26 June 2023

First Looks: Botanica Spirits Festival brings gin to the gardens in spring

| Lucy Ridge
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pouring gin

The Botanica spirits and food festival will bring together some of the best craft distilleries in Australia. Photo: Supplied.

A uniquely natural gin festival is coming to town this September at the Australian National Botanic Gardens.

The Botanica Spirits & Food Festival will celebrate craft distilling, with over 15 different Australian distilleries set to offer tastings. Australia’s craft distilling community is growing rapidly, and this event is a chance to sample some of the finest in the field. Attendees can look forward to uncovering the secrets behind the unique gastronomical properties found in Australian native ingredients, and learning how the craft distilling community has embraced these flavours.

The immersive festival has a strong focus on the botanicals used in the distillation process.

Gin distilling typically includes a range of botanicals that give each gin its unique flavour. Traditional ingredients like juniper berry, coriander seed and angelica root are still used in many gins around the world, but Australia’s native flowers, herbs and plants are making waves in the distilling world as more people explore the possibilities of these unique flavours.

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The Botanica Gin & Spirits festival will run over two days in September to take advantage of the Spring sunshine. Photo: Supplied.

This makes the Australian National Botanic Gardens a naturally perfect location for this festival as participants can wander through the native landscapes of the gardens and then get a taste of how Australian craft gins are finding a niche through their use of native ingredients.

NSW distillers Manly Spirits from Sydney, Karu Distillery from Grose Vale and Black Snake Distillery from Narrabri are all confirmed to attend, with the full lineup of distilleries still to be announced.

Canberra locals Ambrosia Distillery, based at Dairy Road, will also be at the festival. Organisers promise there will be over 75 different craft spirits and gins to taste (although we wouldn’t recommend trying to sample all of them!)

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The event will include a packed schedule of live demonstrations and masterclasses from leaders in the distilling industry to help you level up your G&T-making skills, whether you’re a seasoned gin aficionado or just starting to develop your palate.

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Canberra locals Ambrosia Distillery will bring their flavoured gins and vodkas to the festival. Photo: Ambrosia Distillery.

And to keep everyone’s stomachs lined, there will also be a range of local food trucks attending over the weekend serving up snacks and gourmet delights designed to pair perfectly with the many drinks on offer. In addition to the offerings from the lineup of distillers, an onsite Botanic Bar will also be pouring a curated selection of beverages.

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Tickets for the festival include access to exclusive tastings, live talks from industry professionals, a branded tote bag and a tasting glass to use throughout the day.

Festival organisers anticipate the limited tickets will sell fast.

The Botanica Spirits & Food Festival will be held at The Australian National Botanic Gardens on the weekend of 2 and 3 September from 1 pm to 5 pm. Find out more at the Botanica website, or follow the Botanica Festival on Facebook or Instagram.

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