Four Pillars Distiller Cameron McKenzie is of the unwavering belief that you simply have not lived until you've eaten an orange that has been steamed in gin for seven hours.
Gin is only one product of the distillation process. The botanicals are also ‘distilled’ along with the spirit, and Cameron imagined that something more than garden mulch could be made of them after the distillation was complete.
Each time we make a batch of gin we find ourselves with around 3 kilograms of organically grown oranges that have essentially been steamed in gin: distilled with the nine other botanicals for seven hours in our still, Wilma. We knew that we had to put these to proper use and thus our orange marmalade was born.
Tasting a piece of orange that was left over from the last distillation, Cam was amazed by the flavours contained in it. The oranges had picked up a huge array of botanicals from the steaming process whilst at the same time holding onto their citric acids and sugars.
As an experiment, he used these Four Pillars leftovers to bake a flourless orange cake. And in his words, it was so good that it felt wrong. He then toyed with a few marmalade recipes which tasted unbelievable, but maybe weren’t setting as you might expect.
At this stage Cameron enlisted the skills of Caroline Gray, from A Bit of Jam & Pickle down the road in the Yarra. By that afternoon, he had twenty jars of Four Pillars Orange Marmalade on his doorstep and people were raving about it.
As with the Rare Dry Gin, the marmalade was a hit. So we figured, why not use it in the same cocktail we think it was born for and add a cheeky splash of Campari? And so the Breakfast Negroni was born.