Amidst all the red carpets and Australian premieres at Sydney Film Festival this month, there was a quiet launch for a new luxury London Dry Gin, BLOOM Gin. The event took place in the Sydney Film Festival Hub, which transformed Lower Town Hall into a flurry of filmmaker talks, parties, photo and film exhibitions, and a popular virtual reality showcase.
Hearing snippets of film conversations emanating from urbane folk quaffing Eden Road Wines perched on their favourite piece from the latest Herman Miller Collection was a wonderful way to kill time between films - especially with accompanying antipasto.
With Sydney Film Festival having a focus on female filmmakers this year, it seemed quite fitting that Master Distiller Joanne Moore, the world’s first female gin Master Distiller, was making their official spirit. Inspired by an English country garden, BLOOM Gin is actually a bit more floral than my usual favourite London dry gins. With upfront citrus, juniper and a hint of honeysuckle on the nose, the predominant flavours are chamomile and pomelo (the largest of the citrus fruit family).
The obvious match for gin is tonic, and BLOOM Gin recommends the herbaceous Fentiman's Tonic. While you can buy this combination in a pre-mixed bottle, if you do, I highly recommend pouring it into a balloon glass loaded up with ice.
Being a martini drinker, I ignored all recommended advice, and first tried out BLOOM Gin with my favourite Dolin Dry Vermouth. It was a bit of a train wreck with the floral gin fighting with the vermouth's thirty alpine herbs. Renowned mixologist Grant Collins explained my rookie mistake was adding the vermouth, because the floral notes of BLOOM Gin call for martinis made with sherry. Duly noted.
At the launch, Collins, who owns popular Kings Cross bar, The Powder Keg, showcased BLOOM Gin in three cocktails. He was most successful in the strawberry-topped deconstructed gin and tonic spoons that reassembled fizzing on your tongue, into a flavour approximating familiar drink. Under a long-lasting fluffy white cloud of Ferran Adria-inspired Champagne emulsion, Collins’ Wimbledon Martini was dominated by sweetness and raspberry pulp rather than highlighting the delicate BLOOM Gin.
Ably assisted by audience volunteer Rebecca Varidel from Sydney Scoop, Collins also recreated one of The Powder Keg's signature drinks, Gunpowder Plot.
With camomile as a key note in BLOOM Gin, it's no suprise that this cocktail's tea-infused direction worked well with this gin.
As for my own home-base experiments, I found BLOOM Gin lent itself best to combinations with pink grapefuit, home-made lemonade and more subtle tea-based cocktails. BLOOM Gin has such a smooth finish, gentled by a hint of sweetness and lovely citrus, you shouldn't neglect to try it straight.
Find out more about BLOOM Gin here: www.BLOOMgin.com.au
The Powder Keg
7 Kellett Street, Potts Point
Ph: (02) 8354 0980