TV & RADIO PERSONALITY
One of the most versatile media personalities in Australia, Sami Lukis is just as comfortable on TV and radio as she is mixing up a Gin & Slim…
What was your first proper introduction to gin?
As a proud, gindependent woman, I actually think my deep passion and respect for gin is in my genes. My mum was born in the town of Schiedam in Holland, which is credited by some as the birthplace of gin. All of my friends are highly amused by my gin obsession. But it’s also become the easiest and safest go-to present for me for any occasion. I actually have a dear friend in Tasmania who I now refer to as my “Tassie Gin Dealer” because whenever he comes to visit me in Sydney, he brings me a new gin to try.
What do you like about gin as a spirit?
I don’t just like it. I LOVE it. I’m actually obsessed. I love that no two gins are alike. Every brand has its own unique flavour and I’m fascinated by the subtle differences between each one. I love that it’s so versatile. There really is a gin for every mood, and a gin-based cocktail for every occasion. I love that you can customise your gin in so many creative ways. With or without tonic. With or without garnishes. There are so many clever ways to spice up your gin. And these days, there are so many varieties and flavours of tonic to play with too. The Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic is a pretty reliable pairing.
How do you drink gin?
My standard go-to is plain old Gin & Slim (with sugar-free tonic). No garnishes. The gin is the hero. I like to taste the flavour of the gin in all its glory. If I do want to spice things up a little, my favourite garnish is sliced pear and pepper.
Have you tried any new gins lately?
The Grace Gin from Greece is my latest find. It’s absolutely spectacular. I especially love that it’s the shared vision of three women – a gin made by women, for women. Yas Kween!
What is your most memorable gin experience?
The night I discovered Brooklyn Gin at my favourite rooftop bar in Williamsburg, overlooking the Manhattan skyline at sunset. Perfection. I’m also incredibly honoured to be the proud owner of the “Bottle 1 Batch 1” for each of the Sandy Gray gin varieties they’ve produced so far. A friend introduced me to Sandy Gray a couple of years ago and I’ve been their biggest fan (and number-one ticket holder) ever since. It’s a micro-distillery in Spreyton in northwest Tasmania and, like so many Tassie gins, they just get it right every time. Their Sandy Gray Artisan Small Batch Gin just won Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. I heard a saying recently that I love: “Gin was made by the Dutch, refined by the English and perfected by Tasmanians!”
Which gin-based cocktail would you be?
A Vespa Martini. Simple, stylish, with a cheeky kick. And I just think it’s hilarious that it’s a fictional cocktail that’s crossed over into reality.
What are your three desert-island gins?
Sandy Gray Gin: my favourite Aussie gin and sentimental favourite. Brooklyn Gin: made in my favourite city in the world and my second home, New York. Grace Gin: my new favourite.
What do you like about Gin Society?
I love that you guys are as obsessed with gin as I am. You’ve also introduced me to some gins I never would have thought to try otherwise. I mean… Greek gin? Who knew!? I never would’ve discovered Grace Gin if it wasn’t for Gin Society, so thank you!