Drinks News

Drinking Australia's native ingredients

Locally made drops - from tonic to golden ale, vermouth to eau de vie - are full of the flavours and aromas of the bush, as the next generation of producers embrace quandong, wattleseeds and more. Here are our picks.

By Max Allen

Locally made drops - from tonic to golden ale, vermouth to eau de vie -  are full of the flavours and aromas of the bush, as the next generation of producers embrace quandong, wattleseeds and more. Here are our picks.

Numbered from top to bottom, left to right:

1. Black Gate Quandong Kernel Eau de Vie, Mendooran, NSW, $110

Created for the Noma pop-up in Sydney, this subtly flavoured, gently sweet, almond-scented liqueur harks back to the quandong pies of the distiller's childhood.

2. Adelaide Hills Distillery Native Grain Project, Adelaide Hills, SA, $120

By adding lightly roasted wattleseeds and malted barley to the mash, the distillers have created a spirit with delicious coffee and grilled-nut characters. 

3. 2017 Brave New Wine Dreamland, Great Southern, WA, $36

Those crazy cats at BNW have excelled themselves with this barrel-fermented riesling infused with native myrtle, pepperberries and wild lime. Super-fragrant and vermouth-like.

4. Daylesford & Hepburn Native Tonic, Vic, $6

You need locally made mixers to go with your locally made spirits. Add this tonic - flavoured with quandong, finger lime and lemon myrtle - to gin for a drink that tastes like a G&T-Gimlet hybrid.

5. Wildflower Waratah, NSW, $30

A tangy, refreshing, cloudy golden ale brewed using all-NSW ingredients: locally grown barley and hops fermented with wild yeasts cultured from native flowers. Very limited.

6. Brookie's Slow Gin, Byron Bay, NSW, $70

Inspired by the sweet-tart characters of traditional British sloe gin, this local version, made from tangy native Davidson's plums steeped in slightly sweetened Brookie's gin, is perfumed and moreish.

7. Okar Australian Amaro, Adelaide Hills, SA, $39

Gorgeous deep magenta colour, punchy scents of sweet riberries, blood lime, native currant, strawberry gum, brilliantly balanced bitterness. Add local gin and vermouth for an all-Australian Negroni.