By Stefanie Collins, editor b&c

Four Pillars Gin has launched its first collaboration spirit in the new Distiller’s Series, teaming up with Spanish craft distillery, Santamanía.

The new product, Cousin Vera’s Gin, came about through what the distillery calls a “flirtation in scratchy English and worse Spanish” on Twitter regarding the similarities between Wilma and Vera – the stills owned by each brand. The collaboration distillation then became a reality when Cameron Mackenzie, Four Pillars’ distiller, travelled to Madrid “with large quantities of Aussie contraband” to meet Santamanía’s Javier Domínguez, Ramón Morillo and Victor Fraile in September 2015.

Santamanía is Spain’s first urban distillery, and is named after the Spanish term meaning “obsessive attention to detail”.

While the Australian contingent provided botanicals such as lemon myrtle, anise myrtle, Tasmanian pepper leaf, and coriander; the Spaniards brought along Cornicabra olive, almond, fresh rosemary, white pepper, and Seville orange peel.

According to the distillery the result is “crazy good”.

Mackenzie says that the intention was to make a gin that combined the “best of both worlds”.

“We wanted some of our more exotic and unique botanicals to live happily alongside the savoury Mediterranean flavours and I reckon we might have just gotten it right,” he says. “The aromatics are bright, savoury and clean with a slight citrus spike. Olives, rosemary and crushed coriander sit above a solid base of juniper. The savoury notes carry on to the palate and are supported by pine needles, olive leaf and a textural almond note.”

The gin has been bottled at both distilleries, and while the contents are identical the packaging is unique to each distillery’s bottle style. So while the Four Pillars edition is the paired back, minimalist design that they are famous for, the Santamanía version is a little more out there.

“In Spain, people from Madrid are cats, and that’s the reason why on our bottle you can find a black cat together with a kangaroo. Aussies are the kangaroos,” explains Javier Domínguez. “At Santamanía we feel very proud of our friendship with Four Pillars and the opportunity to work together on such a unique and genuine project.”

The distillers recommend serving Cousin Vera’s Gin in a G&T with a lemon and rosemary garnish, or a dirty martini with an olive.

The gin is available exclusively at the Four Pillars Distillery or online through the distillery’s website.  

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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