sassafras and humans
Atherosperma moschatum, more commonly known as Blackheart Sassafras or Southern Sassafras, has been an essential plant of the human story for many thousands of years. In more recent times this local rainforest tree was used to bitter the first ales made by the newly arrived colonists to Tasmania’s shores.
Over 60 years ago a number of experiments were conducted to establish the toxicity of a compound known as Safrole, thought to exist in all Sassafras species. The results from these experiments became instrumental in validating an almost total global ban on the use of Sassafras in all victuals.
Given the evocative flavoured scent of the tree, Martin set out to see if he could extract the oils from the leaves. This endeavour produced positive results with no traces of Safrole present.[siteorigin_widget class=”WP_Widget_Media_Image”][/siteorigin_widget]
sassafras the tree
Atherosperma moschatum is a conical shaped evergreen tree that is native to the cool temperate rainforests of Australia and has its distributional epicentre located in the Far South of Tasmania. Growing up to 45 metres tall and obtaining a diameter of 1 metre, it can reach an age of up to 200 years. The trunk and branches are often covered in lichen. The leaves of the tree have distinctly coarse toothed margins.
Flowers form in winter, facing down to avoid rain and snow. The fruit capsules mature, opening around January to release feathery, windblown seeds.
The leaves we use in our distilling process are sourced by selectively pruning trees by the side of bush tracks. We also have initiated a propagation and planting program for the species in the garden surrounding our distillery.
water – the story
The mineral water used in ‘evoke’ commences its terrestrial journey midst the higher ridges of the Southern Ranges, part of Tasmania’s World Heritage Wilderness. The water descends through dolomite fissures to eventually settle in the valley below.
The high quality of this mineral water equals that found anywhere else on this planet, considered beneficial to human health. We believe the qualities of this water greatly enhances the overall palate of ‘evoke™’.