Bondi's Bucket List might not quite be East Egg but that didn't stop Baz Luhrmann and Absolut from throwing a bash that even old Jay Gatz would've liked to celebrate the launch of their latest vodka, Absolut Oz. Luhrmann was enlisted by the Swedish distillery to create a limited-edition vodka capturing the essence and flavour of Australia. For the celebrated filmmaker, that meant spiced orange with hints of eucalyptus and grapefruit.
At the Sydney launch cocktails created by Luhrmann did the rounds, along with Swedish-accented eats inspired by Absolut's Nordic roots, and given an Australian twist. Guests included a rollcall of Australian entertainment and arts faces, including Nell Schofield, Kerri-Anne Kennerley and Jenny Kee, while live music by the Myall High Club brought an Aussie beach vibe to the evening, with covers of Australian classics by the likes of The Church and Australian Crawl. With drinks flowing and Baz's trademark energy in the air, not even the rain could stop guests from partying like it was 1925.
We ate Canapés of salmon cured in Absolut Oz with apple, hazelnut and crème fraîche in witlof leaves started the night off with Swedish-like flavours before things segued into the more classic likes of fish and chips, lamb skewers, and mini pavlovas and lamingtons.
We drank The Tama-Glamma, Hell's Bells Beach, Cable Beach Stairway to the Moon, and The South Avoca Elevator, all created by the guest of honour. The favourite of the night, as declared by the man himself, was the Tama-Glamma, a mix of vodka, cloudy apple juice, lemon juice and agave syrup.
We loved Baz's lowdown on his collaboration with Absolut. He wasn't afraid to admit that creating the cocktails proved to be a little more dangerous than he'd initially realised.
Absolut Oz is available from liquor retailers from 1 March for a limited time.