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Ginterview: Jez Spencer

Rear Admiral, The West Winds Gin














· West Winds Gin,Australian Gin,Negroni Cocktail

I often say choosing a favourite gin is like choosing between my children (which is why I don't have any) - What's your desert island gin & why?

West Winds Gin

If I could grab one of my own from the sinking ship then definitely The Cutlass as it's savoury and strong but a go to is Martin Millers or Melbourne Gin Co.

I have many different favourite bars depending on the occasion. What's your favourite venue for: 

A. A Dry Martini & Date Night? 

B. A Red Snapper & Brunch? 

C. Gin & a party?

A - Gin Palace, Melbourne - those chicken sangers

B - Mechanics Institute, Perth - cheese burger garnish?

C - Ladies & Gents, Kentish Town, or Mother's Ruin in New York, I am still laughing from those joints.

Which drinks professionals have inspired you & how?

Naren Young, Jacob Briars, Tim Phillips and Ben Davidson just seem to talk and everybody knows to shut the fuck up. Professionals, people and damn good dudes who just have the knows.

Do you have a favourite Gin Botanical? (Yes. Really.)

Wattleseed as it brings an amazing creamy texture and mouthfeel. makes gin drinkable to the biggest haters and naysayers. And lemons. Where would we be without lemons?

This is not Jez. Jez is not related to this Wattleseed enthusiast, The Gin Whore has included this video simply for educating us Wattleseed virgins...

If you were a gin or a gin cocktail which would you be and why?

Clover Club. Fruit, punchy and somewhat seasonal. And raspberries.

Clover Club Cocktail

Angus Winchester says olives are the devil's testicles. Thoughts?

Only if he puts them in his mouth, which I don't think is what was intended. To each their own and yes I fricking love savoury drinking.

Which gin has your favourite packaging? How important is this?

Half Hitch from Camden. Tanq 10 is seriously good and well THAT pretty blue bottle still looks good. How important? I think it used to be but now consumers are very savvy and seek out the juice they want rather than be brainwashed by clever marketing jedi mind tricks.

Do you have a preferred tonic?

East Imperial Burma Tonic from NZ is the tits.

East Imperial Burma Tonic, it's the tits...

What's your favourite trade event?


What's your favourite food to pair with gin?

Depends on the gin but the chicken sandwich at Gin Palace goes down well with a Dirty Martini and a side of Pale Ale.

How did you get into the Gin industry?

When your mate buys a still and calls you to make lemoncello you sometimes have to roll up the sleeves, you know?

What do you love most about your job?

Freedom. Doing whatever the fuck we like and not being dictated to.

And the worst bits?

Paying excise, it's plain robbery out here.

If you could share a martini with anyone who would it be?

My Gran as she was a world class booze hound. a 3 olive kinda gal and grumpy as shit. Or Winston Churchill as he didn't like rum, sodomy or the lash apparently.

Do you have any recommended reads for gin lovers?

The Phantom. Everyone should read the phantom. And On The Road by Kerouac. Not exactly about gin but enjoyed with many gins.

What are your Gin goals?

Keep serving gin to as many as we can, we ain't done yet.

What advice do you have for aspiring Gin professionals?

Just back yourself and do it.

What's your pet Gin industry hate?

So called experts....

If you aren't drinking Gin what is your tipple?


Jeremy Spencer, West Winds Gin

Any other pearls of wisdom or Gin rants?

It's like breast feeding, forget everyone's opinion, just drink what you want. Remember it's always 5pm somewhere....

Where can I send readers to find you online? or if you like rude words get me at Bookface Jez Spencer.

Get tickets to The Gin Whore Tour - enjoy tasting 4 gins & plenty of giggles at a venue near you!