Posted November 16, 2016

Meet the Maker

Get to know the Melbourne Gin company (MGC) with Owner and Distiller, Andrew Marks ahead of Juniperlooza 2016.

The two-day extravaganza will again showcase beautiful Australian and internationally crafted gins including MGC. Distilleries are already preparing to top last year’s fun-filled event on the banks of the Yarra, with gin-inspired cocktails, and of course, classic G&Ts.

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Why did MGC get involved with Juniperlooza?              

We were involved in last year’s event which was a great success. It was lots of fun interacting with consumers and fellow craft distillers alike. We love spreading the word on the burgeoning local craft gin market and showcasing our gin directly to the consumer in a creative and delicious way.

What can punters expect from the MGC at this year’s event?

This year Juniperlooza for MGC is all about the classics and its modern interpretation. We will serve our traditional “MG&T” with grapefruit and rosemary, and also a funky variation on the Negroni.

Tell us about Melbourne Gin Company

We launched in 2013 after several years spent developing the recipe. We are based in the Yarra Valley at Gembrook Hill Vineyard but the initial trials which determined the feasibility of the gin were conducted on my stovetop still in my apartment in Melbourne. Since this humble beginning we now have national distribution and export our gin to six different countries. Most recently we were awarded a gold medal for the MGC at the New York International Wine and Spirits Show 2016.

What makes MGC Dry Gin unique to other gins?

We use a still that was designed for making perfume to make the MGC. We find that this type of still is ideal for preserving the delicate aromas of our botanicals. There are a lot of cross overs between perfume and gin making which are very interesting and we explored this when developing our recipe. For example orris root and sandalwood are used as fixative agents in perfume and we have incorporated them into the MGC. We also distil our botanicals individually which allows us to understand the unique properties of each botanical and maximise their contribution to the recipe.

Help us get to know the maker! What’s your background and how did you learn to make gin?

I am a fully qualified winemaker. My other job is at my family winery, Gembrook Hill where we grow and make our own wine. I also have my own wine label the Wanderer. In a past life I worked for Penfolds. The curious thing about winemakers is that we have an abiding passion for all sorts of drinks. Amongst other things I particularly enjoy gin martinis. Back in the day my flat mate and I would observe “Martini Tuesday” – where we would solve the problems of the world in a civilised setting. It was only a short logical jump from the martini from recognising in myself the essential skill set required to have a go at making my own gin. The name Melbourne Gin Company came to me one day in Melbourne and the idea was so scary, audacious and challenging that I couldn’t resist. At the time there were no books on how to make gin (there probably is now!) so I engaged in what I call a journey into alchemy.

Finally, how do you take your gin?

I take an ice cold gin martini with a twist of grapefruit!

Juniperlooza
Saturday 19 – Sunday 20 November, 12pm – 6pm
Tickets $35 online

Click here for more information