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New Adelaide Hills 'club' to showcase gin

The Forager

An Adelaide Hills hotel is capitalising on South Australians' interest in boutique gin and more intimate “small bar” experiences by creating an in-house space that caters for the trend.

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Boutique gin

The Stirling Hotel Gin Club is the result of a collaboration between two long-time gin enthusiasts, Richard Rogosic (The Stirling Hotel venue manager) and Colin Leak (The Stirling Cellars and Patisserie manager), who wanted to create a dedicated bar within the hotel to showcase the diversity of boutique gins from the Adelaide Hills and around the world.

The Gin Club is open to the public and located next to the pizza bar. It features 17 select gins from around the world, including 11 Australian gins plus six boutique tonics and syrups. The gins are displayed on shelves behind the bar alongside jars of fresh garnish to highlight their unique flavours.

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Behind the bar at The Stirling Hotel Gin Club. Photo: Nat Rogers/InDaily

With the Adelaide Hills being home to three of the seven boutique gins produced in South Australia, Rogosic and Leak believe the Gin Club is a way they can support local distillers and educate consumers, helping the region to gain recognition as a destination for gin appreciation.

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Richard Rogosic behind Gin Club bar. Photo: Nat Rogers/InDaily

“Gin is a drink that truly represents the fresh fruits and botanicals of the Adelaide Hills, and we aim to celebrate that by offering a menu of gin and tonic pairings that celebrates that diversity,” says Rogosic.

As well as three Applewood gins, Ounce gin and 78 Degrees gin from the Adelaide Hills, the club offers KIS Wild Gin from Kangaroo Island, Settlers Rare Dry from McLaren Vale, MCG Dry Gin and Four Pillars Rare Dry from Victoria, two West Winds gins from WA, and international gins Hammer & Son, Ancient Mariner, Elephant, Monkey 47, Ransom and Zuidam.

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Some of the gin pairings available. Photo: Nat Rogers/InDaily

Rogosic and Leak have worked with the distillers to offer their ultimate pairings for their gins. For example, Adelaide Hills distiller Sacha La Forgia suggested his 78 Degrees gin be paired with Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic, a slice of fresh lemon and a sprig of thyme, while the suggested pairing for Ancient Mariner gin from London is East Imperial Old World Tonic, green olives and basil. However, Rogosic says customers are welcome to create their own pairings, and the tonics are served separately so customers can mix to taste.

“When a customer comes up to the bar, we go through the pairings, explaining where it was produced and the different botanicals used and why it has been paired with a particular tonic and garnish,” explains Rogosic. “My favourite pairing is the Applewood Lavender gin with lime, lavender and East Imperial Old World Tonic.”

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Gin tea tastings. Photo: Nat Rogers/InDaily

On the weekends, Rogosic is making pots of gin tea available for tasting (Saturdays and Sundays from 12pm to 10pm).

“It’s my own recipe – a mix of Ounce Gin, masala chai tea, vanilla pod, sugar syrup and muddled strawberries,” he says. “In winter, we’re looking to do a mulled gin.”

The Stirling Hotel Gin Club is being launched tonight.

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