Kangaroo Island Spirits unveils world’s first 100% Australian-grown juniper gin

Kangaroo Island Spirits has released the world’s first gin made exclusively with 100% Australian-grown, single-sourced common juniper.

Kangaroo Island Spirits, South Australia’s first dedicated gin distillery, has introduced the world’s first gin made exclusively with 100% Australian-grown, single-sourced common juniper.

This creation, known as the First Harvest Juniper Gin, is an authentic representation of Kangaroo Island’s unparalleled biodiversity and climate.

“We’re excited to see this one released,” head distiller since 2021, Charlie Schmidt, says.

“We’ve been sitting on it for over a year now so it’s great to finally see it available to our customers. We can’t wait to see what they think.”

Established in 2006, Kangaroo Island Spirits has continually pushed the boundaries of innovation and exploration within the distillery world. The founders had the foresight to plant juniper bushes (juniperus communis) at their distillery in Cygnet River on Kangaroo Island.

Over the years, these juniper saplings flourished, maturing into full-grown trees, and today, they yield the key ingredient for this exceptional gin.

“At the heart of every gin are juniper berries, and until now, all Australian gins have used juniper imported from various sources worldwide,” Stuart Morrow, Spirits Innovation and Brand Manager, says.

“Our founders planted 230 juniper bushes back in 2006, and today, we have fully mature plants, allowing us to make a gin produced exclusively from juniper hand-picked from our distillery. We’ve achieved the rare distinction of having a local supply of juniper, allowing us to create a gin that embodies true Kangaroo Island spirit.”

Morrow further emphasises the distillery’s commitment to championing the spirit of Kangaroo Island, stating, “We’re not just producers from KI; we aim to embody the island’s spirit of ingenuity and a can-do attitude.”

But the uniqueness of First Harvest Juniper Gin doesn’t stop at the juniper. Kangaroo Island Spirits has taken a holistic approach by sourcing other botanicals directly from its distillery garden, showcasing the island’s rich produce.

Image: Meaghan Coles / nowandthenphotography

Its garden has yielded ingredients like garden-grown angelica, native thyme, cardamom leaf, lemongrass, and pepper, which has created a gin that offers more than just juniper flavour; it’s complex and exceptionally delicious.

“We’ve chosen ingredients [for the new gin] that would complement the juniper, add complexity, as well as showcase the flavours we have in our garden,” Charlie says.

The new gin is aptly named “First Harvest” to commemorate its achievement. It boasts a bold and flavourful profile with a robust alcohol content of 57%.

Morrow teases that there is more to come from Kangaroo Island Spirits.

“We don’t like to sit still; we’re always innovating. We aim to celebrate the flavours of the island and its people. In the not-too-distant future, we’ll introduce a whisky as well, marking the next chapter of our journey.”

Kangaroo Island Spirits First Harvest Juniper Gin
Price: $99.99
Buy: Click here

Cellar Door
Where: 856 Playford Hwy, Cygnet River SA 5223
Open: Monday – Friday 10:30am until 5:30pm
More info: Click here

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