Spirits made from hemp are set to hit Australian shelves, with craft distiller Natural Distilling Co bringing out its boutique Limonene Hemp Gin and Myrcene Hemp Vodka.

The bespoke gin and vodka use the hemp (Cannabis sativa) plant to deliver what founder Rhys Staley describes as distinctive aromatic and flavour qualities.

“Hemp is a super-food and super plant, with countless environmental and nutritional benefits. Whilst you won’t get high from hemp, the drinks yield an ultra-rich, citrus profile,” he said.

The locally-produced spirits are distilled with hemp terpenes: essential oils that give hemp and cannabis their distinctive aromatic and flavour qualities. According to Natural Distilling Co, hemp has a number of health benefits including low carbohydrates; anti-inflammatory properties; no gluten; and Vitamin D3.

Staley said that the journey to create these new products involved sourcing nutritious ingredients from local farms, refining each spirit and its unique profiles, and settling on a premium formulation.

“Three years ago, the first batch of craft spirits were created in a Gippsland farm shed, using my grandfather’s 55-year-old milk vat. We spent years learning, tinkering and tasting to develop and refine our offering. Once the use of the natural super-plant Cannabis sativa (Hemp) was legalised in November 2017, we applied for a licence to grow and the rest is history.

“But don’t worry, the drinks aren’t made in the milk vat anymore,” he said.

The gin and vodka can be ordered online for the first small batch release, with 700ml bottles priced at $96 and $77 respectively from A hemp rum is currently in development.

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