One of Australia’s most highly-awarded spirit producers, Never Never Distilling Co. have launched an exciting new collaboration with South Australian food icon Spring Gully Foods.
The brands have come together to create Australia’s first commercially available Botanical Cocktail Onion, with the same botanicals that go into Never Never’s famous Triple Juniper Gin.
Each jar contains not only Spring Gully’s famous pearl cocktail onions but also fresh juniper, coriander seed, liquorice root and Australian pepperberry.
“It’s a very rare day that you ever get to talk about an onion collaboration” says Co-Founder and Brand Director at Never Never Distilling Co. Sean Baxter.
“Spring Gully have been the home of the pickled onion since they first started producing them back in 1946, so when it comes to pickled onions, few can compete with the flavour and texture,” says Baxter.
“I certainly should know,” say’s Baxter, “I’ve been drinking Gibson Martini’s since I knew what they were”.
“We’re very excited to be collaborating with such a fantastic, innovative South Australian brand in Never Never Distilling Co,” says Keetah Murphy, Sales & Marketing Manager at Spring Gully Foods.
“When they approached us to work on the development of this product we jumped at the opportunity to be able to give one of our classic favourites a modern spin!”
Never Never have been spreading the word on this incredible combination since they first started their business in 2016 with Baxter transitioning from a life behind the bar to one spent in front of it.
While most Australians would associate cocktail onions as the third part of the famous trio of kabana and cheese, it turns out that the world’s most famous cocktail use’s liberal quantities of the tiny root vegetable as well.
“In my opinion one of the world’s tastiest martini garnishes is the humble cocktail onion,” says Baxter. “However, for whatever reason, it can be hard to find a bar that always has them on hand.”
That is all set to change with a new national incentive that Never Never are rolling out that is aimed at bringing the brine back to the martini menu.
“We here at Never Never Distilling Co. always want to ensure that wherever we go in the country, we can drink at a bar that stocks Never Never Spring Gully cocktail onions,” he says.
“I mean, that’s why they are called cocktail onions, they belong behind the bar, not rolling off a cheese board,” he says.
“So if you decide to range a Never Never Gibson Martini on the menu, we will personally supply the venue with the cocktail onions required to complete the duo,” Baxter says.
“This is about taking two incredible South Australian products and putting them in every cocktail bar in the country,” says Baxter.
The Gibson Martini, like most classic cocktails, has a myriad of origin stories, however the most colourful was that it was named after the New York socialites the Gibson Girls, made famous by a risqué series of pen and ink drawings by Charles Dana Gibson in the early 1900’s.
It was risqué because the two cocktail onions adorning the drink were supposedly representative of the ample cleavage of the illustrated glamour models.
Regardless of its heritage, the Gibson cocktail has seen a resurgence thanks to spirited purveyors who appreciate the slightly savoury flavours the martini tends to generate.
Marcus Motteram owner of the world renowned Hains&Co cocktail bar has been a huge supporter of Spring Gully since 2013, when the company was pushed to the brink of financial collapse.
“I’d like to think we sold enough Gibson martinis to keep them afloat,” Motteram says, “they are a South Australian icon, an institution, it would have been an incredible tragedy to see such an important local business go under.”
“When I heard that Never Never were collaborating to create a botanical onion with the great folks at Spring Gully, I jumped at the chance to be involved,” he says.
“I love what both these brands represent and I love it even more when it materialises into the best damn martini I’ve ever tasted.”
You’ll be able to find the Never Never, Spring Gully cocktail onions in select Foodland stores, with the products hitting shelves over the coming weeks.