Darling, we’ve said it once and we’ll say it again, they just don’t make ‘em anywhere else in the world like they do in Australia, and the time has come for us to get a little bit spiritual – with the country’s premiere range of locally brewed spirits and aperitifs. So before you meet your maker, meet the makers of pleasure and add these three tipples to your bucket list this summer.
The Melbourne Gin Company
Adopted by English explorers as a tonic to ward off dreaded malaria – that’s their story and they’re sticking with it ok – the humble gin and tonic has had a much needed facelift from the Sunday afternoon tipple your grandmother used to quaff, thanks to the clever team at The Melbourne Gin Company. Hailing from the world’s most liveable city (we’ll let them win this round) this fresh and vibrant spirit incorporates eleven locally sourced botanicals, individually distilled and blended to create a unique flavour that encapsulates the very essence of Melbourne. Subtle notes of macadamia, sandalwood, lemon myrtle, cassia and coriander seed mingle with the more traditional juniper berry, grapefruit peel and rosemary base. Oh and did we mention the final component? How about pure rainwater from Gembrook in the Yarra Valley ranges. Now pour this miracle spirit over ice, add a splash of sparkling tonic water and a sprig of fragrant rosemary and just like the great explorers of yester year you’ll be ready to tackle the jungles of darkest Africa – or you know, our cocktail list, whatever’s easier.
Ink Dry Gin
James Bond may have made her popular but when we tackled the challenge of perfecting the classic martini, it was Australian, not British intelligence that her an ‘it girl’. It’s the unique incorporation of native flavours and alluring colour in the Unforgiven’s Ink Gin that puts our Australian Wet Martini in pride of place on our cocktail bucket list. Sourced from the lush rainforests of Calderra, NSW this unusual gin blends Australian native pepper berries, lemon myrtle, and valenica orange peel with imported botanicals like cardamom and Egyptian liquorice root and distilled using volcanic rock filtered rainwater. But it is the rare butterfly pea petals that give this crisp spirit it’s unique hue that has got everyone talking. Mix this lovely local with a generous serving of Australia dry vermouth and watch its colour change from deepest indigo to a blushing pink, Forget 007, this is 00-oh my god.
Stolen from the Italians and perfected by the Australians the team from Applewood Distillery are showing those suit wearing, pizza eaters how we Campari, with their answer to everyone’s favourite bitter aperitif. Made from a staple in every Australian garden the Lilly Pilly, Red Okar uses the pronounced cranberry like tartness of the native berry to produce a smooth blend of bitter and sweet. Mixed with our locally sourced Mchenry’s and a generous splash of Castagna and you’ve got yourself our bona-fide Australian native Negroni, please form an orderly queue.
So when it comes to nailing down your cocktail bucket list for summer, forget travelling abroad, visit the talented team at Darling & Co and find out why local is the new exotic.