The Southside: A minty gin spring sensation

One of the things about mint in Australia is that come spring, it pops up everywhere. It’s a weed. But a delicious one, and if you have room to incorporate some of this beautiful fresh mint into your drinks, you should do it. Cara Devine wrote about the rebujito with a big sprig of mint in the top, so that’s one option, but you could also go for this gin classic, the Southside. We got a bit of inspiration from an Insta post from Hains & Co in Adelaide featuring the biggest mint leaf ever, mixed up with some delicious Never Never gin.

“Al Capone and his mob controlled the booze business on the southside of the city while another gang controlled the northside. The mellow gin from the north was mixed with ginger ale in a cocktail called the ‘Northside’, while Capone’s less palatable gin needed citrus, mint and sugar to balance the flavour. The drink was then christened the ‘Southside’.”

Like all classics there are a few origin stories rolling round about this one and given that it’s basically a gin daiquiri with mint, it’s not a big stretch to imagine someone giving this recipe a go. The story we like though is that this drink and its name were born during Prohibition in Chicago. Al Capone and his mob controlled the booze business on the southside of the city while another gang controlled the northside. The mellow gin from the north was mixed with ginger ale in a cocktail called the ‘Northside’, while Capone’s less palatable gin needed citrus, mint and sugar to balance the flavour. The drink was then christened the ‘Southside’.

RECIPE
60ml Gin
6 mint leaves
10ml simple syrup
15ml lime juice
Shake and fine strain into a coupette. Garnish with mint.

Try your Southside with these gins:

Australian Distilling Co. Perth Gin
The warmth of Perth and its unique flora are featured in the recipe for Australian Distilling Company’s Perth Gin. Delicious notes of lemon myrtle and warm boronia pair together and linger on the tongue, while super-premium botanicals and pure water for the distillation create a very smooth-drinking spirit. This is a beautiful gin to use for a martini, or simply serve over ice. Australian Distilling Co.

Wolf Lane Distillery Navy Strength Gin
Sip in homage to the Royal Navy with Wolf Lane Distillery’s Navy Strength Gin. This is a strong spirit, 58% ABV and 118 proof, made it in the historic style of when gin was drunk by Royal Navy officers and sailors on the high seas. There’s a strong punch of flavour, with distinctive juniper and coriander flavours, complemented with ruby red grapefruit and fresh finger limes. Wolf Lane Distillery

FORDS Gin
Distilled in London at Thames Distillers, Fords Gin is a collaboration between 8th generation Master Distiller Charles Maxwell and Simon Ford of The 86 Co. The gin, a mix of 9 botanicals, starts with a traditional base of juniper & coriander seed and is balanced by citrus (bitter orange, lemon & grapefruit peel), florals (jasmine flower & orris) and spices (angelica & cassia). Brown-Forman

Hendrick’s Gin
The iconic medicine bottle shape of the Hendrick’s Gin lets you know that you’re in for a quality Gin experience and with Hendrick’s you get an unexpected infusion of cucumber & rose petals that results in a most iconic Gin. Mix with Indian tonic water for the classic G&T and use in your next martini. William Grant & Sons

Tanqueray No TEN
The classic taste of Tanqueray gin is elevated in the more exclusive Tanqueray No. 10. Smooth, with aromatics of the floral botanicals familiar to many who love the original. It’s a sweeter tasting gin, with each ingredient carefully selected for freshness and aromas. Tanqueray No. 10 is an excellent choice for blending in cocktails, with crisp citrus aromas and a hint of lemon zest. Diageo

Peddlers Gin
Peddlers is a rare Eastern gin distilled in the London dry method. Combining a traditional juniper base with rare Chinese botanicals such as Sichuan Pepper, Buddha’s Hand, and Lotus flower, Peddlers captures a unique yet balanced taste. Proof & Company

Star of Bombay
The Star of Bombay gin is a small batch spirit, distilled in copper pots and aged to create a remarkable smoothness. In fact, the extra care with this spirit allows it to be enjoyed neat or over ice, allowing you to fully experience the notes of Bergamont Orange Peel and Ambrette Seeds, which lend it a citrusy-floral enhancement. Bacardi Martini

Archie Rose Signature Dry Gin
Their Signature Dry Gin explores the native Australian botanicals, featuring tangy Blood Lime, spicy, Dorrigo Pepperleaf, and tangy Lemon Myrtle. A robust juniper berry foundation gives structure to the traditional spirit, while the River Mint adds a unique, refreshing finish. The gin is complex, with layers of flavour, and perfectly balanced, making it an excellent blending spirit. Enjoy in a Gimlet or a dry martini with a twist of fresh lemon. Archie Rose

Bulldog London Dry Gin
A balanced flavour and crisp character that make London Dry gin so popular but is infused with 12 of the rarest, most distinctive botanicals; including Dragon Eye (cousin of the Lychee), French lavender, Italian juniper, Asian lotus leaves, Turkish white poppy, and Chinese liquorice. It’s prepared in small batches in traditional copper pots, distilled four times for freshness and to impart a richness and complexity. Campari Australia

Young Henrys Noble Cut Gin
A brewer’s gin, blending techniques and flavours from both brewing and distillation. We use neutral grain spirit to showcase juniper, Australian botanicals such as lemon myrtle and pepperberry and just like our beer we incorporate Tasmanian grown enigma hops. Enigma hops, developed and grown locally, are added to the gin basket to give a mineral complexity you’d expect to find in a fine white wine. All of that leads to a highly aromatic, highly complex and altogether unique take on the London Dry style of gin. Young Henrys

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