Talking gin with Diageo’s Krystal Hart: part two

13 November, 2018 by tallenby

As part of Gin Month, BARS&clubs reached out to Diageo’s National Gin and World Class Ambassador Krystal Hart, who – safe to say – knows a thing or two about all things juniper.

In part two of a two-part interview (part-one here), we ask Krystal about the growth of Aussie craft gins in recent years, her predictions for the future direction of the gin industry, and her take on the ‘juniper debate’.

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Q: WHAT’S YOUR OPINION ON THE PROLIFERATION OF AUSTRALIAN CRAFT GINS IN RECENT YEARS? DO YOU SEE THIS AS A GOOD SIGN FOR THE INDUSTRY?

Gin is the fastest growing spirit category in Australia. We are incredibly fortunate to have such versatility of flavour, style and expression of locality. There’s so much excitement and buzz around gin that you can’t help but get involved. But this can be a double-edged sword. With demand comes competition. The truly ‘craftful’ brands will survive the culling and propel Australian spirits into a new wave of gin culture. Ask me this question again in 5 years.

Q: WHERE DO YOU SIT IN THE (FOR LACK OF A BETTER WORD) JUNIPER ‘DEBATE’? SHOULD A GIN THAT DOESN’T HAVE JUNIPER AS ITS CORE DNA STILL BE CALLED A GIN?

No, it should not be called gin. EU labelling laws clearly state that “Only flavouring substances or flavouring preparations or both shall be used for the production of gin so that the taste is predominantly that of juniper.” The category is quite flexible as it stands, allowing for difference of production and geography to not affect its classification. Juniper is the beating heart that allows the category to propel forward. Without the noticeably alpine and floral notes that juniper provides, the spirit is not identifiably gin. It’s such an exciting time in the world of spirits with so many liquid innovations, [why not] branch out and create a new category in the search for more unique botanical spirits that aren’t quite gin, and certainly don’t need to be labelled flavoured vodka!

Q: WHERE DO YOU THINK THE GIN CATEGORY IS HEADED OVER THE NEXT FEW YEARS, IN TERMS OF TRENDS AND FLAVOURS?

I think you’ll see the category explode with even more dynamic expressions of spirits that continue to challenge the understanding of what a gin should be. We’re seeing more and more botanical spirits exploding into the market that aren’t quite ‘gin’ and from a taste perspective don’t quite fit into the flavoured vodka category. The category of No/Low Spirits is also on the rise, and with that incredibly intelligent marketing plans that appeal to the lifestyle of gin drinking without the fear of the next day hangover. And of course collaborations, with large and small scale production houses collaborating to diversify their audience. Exciting times!

Q: HOW ARE THE TWO DIAGEO GINS (TANQUERAY AND GORDON’S) BEST SERVED?

We’ve recently launched Gordon’s Premium Pink Gin and Tanqueray Flor De Sevilla. For a simple spritz serve, try 45mls Gordon’s Premium Pink with 45mls Prosecco and 60mls Soda Water. Add two wedges of squeezed lemon and half a dozen strawberry slices. To enjoy the Tanqueray Flor de Sevilla try in a simple Gin and Tonic serve with 45mls Tanqueray Flor De Sevilla with Fever Tree Aromatic Tonic Water. Add a slice of orange to garnish.

To try the Tanqueray Flor De Sevilla Gin and The Gordon’s Premium Pink Distilled Gin in a cocktail serve try these:

Tanqueray Flor De Sevilla Amber Negroni

  • 30mls Tanqueray Flor De Sevilla
  • 25mls Cocchi Americano
  • 10mls Suze
  • 15mls Tio Pepe

Method: Add all ingredients to a mixing glass and top with ice. Stir until adequately diluted and pour into a stemless wine glass over block ice. Garnish with an orange twist

The Pink Gin Fizz

  • 50mls Gordon’s Premium Pink Distilled Gin
  • 25mls Lemon Juice
  • 20mls Sugar Syrup
  • 10mls Egg white/aquafaba
  • 30mls NV Landsdowne Sparkling Pinot noir (Adelaide Hills)

Method: Add all ingredients excluding the sparkling wine to a shaker tin and wet shake first. Strain liquid back into the tin and dry shake. Add sparkling wine to the bottom of your fizz glass and pour the content into the glass. Zest and discard a lemon peel.