The new product is crafted at the Brook family’s Byron Bay distillery, located on their macademia farm. The distillery already produces Brookie’s Gin, which counts macademia as one of its 25 botanicals, but co-founder Eddie Brook wanted to put the farm’s star crop to use in a liqueur as well.
‘My family have been perfecting and creating macadamia products our whole life so I always knew this product would work, but it took some time to balance and bring that flavour to life,’ Brook told Imbibe. ‘I grew up with the aroma of roasted macadamia coming from the family kitchen. It was this aroma and flavour that I wanted to showcase.’
With that in mind, Brook developed a recipe that uses deeply roasted macademia nuts and shells, as well as wattleseed – the seeds of Australian acacia – to lend a rich, earthy character to the liqueur.
‘Wattleseed brings the aroma and notes of roasted coffee, dark cacao and roasted popcorn,’ said Brook.
All in all, the liqueur took a year and half to perfect. ‘The macadamia shell has never been used for spirit production, and is generally discarded or used for bio fuel or compost in the process,’ he explained. ‘I talked to our processor and had them pasteurise the shell to be made food grade, and when this hits spirit for a period of time something magical happens. Flavours of earthy butterscotch and toffee appear.
‘The final challenge is filtration to clear up the spirit without stripping the flavour that we’ve worked so hard to bring. There is a load of turbidity, fine particles and oil in the spirit from the macadamias, but we managed to come up with a system that does not use chill filtration and keeps all of the flavour.’
The resulting liquid boasts rich aromas of vanilla, caramel, candy-coated almonds and, of course, roasted macademia. On the palate, the same deep, nutty character prevails, with hints of coffee and maple syrup – though the sweetness develops into a pleasant roasted bitterness on the finish.
The brand suggests serving Mac. over ice with a squeeze of lime or stirred down with whisky and bitters, and we’re keen to see how it plays in an Espresso Martini.
25% abv, £35.95/70cl, SEA Spirits