When Michael Hickinbotham wanted to combine his passion for Australia and for craft-made spirits, the Australian Distilling Company (ADCo.) was born.

Inspired by the cities and regions of Australia, Michael wanted to create spirits that reflect the locations they represent.

To capture this essence, Master Distiller Graham Jones partnered with local distilleries across the country and explored local ingredients to create flavours that embrace the spirit of each locale. Through this approach, ADCo. has ensured every bottle says something about the community that inspires it.

Michael told Bars and Clubs: “I’m passionate about our country, our cities and regions. Australian Distilling Co. continues a family tradition of premium wine and spirit-making that spans three generations and began when my grandfather Alan R. Hickinbotham established Australia’s first university winemaking degree.

“There’s something about our cities that are all so different with their own unique energy. For me, the appeal of making craft spirits is an opportunity to bottle that character. Our team of distillers journey across the country to undertake the distilling process in each city for which each of our spirits is named.”

He added: “We started with Adelaide, and it was so successful that we wanted to make spirits in and for other cities. I am fortunate to work with Professor Graham Jones – he has a wealth of knowledge about the art and the science of distilling, having lectured at the University of Adelaide for 30 years.

“We tried many different recipes for our first Adelaide Gin, refining a flavour profile that reflects Adelaide as a city, and South Australia as a state.

“That’s where the idea for Kangaroo Island lavender and rose petal originated, marking the start of our journey.”


While it sounds like a great idea, it obviously sets up the challenge of creating a gin or a flavour profile that reflects a particular region.

Michael explained how he and Professor Jones went about this.

“Finding the flavour profile to reflect each city is esoteric and subjective. For example, Sydney is zesty and confident as a city and that’s how our gin comes across,” he said.

“It is bold and confident and the label, as well, reflects some of the glamour of Sydney. It’s a bright, bold, beautiful gin with citrus characteristics.

“For Melbourne, on the other hand, the label is traditional with an urban edge. Melbourne conjures up laneways, art and food culture, so our gin has more spicy characteristics. I enjoy the mountain pepper and fresh ginger, and I know it’s subjective, but for me it’s very Melbourne; it’s a classic dry gin, with spicy notes to it as well.”

For more from Australian Distilling Co, including how it uses local flavours and the brand’s success across Australia, head to Bars and Clubs.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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