Gin and jaffles. Is there a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon? My plus one and I were treated to a sensory experience at Bad Frankie’s Australian gin masterclass. It was a personable afternoon, family style. (That is, if your family enjoys six samples of gin for lunch.) We gathered together around the tables with bar owner Seb Costello at the helm.
The afternoon was both experiential and informative. A welcome gin and tonic greeted us upon arrival. The simple, refreshing drink set the tone as we learned about the history of Australian gin and gained insights into the distilling process. Seb passed around jars of botanicals frequently featured in gin. We started with juniper, of course.
Without these berry-like seeds, gin would be flavoured vodka. We cracked open coriander seeds and sniffed cardamom, anise, and liquorice root. Staying true to Bad Frankie’s commitment to Australian spirits, the session also devoted time to native plants used by local distillers. We tasted spicy pepperberry, smelled a lemon myrtle branch, and squeezed finger limes (affectionately known as bush caviar).
With our senses activated, we were ready to taste the unique flavours in the gin samples. We tasted Yarra Valley favourite Four Pillars, McHenry’s of Tasmania, and the Melbourne Gin Company, among others. The bar only stocks Australian spirits and it’s clear they have a connection to the distillers. Seb helped bring the drinks to life with personal stories about the people behind the drinks.
We were also given free rein to tweak our drinks with bottles of tonic, dry tonic, soda, and Sin-Ko-Nah tonic syrup. A tasty, toasted jaffle completed the afternoon and set us on our merry way for further weekend adventures.
Jenny S. loves events. When she’s not attending live shows, you can find her sampling the latest craft beer or sipping a creative cocktail.
Bad Frankie provides a casual, comfortable Australian experience without being over the top. Check out the Australian Whisky Masterclass on August 6 or the Local Craft Gin Masterclass on September 10.
The bar is located at 141 Greeves St, Fitzroy.