Following the release of the Elements Range of liqueurs earlier this year, Animus continues its good run. Their latest Gin, the Octet, is a contemporary all-rounder, sitting at a low (by Animus’s standards) 40% abv and heavily pitched with juniper as opposed to the more citrusy profile of their core-range Gins.Inspired by a memorable serving of fig leaf ice cream from a Melbourne gelateria and with a ready supply of fig leaves on their farm, the Animus team cast this local ingredient in a starring role in the Octet, alongside juniper and locally sourced first-press extra virgin olive oil. There are eight ingredients in all, including lemon, coriander seed and angelica root. Hence, the name Octet. Getting the recipe and method right took months of rigorous trials and benchmarking sessions. In keeping with Octet’s new style, the team tweaked their production method, combining vapour infusion and maceration to maximise flavour intensity and perfectly capture their signature, mouth-filling texture. The lion’s share of the botanicals are steeped in spirit for 12 hours before an eight-hour distillation. Then, fig leaf and lemon are vapour-infused using a basket that’s refreshed once during the process.The high standard of ingredients is on full display in Octet; big juniper flavours are juxtaposed with sweet and spicy fig leaf, while the quality of the extra virgin olive oil provides a herbaceous, grassy edge and unctuous, silky weight. As always, the Animus team have threaded the needle well; it’s a beautifully balanced and flavourful Gin crafted with the trade in mind and sitting comfortably in ‘first-pour’ position.