, which John says puts them at the micro end of the spectrum and where they intend to stay.
“It allows us to showcase the local area and not grow into a massive business,” he explains.
Their focus is on authenticity – these spirits have a flavour that reflects where they are made and the local ingredients used to make them unique.
The Lemon Myrtle Dry gin is made using lemon myrtle grown on their property or nearby.
The Moreton Sunrise gin – pays homage to the region in which it is made – and the Moreton Bay fig berries and rose petals used in it are also from their property.
It changes colour – from blue to pink - when tonic is added. John says the magic happens because it is infused with butterfly pea flower which produces an acid-based reaction when it interacts with tonic. It stays blue if you mix it with soda.
Impressive colour changes aside, they must be doing something right – winning a gold medal in March at the San Francisco World Spirits competition for their Lemon Myrtle Dry Gin.
As for the future, with world domination definitely not a goal, John’s keen to continue improving their customer offering and showcasing the best our region has to offer.
90ml Laceys Hill Lemon Myrtle Gin
15ml classic vermouth
15ml olive brine
Stir ingredients over ice and serve with three skewered green olives.
60ml Moreton Sunrise Botanical Gin
10ml lime juice
20ml simple syrup
Shake gin, juice and syrup, plus three mint leaves, in a shaker with ice. Strain into a coupe glass and float a mint leaf on top to garnish.
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