If only everything in life tasted this good AND gave back to the environment. These four new cocktails do both - thanks to an incredible locally distilled gin which has a wonderful eco-friendly story to tell.
32 years ago, in the very same year that Bodhi started, Pam and Martin Brook bought a rundown dairy farm in the Byron Bay hinterland. The land was bare and in a bad way, after years of agricultural toiling starting way back in the 1880s when European settlers arrived and cleared the rainforest for farming.
The endemic rainforest was known as The Big Scrub, once the largest expanse of subtropical rainforest in Australia covering an area of 75,000 hectares between Byron Bay, Lismore and Ballina. By 1900, it had been cleared down to just one percent of the rainforest it once was.
In the years to follow, The Brooks planted 4,000 macadamia trees and more than 35,000 subtropical rainforest trees, slowly transforming the area back into a flourishing world of plants and wildlife.
Somewhere along the way, they also set up a distillery - Cape Byron Distillery - producing, among other things, Brookie’s Byron Dry Gin, which Bodhi uses to make many of its cocktails. Of the 25 botanicals in this gin, 17 are sourced locally, mainly from the rainforest, while their version of a European Sloe Gin, Byron Slow Gin uses the native Davidson Plum.
The Brooks family continue their work and devotion to regenerating the rainforest, preserving what’s left and encouraging other landowners to plant subtropical trees to bring this once mighty rainforest back to the lush ecosystem it once was.
Additionally, the distillery uses solar power, closed-loop composting and biodegradable labels, while the building itself was constructed using recycled materials, where possible.
These environmentally-conscious efforts combined recently earned Cape Byron Distillery the well-deserved accolade of Sustainable Distillery of the Year 2020 at the coveted Icons of Gin Awards in London.
Given the great work the family is doing to rebuild and regenerate the environment, the very least we can do is support them by featuring their truly excellent gin in our plant-based cocktails.
We’re celebrating with a special gin cocktail series, so you can come and do your bit to support them too. Available until end September.
Brookie's Slow Gin, Brookie's Dry Gin, fresh mandarin juice, mandarin and plum oleo, and kumquat jam.
Brookie's Slow Gin, apple moonshine and Woodford Reserve bourbon.
Brookie's Slow Gin, creme de framboise, fresh lemon juice, bespoke lemongrass syrup and tonic.
Brookie's Dry Gin, bespoke mint syrup, fresh lime juice and cucumber.
And you can even make this one yourself at home ! Recipe card below: