Courier Mail Jul 6 2006
A bush liqueur made from eucalyptus and myrtle leaves at the Gold Coast Hinterland has won a triple gold star at a prestigious European competition
"We created a new flavour. it's Australia's gift to the world.: said Tamborine Mountain Distillery's Michael Ward.
The liqueur beat entries from 55 nations and was awarded 921 points by judges from the International Taste and Quality Institute in Brussels, an organisation of chefs and sommeliers.
Mr Ward's creation won the Superior Taste award.
"My 18 year old son Alexander and my 22 year old daughter Sonya helped with the blending and Alexander designed the label." Mr Ward said.
"It was a culmination of siz year's work. We have been playing around in the shed, steaming leaves for ages. Suddenly we got it right. The first taste is like eucalyptus, then the myrtle comes through then the aniseed. But don't waste it by rubbing it on your chest, madam, throw it down your gullet."
Ward, 66, won't reveal the exact recipe but said it contained extract fropm lemon myrtle, aniseed myrtle and other Australian native peppermints and certain eucalyptus leaves.
They were organically grown in NSW. He said the Aborigines used similar extracts for their medicinal properties.
Mr Ward declined an invitation to attend the presentation.
"We sent Sonya, those things are always full of stuff-shirts. And besides, I don't like wearing suits and ties."
He said orders were rushing in from Europe and the US.
The Wards sell 45 different styles of liqueurs and spirits at their cellar door at Beacon Rd.