Underground Spirits, Canberra’s most awarded spirits brand and the spirit of Canberra, has partnered with the Australian National Botanic Gardens to create Ad Crescendum Native Gin. Ad Crescendum – to grow – the collaboration was created with specially foraged native botanicals grown in the garden in celebration of the Gardens’ 50th Anniversary year in 2020, and officially launched today.

“Last year, Underground Spirits and the Australian National Botanic Gardens agreed to work together to create a gin that was really something special,” said Underground Spirits CEO, Claudia Roughley, who also revealed that Ad Crescendum has been a real family creation with her sister Kath Angstmann, and brother and Head Distiller, Dr. Toby Angstmann.

“We were so privileged to be given access to truly wondrous botanicals. Toby took on the project with pleasure and has crafted something really extraordinary,” Claudia continued.

Ad Crescendum is Latin for To Grow, and is a nod to the many precious plants and flowers grown, nurtured and protected at the Australian National Botanic Gardens. This native gin features botanicals from all over Australia sourced from the Gardens including Banksia, Finger lime, Rainforest Aniseed, White Aspen and Yam Daisy. Ad Crescendum has been released to celebrate the Gardens’ 50th Anniversary year, and will remain part of Underground Spirits’ permanent line-up of premium Canberra-made spirits.

“The Gardens have 50 years of history – 50 years of growing, of researching, of sharing, of educating and protecting for the future. This special place that has been kept for 50 years in Canberra now sees a gin emerging, encapsulating and commemorating this very moment in time. This gin really does reflect the beauty of this country – and is even more special as we have watched our precious trees burn throughout the country in what was an extraordinarily tough summer for many.

“Being able to crack open precious seeds, leaves and bark that had been meticulously collected from the Gardens and then given into our care. To see the vivid colours of the leaves being extracted into fluid, then distilled to create pure clear flavours – then Toby weaving his alchemy to create a beautiful gin. This is something we can all be very proud of and that we know many will enjoy,” said Claudia.

Peter Feilen, Horticulturalist at the Australian National Botanic Gardens revealed today how happy the Gardens are to partner with Underground Spirits to create this special gin.

“We have a hugely diverse collection of native species in our living collection, with seeds and cuttings sourced from every corner of Australia. I couldn’t be prouder in celebrating the foundation of our institution, drawing on Australia’s rich plant heritage to create this special edition 50th Anniversary Gin,” said Peter.

Underground Spirits’ Ad Crescendum Gin is now available to purchase online from www.undergroundspirits.com.au, and from select retailers in Canberra. Part of the profits from this gin help support native plant conservation activities by the Australian National Botanic Gardens.

You can keep up to date on Underground Spirits on Facebook, and by following on Instagram @undergroundspirits.

MEDIA BACKGROUNDER – Underground Spirits Ad Crescendum Native Gin

 Botanicals used:

  • Banksia ericifolia (Banksia): honey sweet,
  • Citrus australasica (Fingerlime): fresh zesty citrus, hint of cooked apples.
  • Syzygium anisatum (Rainforest Aniseed): aniseed.
  • Acronychia oblongifolia (White Aspen): citrus and honey.
  • Microseris lanceolata (Yam Daisy): sweet and slightly coconutty.
  • Podocarpus elatus (Plum Pine / Illawarra Plum): pine taste, sweet.
  • Backhousia myrtifolia (Grey Myrtle): cinnamon.
  • Rubus moluccanus (Native Raspberry): raspberry fruit.
  • Tasmannia lanceolata (Pepperberry): aromatic peppery.

 Tasting notes:

Ad Crescendum is a tactile and engaging gin with hints on the nose of the Australian backyard. Created in collaboration with the Australian National Botanic Gardens to celebrate the Gardens’ 50th Anniversary, the ingredients were foraged from those grown in the Gardens and come from many regions throughout Australia.  The taste is soft on the tongue and mellow with a mild sweetness, like pear flesh, from native flowers.

Linking to the botanicals used, we have the Banksia giving a honey sweet nectar aroma, like a gentle floral bush smell, along with the White Aspen and the Yam Daisy topping it up with that extra bit of tropical. This is balanced by the sharpness of the Plum Pine, and the citrus of the Fingerlime and the Grey Myrtle. The Pepperberries, the Grey Myrtle and the Rainforest Aniseed complete the citrus and sweet profile by adding just the right amount of spiciness and some more complex flavours. Bringing that extra fruitiness, the Rubus is the cherry on the cake – or the berry on the gin!

700ml 40% ABV

More from the makers:

 “Ad Crescendum is about place. A gin that reflects this special place that has been kept for 50 years, the Australian National Botanic Gardens. A gin that has emerged from this special place in Canberra. A tapestry woven from many elements that live and breathe near each other and reflect the beauty of our country. We were so privileged to have access to such a special place.”

  • Dr Toby Angstmann, Underground Spirits.

 The story of Ad Crescendum really starts with the idea of doing something really cool, having access to amazing botanicals that were so unique, that were Australian, and right here in Canberra.  It has really evolved from that into a project where we have something wonderful to share, that has materialised through a difficult summer in a smoke-filled Canberra.

 Canberra withstood and we withstood, and we acknowledge those who so terribly lost. But through the other side has come something wonderful – drawing back from the balance, the balance of nature, of restoring balance. We have got some really unique flavours, flavours bought to life again in suspended tapestry. We now have a wonderful spirit that we want to share.”

  • Claudia Roughley, Underground Spirits.

Taking some time out to work with my brother, Dr. Toby Angstmann, on a special project was a highlight of 2019.  Toby weaved magic in front of me with a drop of this and then a drop of that.

 The day we did the first tasting was hot and the garden was closed due to fire risk – there was a fire tanker out the front. We walked into a room of some very special people – they were the ones who speak with the trees, who understand their stories and what secrets they may have held. Our job was to show them that Toby could unlock their magic further. We took the time to show what power each plant had that balanced with each other. To create a taste that’s true to both the botanic gardens, and Australia, it was a meeting of enlightenment.”

  • Kath Angstmann, Underground Spirits.