Has it already been six years since I first saw a demonstration of the curious colour-changing properties of the innovative Ink Gin at an information session on the verandah of the Byron at Byron (now Crystalbrook Byron) resort? The gin was pretty much a hit from the get-go, winning ‘Best Innovation in Spirits’ at the 2016 Australian Drinks Award. Creator, Paul Messenger, of Husk Distillers, who first came across the pH-sensitive butterfly pea flower in 2011, not only reaped the rewards for years of research in perfecting the product, but also started something of a coloured-gin movement that has spread worldwide.
Ink Gin started as a product to bring to market whilst the real innovation, agricole-style rum made from sugar cane grown in the fields around Husk Distillers, was maturing in barrels for years prior to its first release. Now, helped by the commercial success of that product, the first old run-down shed at the Distillery has grown into a modern distillery, a destination tourist attraction in its own right, serving not only the gin but also a range of rums (they’re excellent sipping rums, by the way, forget about Bundy and coke) and food.
Ink Gin continues to win awards, with its latest being a double-gold in the international SIP awards in the category of flavoured/infused gins.