Just be-gin-ning

Published:
01/07/2021

 

I have the pandemic to thank for placing Finders on my radar.

During lockdown last year, my gin-enthusiast housemate decided a productive way to spend her time at home would be to cultivate her burgeoning gin collection.

And as bottles trickled in from far flung corners of our Great Southern Land, one in particular caught my attention. 

While not a gin-lover myself, I was intrigued to see that, like me, this tipple claimed to be proudly from the ‘North Side’.

When I found out they offered tours of their St Leonards distillery just in time for said housemate’s birthday, it seemed fate had struck.

‘Finders’ felt an accurate name, as we ventured into a seemingly deserted industrial estate at the back of Royal North Shore Hospital one freezing May afternoon.

An unassuming ‘welcome’ sign soon let us know we were on the right track, however, before we stepped into the bright but intimate warehouse.

Owners Kyle and Georgia were quick to welcome us, leading us straight to the imposing 300-litre copper still at the back of the space.

The eye could not help but rest on this giant apparatus, as Georgia ran through an informative and engaging summary of the history of gin in Australia.

Next Kyle launched into an explanation of the process behind his brainchild – the uniquely Australian flavoured gin. 

While at times complex, his passion for his craft shone through as he elaborated on the ins and outs of distilling, and my housemate simply lapped it up. 

I was almost concerned I’d come home to my own industrial still.

It was then over to the bar to taste the final product. 

Any apprehension I may have felt towards sampling the gin soon dissipated, as the delicate floral flavours of orange peel, chamomile, native gum, and wattle seed overtook the palate.

It’s a complex, dry gin but with a smooth mouth feel that makes it an entirely sippable spirit.

The gin and tonic was the standout for me, with the Australian botanicals still pulling through to create a crisp and refreshing classic cocktail.

Though we’d initially planned to move on after our tour, the warm, inviting atmosphere and the hospitality of the owners saw us hang around for a few more hours than expected.

As delicious mixes, such as the Northside, flowed – a zesty concoction of Finders gin and freshly squeezed lime – it proved hard to pull ourselves away, and it was only as evening fell that we finally bid adieu to this local gem.

Author:
Stephanie Aikins, News Editor, North Shore Living Magazine

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