Banksia the star in latest Botanic Gardens gin

by James Wilkinson

Canberra’s award-winning Underground Spirits has released its latest limited-edition gin in collaboration with the Australian National Botanic Gardens.

Known as Ad Crescendum var. Flosferam this new gin features some of the Garden’s best known and loved Australian native and this edition follows on from a successful collaboration in 2020 with the Australian National Botanic Gardens (ANBG) launched for their 50-year anniversary.

Underground Spirits’ CEO, Claudia Roughley, said collaborating with the gardens means her team had access to deep botanical knowledge which aided the selection, foraging and handpicking of the botanicals that went into this year’s recipe.

When trying to find the ‘true taste of Australia’ in the gardens, she said Underground couldn’t go past the new Banksia Garden.

Experimenting with a wide variety of botanicals, the finished gin landed with some really special native specimens like Banksia ericifolia (Red Cluster, Heath Leaved Banksia), Austromyrtus dulcis (Midgen Berry), Brachychiton populneus (Kurrajong) and Corymbia citriordora (Lemon Scented Gum).

Roughley said this collaboration speaks to the wonder of the Australian National Botanic Gardens, and the many different plants that call Australia home, with the gin taking you on a journey through the garden and Australian flora.

Of importance to Underground Spirits, she said, part of the profits from this gin help support native plant conservation activities by the Gardens.

“It’s been amazing to taste the final product,” Roughley said. “It really is an amazing interpretation of what the Gardens’ Banksia Garden tastes like and that’s not a sense that you instantly consider when you’re visiting the gardens.

“Most people are content to look, smell and touch what’s growing at the foot of Black Mountain – now with this Gin, you can taste it as well.

“Gin is growing in popularity across the country and there is a real movement to find true Australian tastes and recipes that no one else can replicate and quality that can’t be copied. And that is what Ad Crescendum has become for us.

“Having access to the nation’s leading botanic garden, its plants and its talented Horticulturalists has really given us all the ingredients to authentically produce a taste of the Australian bush.

“And it’s a taste that is a world first – there’s no native Banksia inspired Gins anywhere on the market right now, and we’re proud to be trail blazing in this space with the Australian National Botanic Gardens team.”

The first time this gin project launched in Canberra in late February 2020 the nation was coming out of its worst ever bushfire season, the gardens had been devastated by a catastrophic hailstorm and was unknowingly heading into the pandemic.

“This time around we are ‘launching in lockdown’. This might seem a bit strange to some, but for our biggest fans and loyal customers, they told us don’t want to wait any longer – they are keen to get their hands on it at home, and to start making their own iso-cocktails.

“We can’t wait to see what our friends across Australia do with this gin,” Roughley said.

Ad Crescendum var. Flosferam is now on sale at