The Pitch: Taka Gin

Published on 5 August 2022

Photo: Taka Gin

An Indigenous-owned gin company showcasing the best of native Australian ingredients.

We are blessed with a plethora of exciting and aromatic plants here in Australia. These plants inspired Niyoka Bundle and her husband Vincent Manning to create Taka Gin, the indigenous-owned company making a contemporary new gin that captures the scent of the Australian bush. Lemon-scented gum leaf and indigenous lemongrass are infused into the signature Taka blend, making it the perfect way to add native flavours to your next Negroni or Martini. 

We asked Bundle to give us a peek behind the curtain of Taka Gin.

Who are you and what are you all about?
Taka Gin is a gin company based in Melbourne, that utilises a unique blend of Australian native botanicals, specifically lemon-scented gum leaf, native lemongrass, and desert lime.

My husband and I work together in our catering business, Pawa Catering, and have expanded our offering with Taka Gin. Our passion has always been food, drinks, recipe development, and experimentation. Together we have over 20 years of combined experience in the hospitality industry and have always worked with food.

Give us the elevator pitch, what is Taka Gin?
Crafted in Naarm, our gin is infused with First Nations native botanicals. We are indigenous-owned and the first of our kind. Taka means taste in the Gunditjmara language. Drawing knowledge from my Indigenous heritage we’ve created a recipe that infuses our gin with the taste and smell of the Australian country.

Our main botanical, lemon-scented gum leaf, has been used by our people to add flavour to food. The fragrant leaves have been used in Aboriginal traditional medicine as a powerful antiseptic and natural insect repellent. It was also used to relieve joint pain and arthritis. 

Explain like we’re five, how do you make it?
Our gin is distilled locally in Collingwood at Craft & Co on Smith Street. Our friends at Gypsy Hub manufacture our gin for us using a recipe we have developed alongside them. For every batch, I harvest lemon-scented gum leaf fresh off our trees and it’s added directly to the distillation. This process adds a fantastic citrus flavour and bright aroma that is our signature.

What excites you about this project?
We're very passionate about food and drinks and want to showcase unique ways of using native foods. The native food industry in Australia is growing and being a part of that is exciting. The non-alcoholic drinks range is also expanding and we are working on a great non-alcoholic version of Taka Gin. I can't wait to release this the first sample tasted amazing.

What are the perfect conditions to enjoy Taka Gin?
Enjoy Taka neat served over ice. Adding some soda or tonic with a citrus element enhances flavour and aroma. We also love it in a vinaigrette for oysters or made into a Martini with feta brine.

Is it here for a good time or a long time?
It's here to stay and we’re adding to the range, with some exciting things on the horizon.

Where can I buy them?
You can get Taka Gin through our website; we’re also stocked at Morning Market in Fitzroy and selected Dan Murphy's stores.

Taka Gin, from $35 for 200ml,, @takaginco.

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