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Gingin gin: Champion distiller James Young promises to give back to community through new spirit

Perth’s newest gin started life as a pun.

James Young spent years driving through Gingin before “the penny finally dropped” that the town’s name was crying out to wind up on a gin bottle label.

Twenty-four recipes — and about eight years — later Gingin Gin arrived on WA shelves this week, with a new distillery and tasting room at the site of the former Riseborough Estate Winery in Gingin to follow early next year.

Mr Young, a two-time Distillery of the Year winner for his Swan Valley operations, said the idea was not just to cash in on a catchy name but to become part of the Gingin community.

Distiller James Young said the new spirit was about more than cashing in on a catchy name.
Camera IconDistiller James Young said the new spirit was about more than cashing in on a catchy name. Credit: Daniel Wilkins/The West Australian

That includes using Gingin water and ingredients as well as putting $1 from every bottle sold back into the community, whether that means the local Rotary club or the football team.

“There’s a Bondi vodka that’s made in Victoria and you don’t have to dig very hard to work out they’re just using and abusing the name,” he said.

“Whereas we want to become part of the fabric of Gingin and I think people (in Gingin) react to that because they can tell that we’re genuine about being there a long time.”

He said coming up with the recipe had been a “labour of love”, with last-minute tweaking up to the eleventh hour.

“This has been a dream for eight years so it had to be perfect,” he said. “It just had to be perfect and I worked really hard to get there.”

Foxtrot Unicorn owner Dimitri Rtshiladze, who was on hand this week to give Gingin Gin two thumbs up, said gin had become “pretty big” in Perth over the past five years.

“Spirits go in waves … but gin has really taken over the vodka market,” he said.

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