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Moore's Dry Gin is a labor of love for gardener who became a distiller

It's winter, but only just . . . in fact, it's still relatively warm here on the Central Coast, as we take a turn around Philip Moore's fragrant garden in Erina. It's where the herbs and other botanicals grow that he uses to make gin and other distilled spirits.

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Profile: Phillip Moore

A fascination with the humble herb has led to one of the Central Coast’s most sophisticated small businesses – Distillery Botanica. Horticulturalist Philip Moore makes “garden-grown” gin from the former and much-loved The Fragrant Garden in Erina. When Philip purchased the three-acre block in 2005 it required of a lot of attention. “It would have been suitable for a remake of the George of the Jungle movie,” he laughs.

Distillery Focus - Distillery Botanica

As far as Australian distilleries go, Distillery Botanica could be said to be one of the early pioneers. Established in 2007 at a time when the number of micro-distilleries in Australia were in the low digits, it was originally known as St Fiacre Distillery, so named after the patron saint of gardeners. And a gardener is what distiller and owner Philip Moore is at heart, with a love of plants driving a meticulous approach towards coaxing the best flavour out of them.

Turning beautiful plants into award-winning gin

What do you do with the things you grow in your garden? Phillip Moore does something pretty amazing.

He's a herbalist and distiller, and he turns the beautiful plants from his garden into gin.

Rhi asked him about the process, and why different plants make different types of gin.

Gardening Australia

My Garden Path - Philip Moore

This one-hectare garden produces the flowers and spices used to flavour the liquor distilled here. These include bespoke gins and absinthe, flavoured with traditional botanicals such as juniper berries - the key ingredient for gin - and garden angelica (Angelica archangelica) seeds and roots. Australian native spices such as cinnamon myrtle (Backhousia myrtifolia) and lemon myrtle (Backhousia citriodora), are also used, and flowers such as German chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla), roses (including Rosa 'Duchesse de Brabant') with citrus notes provided by orange jasmine blossom (Murraya paniculata).


Known for more than 40 years as The Fragrant Garden, Philip Moore transformed the property into Distillery Botanica in 2005. As the founder of Renaissance Herbs, Australia’s largest wholesale herb nursery, Philip brought his wealth of knowledge on plant aromas and flavours to his new passion as a distiller. He has re-established the gardens with fragrant flowering plants, herbs, Australian natives and botanicals, all of which he uses in the Distillery’s luscious liqueurs and spirits.

From Garden To Bottle: An Interview With Distillery Botanica

In a picturesque garden on the central coast of NSW, the Distillery Botanica have been conjuring up a deliciously fragrant product that will have your taste buds sing.

By growing and handpicking a selection of fresh botanicals, Master Distiller Philip Moore extracts the purest perfumes to flavour one of the most loved alcohols, gin. Trained as a horticulturist and herbalist, Phillip is a skilled distiller who knows how to balance the delicate botanical flavours to create a distinctive product known as Garden Grown GIn.

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Distillery Botanica

Distillery Botanica offers award winning spirits and liqueurs, made right there on the Central Coast, with no artificial colours or flavours.

Made in the traditional European method in a copper pot still, Distillery Botanica holds three Gold medals and four Silver medals from the International Wine and Spirit Competition.

Gold medal winners are Mr. Black Coffee Liqueur, Lemon Myrtle Liqueur and Aniseed Myrtle Liqueur. Silver medal winners are Moore's Vintage Dry Gin, Skillion Blue Vodka, Mountain Pepperberry Liqueur and Absinthe Reverie.

Review: Moore’s Vintage Dry Gin

Do you remember your first? I do.

I was waiting for a friend in one of Canberra’s longtime cocktail bars, Knightsbridge Penthouse about 7 years ago, and fancied a Martini.

Looking behind the bar I spotted a bottle I didn’t recognise and the barman was keen to show me the new stock: an Australiang in! Who knew?

Hunter-made gins: five locals worth sipping

Gin is in.

While a decade ago there were only a handful of distilleries in Australia making craft gin, it's estimated there are now more than 100.

Distilleries and breweries in Newcastle, the Hunter and the Central Coast have gotten in on the action too and are producing craft gins with a local spin.

Moore’s Vintage Dry Gin

One of the real gems that I found at the Bar Show was Moore’s Vintage Dry Gin, produced only an hour’s drive (on a good day without traffic) outside of Sydney at the St. Fiacre Distillery on the beautiful central coast.

Handcrafted by self proclaimed wizard of the still, Philip Moore, this Vintage Dry Gin is the product of a sevenfold blend of vapour infused distallates. These are produced in a Carter Head still.