Husk Distillery

Here’s a story about a magical drink that changes colour – and the beautiful movie star who gave it her glamorous stamp of approval…

It sounds like a fairytale – but the runaway international success of Husk Distillery’s Ink Gin is entirely real.

The picturesque distillery – established by Paul Messenger and his family on a northern New South Wales cane farm – was originally built to produce rum. But in the downtime between the maturation of batches, Paul decided to have a crack at creating a unique gin.

Enter the Butterfly Pea flower – a purple bloom that not only imparts its vivid colour to the spirit but has the miraculous quality of changing hue to a pretty pink once tonic water (acidity) is added.

The Messengers knew they were onto a winner – but things accelerated thanks to a single Instagram post.

It showed Gold Coast girl and Hollywood mega-star, Margot Robbie, sipping on an Ink Gin – and looking very happy about it.

The unexpected publicity went viral – and queries flooded into Husk from all over the world, asking ‘what is that drink Margot loves?’.

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Since then, Husk has welcomed tens of thousands of visitors, keen to find out what the fuss is about.

And there’s plenty to impress. Firstly, Husk is Australia’s first paddock-to-bottle distillery and it’s set on a green and idyllic farm, featuring cane-fields and cattle. Secondly, it’s become a very popular tourist attraction – and for good reason.

You can take a distillery tour, starting at $35 per person, and discover the process of making rum and gin under the Husk label. The tour includes a cocktail at the end.

At Husk’s cellar door, you can taste-test the eponymous tipples and order other mixology masterpieces. The adjoining café offers a simple but delicious menu – including a grazing board of local produce and desserts featuring the brand’s beverages.

And there’s the option to enjoy it all, picnic-style, under a shady umbrella on the distillery’s green and pleasant games lawn.

Husk Distillery is at Tumbulgum in northern New South Wales, about 90 minutes’ drive from Brisbane. It’s open from Wednesday to Sunday from 11am.