Q&A: TWR’S HANK LEE
With the recent explosion of local gin distilleries Australia wide, it’s no surprise that this light-bodied spirit is rapidly growing in popularity.
We chatted to Crown Perth TWR Supervisor, Hank Lee, about what makes gin TWR’s most popular spirit and the two cocktails you have to try on your next visit.
What are your favourite gin cocktails to recommend to guests?
Rutte Celery Gin, Salmon fat-washed Talisker 10, Spiced Tomato Shrub (tomatoes, watermelon rind, celery salt & bitters, black pepper, sumac, shiitake mushroom, Sriracha sauce, Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, demerara) and lemon juice.
This cocktail is a personal favourite of mine as the robust nature of the drink’s flavour profile is something that I find very unique. The spicy start from the Sriracha sauce, the refreshing yet subtle notes of tomato shrub and watermelon rind and the smooth umami finish from the Sous Vide Salmon fat-washed Talisker 10...
Roku Japanese Gin, Junmmai Daiginjo Sake, Peach Liqueur, Mirin, Sakura Syrup, with Lemon Juice and Yuzu.
This cocktail is a twist on the classic cocktail ‘The Corpse Reviver No.2’. Given its Japanese influence on the twist, there are many Japanese ingredients that contribute to its flavour profile. Notes of melon and peach keep this drink accessible to the casual customer whilst the in-house made Sakura compliment the Roku Gin base’s botanicals – the main ones being Sakura Flower, Sakura Leaf, and Yuzu Peel.
Topped with Yuzu Soda, the Kyoto Reviver finishes with a refreshing citrusy mouth feel. Not to mention this is our best-selling signature cocktail.
What does gin add to a drink?
Gin can drastically influence the profile of a cocktail. It depends on the botanical structure of the gin, whether it is a complex citrus makeup for light and refreshing cocktails or it is distilled with bitter, smoky botanicals to make for spirit-forward cocktails.
Gin is incredibly diverse. The two examples above are the opposites of what gin can offer. Some gins however can be situated in the middle of this spectrum, such as The Cutlass from West Wind down in Margaret River. It is distilled with Botanicals such as Cinnamon Myrtle and Native Bush Tomato making it an ideal gin to have with Tonic and a cucumber garnish or in perhaps a Red Snapper.
So as you can see, gin is one of the most diverse spirits a bartender can play with and for a guest to enjoy.
How popular is gin at TWR?
It is our best-selling spirit. We also use gin in three of our twelve signature cocktails, all of which are incredibly different flavoured drinks.
What range of gin do we have at TWR?
The gin market is diverse, though there are a number of popular brands at TWR.
These include Australian gins such as Archie Rose Signature Dry, Four Pillars, West Winds, London Dry Gin (Tanqueray, Sipsmith, and Bombay Sapphire), New Western Dry (Monkey 47, Roku and Rutte Celery), Bols Genever Gin and flavoured gin (Plymouth Sloe and Sipsmith Sloe Gin).
What is your favourite gin?
Bols Genever is triple distilled using over 50% malt wine (made from rye, corn, and wheat) and neutral grain spirits. I would use this gin to make classic cocktails like a Martinez because of its strong grain and malt tones and citrus notes at the end.