When you think gin, you usually think ‘tonic’, not ‘tomato’ – but this sideways thinking is exactly what won Tailor Made Spirits Company the ‘Best On-Premise Spirit or Liqueur’ award at the 2013 Australian Liquor Industry Awards.

Uniquely blending traditional juniper with native Australian botanicals like bush tomato and wattle seeds allowed the four-man crew to triumph at the awards with their two West Winds Gin varieties, The Cutlass and The Sabre.

“The pros said we couldn’t add tomato and we did. They also said we couldn’t add wattle seed and we did… they said we wouldn’t win any medals and we did,” says Jez Spencer, Head of ‘Sales, Booze and Buccaneering’.

With triple-filtered rainwater from Margaret River, lemons and limes from Gingin, native Australian cinnamon and lemon myrtle combined at an artisanal distillery in Gidgegannup in Western Australian, West Winds Gins are as Australian as they come.

The Sabre, at 40%, is a fine clipper of a gin – its elegant lines and generous citrus notes will swiftly carry you to a place of sand, sun and sea,” says Spencer. “Our Cutlass takes no prisoners. At 50%, it has the full rig – it’s not shy, it has a big savoury character and will bring out the pirate in any weekend sailor.”

The handcrafted gins have proved a masterstroke for Tailor Made Spirits with West Winds also taking home Double Gold and Silver medals at the 2013 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.