The Wild Hibiscus Distilling Co has been a family owned and operated business in the Hawkesbury since 1998.
Run by gin-trepreneur Lee Etherington, the business originally produced Australian Native Food condiments, but has since evolved to produce a range of unique native Australian gins.
Multiple major floods in the region over the past three years has lost the business over half a million dollars in production costs.
Despite this Etherington's entrepreneurial spirit has not waned, and this year he is launching his 750ml Finger Lime Gin bottles, which at $150 per bottle, is the most expensive gin Australia.
The secret to Etherington's success lies in his 80-acre native farm at Kurrajong Heights, where he grows the botanicals used in the gins alongside his 1600 finger lime trees.
An innovative production process and the unique appearance of his gin has set The Wild Hibiscus Distilling Co apart from the rest of the growing industry.
"My gins are unique as they are made only using the fruits I harvest on my farm," he said."You will never see a boring, straight dry gin with the signature metal Wild Hibiscus Distilling Co. label.
"When drinking the finger lime within the alcohol, you are also drinking gin-infused finger limes.
"Through a 9-month process, the finger lime soaks in 40% alcohol resulting in an extremely unique flavour profile that cannot be found anywhere else in the world."
The transition to Etherington's distinctive and creative style of gin making wasn't quick or cheap to achieve, having spent four years and $1.6 million in research to master.
The local distiller set out on a mission 12-years-ago to to plant sought after finger lime trees at his farm - overseas, finger limes are a luxury that comes from a laborious 18-month process of plantation and extraction.
Etherington launched his first batch of finger lime gin in December 2019, and by February 2020 the gins were sold out, having sold 4,500 bottles and providing a revenue just short of $1 million.
He further invested in the trees and despite being told they would never grow considering his farm's conditions, he now produces 28 to 36kgs of finger lime from each of the 1600 trees on his farm. This is returning ten times the harvest.
After no floods on the farm for 17 years, the business was impacted by the five crushing floods the Hawkesbury has seen over the past three years.
This was a devastating blow to Etherington's gin-making efforts, losing him over $500,000 in production costs across the three years. He also lost his entire pink finger lime harvest this year due to a quick double flood.
Despite these struggles, Etherington perseverance and entrepreneurial spirit has soared and in the lead up to Christmas the company's unique 'Gingle Bell Gins' (including one-of-a-kind Christmas gift and ornament - decorative baubles filled with gin) are available at ginglebellsgin.com/collections/gin-bottles.