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HerCanberra Gin goes international

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It was all fun and games—until the Canberra Distillery’s HerCanberra French Earl Grey Gin was a completely delicious best-seller.

It’s amazing how much you can achieve in a short time. In June last year, the HerCanberra team joined the Canberra Distillery for some light-hearted fun eating cake and playing around with alcohol.

The plan was to learn a little bit about gin-making from Tim Reardon—someone who is helping forge Canberra’s reputation as a craft distilling centre of excellence—and to try and mix a little something something we could call our own (even if no one else wanted to drink it).

But the Gin Gods were smiling down on us that day and what emerged from our collective mind has managed to knock our socks off—not to mention those of dedicated gin drinkers locally and further afield.

Our invention—the French Earl Grey Gin—has made quite the name for itself since that day in June. And this week, we bid farewell to the first pallet of this magical colour-changing elixir as it winged its way to an international gin-loving city—Singapore.

There she is folks! Local gin goes global.

Frankly, no one is more surprised than us.

Tim recalls that his original aim in inviting us to the distillery was just to “have fun and share some knowledge”.

He invited tea-master Mikhaila Pennell from Tea Garden Co. because our Associate Editor Emma Macdonald was hell-bent on mixing a tea-based gin which would enable gin-lovers to drink it “at any time of day they would normally have a cup of tea”.

Mik helped us nail the crucial balance of botanicals such as bergamot, elderflower, chamomile and lavender. But, really, the entire day was meant to be educational as opposed to entrepreneurial.

“We didn’t have any real goal other than to learn some stuff and have some fun—any time we have done this in the past we have come out with something vaguely distinguishable as gin but certainly nothing fit-for-market,” says Tim.

Without getting into the technical side of things, Tim said the first 24 hours in and a little taste of the new gin recipe showed definite promise. It usually takes around two weeks to fully develop the flavours.

Emma recalls Tim turning up at her doorstep on the fifteenth day with an unmarked bottle of liquid clutched to his chest and a smile on his face.

Suddenly we weren’t talking fun and games anymore and the teams joined forces to get the product to market, starting at The Forage, where it sold out in minutes.

Around 4000 bottles sold and consumed later and The Canberra Distillery’s HerCanberra French Earl Grey Gin is officially Tim’s biggest seller.

“There is no doubt that the promotion HerCanberra has given it has played a part, but in the end, it is a very complex and aromatic, botanical gin.”

Of course, the fact it changes colour—from blue to pink when you add tonic or citrus—has also added to its mystical appeal.

The gin is sold across a number of stores across Canberra and Sydney, and you can click here to find your nearest stockist. And Tim has secured a distributor for Singapore before tackling Malaysia and then Korea and Hong Kong.

Closer to home, Brisbane is the next city on Tim’s distribution agenda.

“I am surprised that it did turn out so well, but also, we had a lot of creative minds working on it that day, so perhaps I shouldn’t be,” says Tim.

If you want to try some of this gin, you can order it online.

Next stop, world domination.

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