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Wednesday 7 April 2021

Former AFL star kicking goals with indigenous flavours

Former AFL football star and indigenous food and beverage promoter Daniel Motlop is the man behind Seven Seasons spirits and their new Bush Apple Gin.

Motlop is working with independent craft drinks collective Mighty Craft to take Seven Seasons products to the world. 

Bush Apple Gin is powered by native Australian botanicals and is promoted as being "perfect for a pink-hued G&T or for mixing in a negroni". 

Larrakia man Daniel Motlop started with Green Ant Gin while a third release, Native Yam Vodka, is planned for May. 

“It was a dream of mine to create a company that celebrated the learning, culture and ingredients from the Top End,” says Motlop, who who played a total of 130 senior games for North Melbourne and Port Adelaide in the AFL.

“After the success of Green Ant Gin, a product I’d always wanted to make, it’s a natural progression to develop these new flavours and showcase what else my people have to offer.” 

The Larrakia people believe there are seven seasons, each one marked by monsoonal rain, the arrival of dragonflies, the fruiting of native cherries or other natural cycles. 

Bush Apple Gin is a product of monsoon season, when the heavy rain starts, crocodiles lay their eggs and barramundi are flourishing. It’s also the time the fruit of the bush apple is ready to be picked from the trees. 

Each year, more than three tonnes of fresh native ingredients – the green ants, bush apples and native yams – are bought direct from communities throughout the Northern Territory to be used in the spirits. 

“Our Larrakia family started harvesting the green ants three or four years ago and created the gin,” says Motlop, whose brother Shannon runs the harvesting operations throughout the Top End. 

“By employing local harvesters, we have been able to create sustainable jobs for hundreds of Aboriginal people and their payments flow back into supporting their communities, which is really what is important. 

“For instance, people never had a place to sell their bush apples, so we created a market for them with some restaurants, but the volumes have been very small. Now, with the creation of our new Bush Apple Gin, we’ve been able to include them in a commercial product and commit to buying a substantial amount from them every year.” 

Mighty Craft CEO Mark Haysman is excited about the potential of Seven Seasons, saying: “Seven Seasons is one of our fastest-growing brands, and the release of Bush Apple Gin and Native Yam Vodka will further accelerate its growth and brand awareness. 

"With extensive distribution throughout Australia already in place, we have our sights firmly set on taking Daniel’s spirits around the world to shine a light on the incredible Australian native ingredients we’re able to source. 

“With more ingredients becoming abundant at different points during the Larrakia seven seasons, the potential is there to formulate a full range of distilled spirits.” 

Seven Seasons Bush Apple Gin is now available. It can be purchased online and from all major national and independent retailers for $100 (700ml). 


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