Australia Day is celebrated each January 26th on the anniversary when in 1788 Captain Arthur Phillip of the HMS Sirius a British convict ship landed after an 8-month journey from England on Australian soil and raised the British flag at Sydney Cove to claim “New Wales”, later New South Wales, as a British Colony.
Sydney Cove was dedicated after the then Home Secretary, the 1st Viscount Sydney.
In 1785, the British Government drew up plans for convicts to be transported by sea to Australia claimed by the British explorer James Cook five years earlier. Previously British convicts had been sent to the Thirteen Colonies on the east coast of North America but following the American War of Independence, the newly created United States of America refused to take no longer criminals from the United Kingdom.
Below are two fresh and elegant gin cocktails fitting for Australia Day that originally use bush botanicals.
The Gin F-Bomb Cocktail Recipe
50 ml / 1.7 Fl oz of Gin (ideally infused with Finger Lime OR our own Lime Stone)
10 ml / 0.3 Fl oz of lime juice
100 ml /3.4 Fl oz of tonic water
Large ice cubes
A Copa de Balon glass
Garnish with lime slices and a sprig of thyme
Berry Pepper Kiss Gin Cocktail
50 ml / 1.7 Fl oz Gin (ideally infused with pepperberry or muddle pepperberry peppercorns)
3 medium ripe strawberries
3 small basil leaves
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp granulated sugar
Martini cocktail glass
Muddle strawberries, sugar, basil leaves and Pepperberry in a cocktail shaker. Add ice, lemon juice and gin and shake well. Strain into a martini cocktail glass and garnish with a slice of strawberry and basil leaf.
It was not until 1804 that Matthew Flinders a British navigator who recognised Australia as a continent and officially suggested a return to its Latin name 'terra australis incognita' or 'unknown southern land'. In 1818, the 26th January was declared by the then Governor Lachlan Macquarie a national holiday, called Foundation Day, marking the 30th anniversary of the British settlement in Australia.
The significance of the day differs amongst the nation’s population due to the terrible impact of colonisation on the way of life of indigenous people. Due to the rapid decline of the indigenous population after the arrival of British ships on Australia’s shores, some prefer to call this holiday “Invasion Day”.
Australia Day is now a day to reflect, respect and celebrate the Australian spirit and the best of this country's "mateship", sense of community and its resilience. The day is marked by festivals, fireworks, community and sporting events or gather for family barbecues and cocktails at homes, parks or on the beach.
Bush Gin Botanicals
A bush gin is produced exclusively through distillation and is made using a foundation of classic botanicals and complimented with botanicals that are endemic or are from Australia.
Australian handcrafted distilleries have created a number of new flavours by using locally sourced native botanicals and many of them known as “bush foods” by indigenous Australians for a millennium before becoming prevalent in Australia’s growing native food movement.
Australian native botanicals are representative across all the flavour profiles (spicy, sweet, earthy, floral, nutty and citrus).
These include the fruity and floral botanicals of Murraya (Murraya paniculata), Strawberry gum, Riberry (Syzygium luehmannii) or clove Lilly Pilly, Kakadu plum (Terminalia ferdinandiana) or Murunga and Bush Tomato (Solanum chippendalei).
The citrus botanicals of Finger limes (Citrus australasica) or caviar lime, Lemon myrtle (Backhousia citriodora) or lemon scented ironwood and lemon scented gum (Corymbia citriodora).
The spicy notes of Cinnamon myrtle (Backhousia myrtifolia), Tasmanian pepperberry (Tasmannia lanceolate), Anise myrtle (Syzygium anisatum), Australian Sandalwood (Santalum spicatum), Dorrigo pepper (Tasmania Stipitata) or northern pepperbush, Ginger and Bloodroot (Haemodorum spicatum) also known as Meen.
The nuttiness and woodiness of Bunya nut (Araucaria bidwillii), Macadamia nut and Wattleseed (Acacia murrayana). Finally, the herbal notes of River mint (Mentha australis), Peppermint gum leaf (Eucalyptus dives) and Eucalyptus.