The idea for Gingin Gin all goes back to an afternoon about 10 years ago, James Young was sipping on a G&T with his brother when one of them mused “Do you know what we should do? Make gin in Gingin. Then we can call it Gingin Gin”. That sliding doors moment set James on the path to becoming a distiller.
The first step in his journey happened when James took over a mothballed distillery in the Swan Valley, which he named Old Young’s (his surname being Young and he is the elder brother). True to the Old Young’s moniker, he chose to create craft premium spirits by combining traditional with new techniques, then adding just a hint of unusual flair.
James’ story doesn’t quite begin at Old Youngs’ door though, his path to distilling is rather more interesting. From owning a graphic design agency, being head coach of the Lithuanian Women’s Hockey Team, working in some of Perth’s biggest advertising agencies, being the leading sports administrator at Hockey Australia and Netball WA, to even at one point being appointed the CEO of Swimming WA, it is safe to say James has had an illustrious career before turning to gin.
A man of great taste, refined palate and just enough audacity to make things happen, James appreciates the craftsmanship of old traditions combined with the allure of new ones. So naturally, gin was always the drink for him. Whilst on one of his many other paths, James began to silently yearn for the right time and place to quit his day job and turn his hand to the craft of distilling.
The small tin shed that has become Old Young’s distillery is located in the heart of the Swan Valley in Western Australia. Upon opening in 2016 it soon starting winning awards. Back-to-back Distillery of the Year titles at Australia’s most prestigious spirit competition in 2017 and 2018 and Gold awards at International Spirits awards firmly placed this new distillery on the map.
So where does Gingin Gin come in? Before James even had a distillery or had made a gin, he decided he would pitch the idea of Gingin Gin to the best spirits design and branding agency in the world. He flew to New York and it was only when he was walking in to the meeting that it occurred to him he was walking in with just three words, actually not even three words, but one word repeated three times! Thankfully the Creative Director loved the idea of a gin made in the outback of Western Australia and Gingin Gin was born.
Old Youngs | Pic: Weekend Notes
Unique Gingin Bottle
About The Gin
If you are going to name your gin Gingin Gin, then it’s pretty important it’s made in Gingin! James Young and his team searched high and low until the perfect location for their new Gingin distillery appeared, almost out of nowhere. A recently closed winery 6 minutes out of town, was everything they could have asked for. It has a stunning glass fronted tasting room with views across the hills of Gingin and good-sized production area, which was a vast change to the 36sqm garden shed in the Swan Valley that Old Young’s started in!
Given it’s been James’ dream to make Gingin Gin for almost a decade, this gin had to be the culmination of everything he had learnt as a gin distiller up until now. He wanted to make a modern classic, a gin any Aussie would be proud to have on their shelf to share with friends.
In the end the key to this gin is in the name. It is a gin from Gingin, and so a lot of the teams’ ideas came from the region’s local botanicals. Gingin itself is a food bowl that produces much of the fresh produce for Perth. It is also a place where pristing waters meet, making it the perfect place to make superb spirits.
The recipe was on its 24th iteration when James was finally satisfied that the gin gave its namesake the justice it deserved. The final recipe has resulted in a gin that has deep juniper notes and a citrus finish with bergamot and elderflower like nose, which creates an elegant and refined spirit. James describes it as ‘a fusion really, of exotic flavours such as almond, licorice, green tea. I wanted the gin to be to be contemporary classic by giving a classic drink a more contemporary style’.
The spirit of outback Australia is also captured in the iconic bottle design. The shape and colour is inspired by a corrugated iron tank, and the label is a plethora of Australian design references - including newspapers, old stamps and landmarks of Gingin including the iconic water wheel. What’s more, to make this a truly Gingin Gin, $1 from every bottle sold is donated right back into the community, to support local community initiatives.
Gin and Tonic Pairing
This month’s gin pairs with a premium tonic, we have chosen Strangelove No.8.
- 30ml Gingin Gin
- 90ml Strangelove No.8
- Slice of fresh / dried lemon
Pour ingredients in to a glass over ice and add a slice of lemon
Gingin Gin and Tonic
Modern Classic Gin
Clear and Bright
Bergamot and elderflower tones
Deep juniper notes with smooth, subtle citrus and a hint of matcha
Juniper, Coriander, Angelica, Lemon, Orange, Olive Leaf, Licorice, Green Tea, Almond
A burst of citrus
Cocktail of the Month
Gingin Bitter Lemon Cocktail
Picture - Gingin Bitter Lemon Cocktail
- 30ml Gingin Gin
- 45ml Dry Vermouth
- 10ml Lemon
- 10ml Grenadine
- Bitter Lemon Tonic
Add all the ingredients except the bitter lemon tonic to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
Strain into a Collins glass filled with fresh ice. Top with bitter lemon soda or lemon-flavored club soda.
Garnish with a sprig of mint and a lemon wheel.