Celebrity chef Matt Moran has launched a boutique gin and a whisky, which go on sale on Amazon this week.
Moran has partnered with Tasmania’s McHenry Distillery to create Moran’s Blend 299, a dry gin and No 9, a whisky he says will appeal to the aficionado and first-timer alike.
The liquors will form part of Amazon Australia’s new spirits line, Further South Spirits, sold exclusively on the online marketplace.
Moran says he developed the drinks to match some of his signature dishes.
“As a chef, restauranteur and farmer, everything is about the flavour, but it goes beyond the food. When you come to one of my restaurants, the dining experience is about so much more – it’s about the food, sure, but it’s also about the service, the ambience, and – very importantly – what you drink.”
In whisky lover Bill McHenry, Moran found a kindred spirit, so to speak, the founder of 10-year-old McHenry Distillery in Port Arthur.
“The real reason behind this collaboration is Bill,” says Moran, who has developed a “healthy respect” for the distiller’s exacting process. “I love his ethos – it’s all about quality and flavour. And he’s got the best water in the world to be making gin and whisky with.”
McHenry says working with an experienced chef like Moran was a unique experience. “As distillers, we’re always working with and thinking about alcohol, whereas someone like Matt brings an entire wealth of relevant experience from food. And we just loved the idea of bringing those two things together.”
He hopes the collaboration will change the way Australians view gin.
“Gins have always been seen as a drink you might have before a meal, rather than with a meal, but we think gins – gin and tonic, or other gin cocktails – can actually be equally enjoyed with a meal.”
Moran and McHenry’s Moran’s Blend 299 gin sells for $82.50, while Moran’s No 9 whisky sells for $187, both in 500ml bottles.