So, you've heard of flavoured gin - but have you ever heard of Cumquat Gin? Well, we hadn't before Shirl the Pearl - and we can't believe what we've been missing this whole time. Summer: the season of long days at the beach, fish and chip picnics, and most importantly, delicious cocktails - and we can't think of a better way to ring in summer than with a refreshing cumquat infused gin.
Co-Founder and Distiller at Cape Byron Distillery, Eddie Brook's Shirl the Pearl gin was inspired by his Grandma Shirl's notorious cumquat gin recipe, which grew from Shirl's bootleg gin creation made using cumquats from her very own garden.
“Growing up, we had a cumquat tree in our front yard and my job as a 3-year-old was to pick each cumquat, prick each one and pop them in a jar. This sometimes took me days! Upon reflection, I realise it was a genius way to keep a child occupied, but it remains a very fond memory of mine," says Pam Brook
In honour of the original recipe, the gin is bright and citrusy, with the natural acidity and mild bitterness of Australian cumquats pairing perfectly with Brookie's Byron Dry Gin. With notes of orange blossom, mandarin and marmalade, Brookie's is perfect in citrusy sours, Breakfast Martinis or even just a simple spritz.
"This Gin is an ode to my Grandma who was known to her friends and family as ‘Shirl the Pearl’. My Mum (Pam) would tell me stories of Shirl’s notorious Cumquat Gin that was generously cracked open for her friends, or at various cocktail and dinner parties. This spirit is truly special and I’m sure Shirl would approve.” Says Eddie Brook
So, why not ignite your inner ‘Shirl’ and try your hand at these delicious cocktail recipes at your next rendezvous:
Shirl’s White Lady
60ml Shirl The Pearl
30ml Lemon Juice
15ml Sugar Syrup
15ml Aquafaba or Egg White
Shake with ice and strain into a Nick & Nora glass.
Garnish with Cumquat & Dash of Bitters
Shirl in the City
45ml Shirl the Pearl
45ml Cranberry Juice
20ml Yuzu Juice or Lemon Juice
10ml Sugar Syrup
2 x dashes of Grapefruit Bitters
Blend all with ice and strain into a Tall glass.
Garnish with a Grapefruit Zest & Eucalyptus Sprig.
Shirl’s Spicy Margarita
30ml Shirl the Pearl
30ml Arette Reposado Tequila
30ml Lime Juice
Shake with ice and strain into a Coupette glass.
Garnish with Paprika & Chilli Salt Rim.
This zesty little number will be on high rotation this summer, with a sweet yet refreshing punch that'll have you wondering how you ever went without.
WORDS | Brittany Ross
IMAGERY | Cape Byron Distillery