Derby Day has always been really important for Four Pillars Gin.
Partly because we love the horses (ok, maybe that's more Stu). Partly because Derby Day weekend 2015 marked the official opening of our distillery door (and what a year it's been!).
But most importantly because this big weekend for spring racing was always a big weekend for Wilma, Cam's late mother. Each year she would make Christmas puddings on Victoria Derby Day while the rest of Cam's family watched the races.
And that tradition has inspired our first Christmas tradition: Four Pillars Australian Christmas Gin, which we launched on Derby Day 2016.
Thanks to all who came and partied with us! It was a celebration of our newest and very festive gin, amplified by some awesome spring-time cocktails created by our Bartender At Large, Hargreaves Hill's super crisp Gose (made with our gin botanicals), and Burn City Smokers' amazing BBQ all weekend long.
And Healesville actually turned out some sunshine - which was a nice change after an unusually arctic start to spring!
And true to his own family traditions, Cam spent Derby Day making Christmas puds with his wife Leah and their three girls.
"Viv was chief measurer and in charge of the playlist (Taylor got a decent run). She was meticulous, down to the last currant.
Lizie was our stirrer (quite appropriate) and literally got her hands dirty - not sure she knows we have a sink because I've been chipping dried pudding mix of various furniture since.
And then we had Alice, because no Christmas pudding day is complete without a supervisor (or heckler), so she talked some good game and was enthusiastic in offering advice on something she knew nothing about.
And Leah and I cleaned up the mess! Our kitchen looked like Santa's reindeer had eaten mushrooms near the back shed."
If you took a bottle of Christmas Gin with you from your visit, make sure you give one of these Christmas Martinez cocktails a whirl at home. They're a bit spesh.
And you know what? Kudos to all your Melbournians who took the Monday off too - it's just how it's done, eh?