Caffè Corretto TV debut ...

Simon King

Director and Chief Alchemist

Originally from Auckland, I’ve worked in the IT field for more years than I care to remember, and finally that meticulous attention to detail is paying off in delicious, handcrafted spirits. 

Every bottle that leaves the distillery has to get past me, and it has to be perfect so there’s nothing left for you to do except kick back and enjoy ...


  • Grapes used to create gin and vodka by Carmel Distillery in the Perth Hills


    I source my ingredients locally, starting with the grapes used to create my delicious base spirit, and extending through all of the local fruits used to create liqueurs. Some of the botanicals for gin simply aren’t produced locally so ingredients like juniper are sourced from reputable suppliers.

    Wild harvested WA native ingredients are sourced from an Indigenous Australian owned and operated business located in Broome. Not only can they provide much of the amazing local produce that Western Australia is known for, but they also follow the traditional methods of wild harvesting.

    When it comes to handling fresh produce, I’m all about doing things by hand, and using every part of the produce. As an example, that means hand-zesting kilos of lemons for limoncello, and then finding ways to utilise that zested fruit. Thankfully I have some great neighbours here in the Perth Hills who like to make lemon curd, lemon cordial, preserved lemons and other lemon-y goodness, and I juiced what was left because we do like the odd cocktail.

  • Bottles and lemons used to create gin and vodka at Carmel Distillery in the Perth Hills


    Because I only use local grapes, and wine, for making my neutral spirit, I’m somewhat limited in my production scheduling. This means that during vintage I’m always busy helping to harvest local grapes, both for myself and friends, and the distillery will be full of fermentation tanks all bubbling away.

    Creating a clear, flavourless, neutral spirit is critical in the quest to create a great gin, and it starts with the grapes. I crush and ferment them onsite before distilling them in multiple runs to create an alcohol of amazing sweetness and clarity. Taking the time to make a great neutral means that the only flavours you’ll taste in my gin are the botanicals, and that’s what gin is all about.

    A small still is perfect for creating small batch spirits and, for me, that means at most 40 bottles per batch. In order to be as sustainable as possible I use solar power generated onsite to heat the still, and I recirculate the water I use for cooling to minimise waste.

  • Juniper berries in wooden bowl used to create gin at Carmel Distillery in Perth Hills


    In setting out to produce a range of spirits and liqueurs, I first had to choose what to make, and why? The “why” was easy because I want to make spirits and liqueurs that I enjoy drinking, and that evoke memories of people, places, and experiences. Happily the abundance of local produce makes that a lot easier.

    The “what” wrote itself after that; gin, limoncello, grappa, vodka and whisky, all drinks I enjoy and each with a different set of memories. Gin takes me back to my childhood when my Mum used to enjoy a G&T in the evenings. Give me limoncello or grappa and I’m transported to Milan circa 2003, vodka was my first adult beverage, and whisky might just be my true love!

    Over time I’d like to produce a few different gins, and make some more seasonal drinks like peach brandy, plum brandy and maybe a kirsch for Christmas. Ultimately I want to make products that you want to drink, and that remind you of your trip to the Perth Hills.

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