Distilling botanicals with Philip Moore

Distilling botanicals with Philip Moore

From green acreages to sandy beaches, life on the Central Coast allows you to have your very own piece of tranquilly
Philip Moore
Owner, Distillery Botanica, Erina

Nestled within an idyllic three-acre garden that has been delighting locals for almost 50 years, Distillery Botanica is where masterful gins and liqueurs are made. Horticulturalist and herbalist turned award-winning distiller, Philip Moore is the only Australian distiller to have been inducted into the Gin Magazine Awards Hall of Fame. We chat to Philip, owner of Distillery Botanica about what he loves most about living on the Central Coast.

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What do you love most about the Coast?

“I love where I live on the Central Coast. It feels like I'm living in the country but I'm actually only 5 minutes from the beach. On my days off, I like walking on the beach and enjoying eating and drinking at the local restaurants".

Where on the Central Coast do you call home and what do you love most about living here?

I'm very lucky to live on the 3.5 acres of tranquil land that Distillery Botanica sits on. It feels like I live in the country, in an area surrounded by acreages, but it’s only five minutes from the beach and the shops and a quick, easy trip to Sydney and Newcastle.   

Where is the first place you’d take a guest when they visit the Coast?

Distillery Botanica, of course. I often take my visitors to Seasalt restaurant, at the Crowne Plaza in Terrigal. It has great cocktails, food and wines. 

Where do you like to grab your morning coffee?

Surprisingly, despite having created Mr Black – the world's best coffee liqueur – a morning coffee is not part of my routine. 

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What is your go-to outdoors experience?

I love pottering around the gardens at the distillery. Visitors can come here to enjoy the Victorian-style cottage gardens, sample some of our gins and liqueurs and take their time walking around the grounds.

Describe a typical day off on the Central Coast for you.

I enjoy a sleep-in, then I’ll go to the beach – my favourite is North Avoca. Then I’ll maybe do some shopping and look forward to dinner and cocktails, made at home. If I go out for a cocktail, Lord Ashley Bar does one of the best espresso martinis.

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Lord Ashley Bar, Terrigal
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The Cowrie, Terrigal

What is your favourite local restaurant?

I have so many, mainly in Terrigal. I go to Yellowtail and The Cowrie for incredible flavoursome food and top service. Chop ‘n’ Grind has the best burgers.

What are you working on right now at Distillery Botanica?

Many trials have been done on a white and dark rum, so I’m looking forward to finally producing a world-class rum. In the near future, we'll be offering educational tours, make your-own gin workshops as well as interactive cocktail classes.

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Whale migration
Credit: Instagram @ryan_j_montgomery
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North Avoca
Credit: Instagram @ed_coney
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Mr Black coffee liquor created by Philip Moore
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Yellowtail, Terrigal

This article was written by Megan Arkinstall, with photography by James Horan, as part of the region's inspiring local Maker & Creator community supported by Love Central Coast.