At times, Australia can be a harsh country. So much so, that during the winter of every year, even our Gin turns red. But far from being a sign of the apocalypse (although there are definitely other signs of that) it simply means that it’s time for Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz.
Now in its fifth year, it would be easy to think of the Bloody Shiraz as simply an Aussie riff on the traditional sloe gins of Europe. Although this is partly true, there are a couple of notable differences. The main difference is that Bloody Shiraz Gin is much stronger than the average sloe – a whole 12.8% stranger ABV to be exact (Sloe usually comes in around 25% ABV).
The second reason is all to do with sugar levels. There is also no artificial colour or added sugar in the Bloody Shiraz – everything is natural – so it tends to come in at a whopping 60-70% LESS sugar than what you’d normally find in a sloe gin.
Head distiller, Cameron Mackenzie, believes that this is one of the expressions best years. “Straight away you get pine forest notes, white pepper and spices. The gin is beautifully balanced with a delicious sweetness and nice tannins to finish.”
With so many of Australian’s viniculture areas affected by the bushfires earlier this year, Mackenzie says the Yarra Valley and immediate surrounds were lucky not to be affected by the smoke taint.
“Overall, we had very mild conditions and high rainfall so the region stayed green for most of the summer. Low fruit set and small bunch weights intensified the fruit flavours but the cool conditions (yes, a very cool summer) has allowed great spice, red berry and natural acidity.”
This year, as with the 2019 release, more than 100T of Shiraz has been sourced from vineyards in the Yarra Valley and nearby regional neighbours in the Macedon Ranges and Yea Valley.
The Bloody Shiraz is available from early July. For more information go to fourpillarsgin.com
If you are lucky enough to get your hands on a bottle of the Bloody Shiraz when it is released in early July, here are a few cocktails that the brand suggests you can make.
Bloody Shiraz Gin, grapefruit and bubbles come together to create a gorgeously pink party starter
- 30mL Bloody Shiraz Gin
- 30mL Ruby grapefruit juice
- Sparkling Wine
Add Bloody Shiraz Gin and juice to a Champagne flute. Top with sparkling wine
Who Shot Tom Collins?
“A bloody twist on this tall classic and refreshing collins. Poor Tom…”
- 30mL Rare Dry Gin
- 100mL old-fashioned lemonade
- 15mL Bloody Shiraz Gin
Mix gin and lemonade in a highball over ice. Squeeze in two wedges of lemon. Float Bloody Shiraz Gin on top
A delicious balance of sweet fruit, bitter Campari and lemon with an intensely beautiful colour.
- 20mL Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin
- 20mL Campari
- 20mL dry curacao (or any other orange liqueur, such as Cointreau)
- 20mL fresh lemon juice
- 1 dash of Regan’s Orange Bitters
Add ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a lemon twist