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Australian Cocktails


Chris Amirault
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Tomorrow is today Down Under; today Down Under is Australia Day. When I read about that, I realized I knew very little about Australian cocktails. Like, are there any? What makes 'em Australian?

Do share alternatives to Fosters here.

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Hmm, that's a good question Chris.

First of all I will say upfront I'm VERY not-informed when it comes to alcohol in general, so anything I say would be from a street-level average person in Aus.

With that said, I can't think of any cocktails, or even spirits that I would say are actually "Australian". We do a lot of beer and wine :P

We have some very good cocktail bars around - Der Raum here in Melbourne does very well on an international level - but as far as I know they are working from a similar approach you would find anywhere... top quality ingredients in interesting ways. Which is great, but maybe not quintessentially Australian.

I'm wondering if there are any ingredients that are iconic here that could be used in a cocktail to give it an Aussie flavour. At the moment it's the peak of summer, so there's lots of great summer stone- and tropical-fruits.

The other thing that WOULD be really fun would be to try and make some kind of infusions using some herbs or spices that are found here. For example, eucalyptus could make something very interesting and Australian - it's a bit smoky, quite menthol-y and would compliment some fruits well i reckon. There are other kinds of wild seeds and "Bush tucker" which aren't used in everyday stuff but have been played with by some chefs.

Could be a fun project!

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Tomorrow is today Down Under; today Down Under is Australia Day. When I read about that, I realized I knew very little about Australian cocktails. Like, are there any? What makes 'em Australian?

Do share alternatives to Fosters here.

With the price of liquor here??? I can't think of too many particularly Australian cocktails but I'm a newcomer. And as much as I hate to disparage anyone's local spirits, I can't deal with Bundaberg rum - the ginger beer is good, though.

1806 in Melbourne does a nice Australian variation on the blue blazer:

Black Blazer

Inner Circle dark rum with black chocolate

This variation was created at 1806 by Stacy Field as a variation of the classic drink, using the old style of blazing the booze with modern ingredients that would not have been around an 1800s gold field. In honour of an Australian variation we use the award winning Inner Circle Navy Proof dark rum and organic black chocolate, all burnt in the traditional style.

It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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The other thing that WOULD be really fun would be to try and make some kind of infusions using some herbs or spices that are found here. For example, eucalyptus could make something very interesting and Australian - it's a bit smoky, quite menthol-y and would compliment some fruits well i reckon.

Or you could just use Fernet Branca, which has eucalyptus notes. Maybe combine it with some Inner Circle rum?

Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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Most of the cocktails I've come across are pretty global in nature. You could be sitting anywhere in the world to enjoy them.

Someone mentioned Bundaberg rum above, and I'm sure this could be used in a rum-based cocktail that would not taste anything like what you would get in the rest of the world.

Also as mentioned above, we have some lovely wines that could be used in wine based cocktails. I'm think in particular of something using the very Australian sparkling red wines (think champagne made with red shiraz grapes).

We also have some strong tasting fortified wines (made from muscat or tokay grapes), which could be used in cocktails typically using sherry or port.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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Well first, I personally don't know any Aussies who drink Fosters, although I'm sure they exist!

When I moved here 15 years ago cocktails barely seemed to exist outside of Chinese restaurants. Mostly it was beer (usually Victoria Bitter, but Crown Lager if you were being posh) and wine for 'the ladies'. This is outside of the hip city centres of course. If you were at a particularly bad BBQ the wine was out of a box and the 'salads' were unadorned bowls of tinned pineapple, tinned beetroot and iceberg lettuce. It was all about the overcooked meat. Bars were the same you accepted what was there and it was good enough. About 10 years ago it started to change and there's a higher level of sophistication now, I think, and it's slowly spreading to the suburbs.

When I go out in the city now there are some fantastic cocktails, with really fresh, intense flavours and light textures. I've noticed a lot of tropical fruit, some judicious use of herbs and a focus on quality ingredients that wasn't there a few years ago when the cocktail menu was a dusty brown vinyl folder with Brandy Alexanders in it. Of course, the prices match!

I don't go out cocktailing in Sydney a lot, and I'm certainly no more than an occassional appreciator of cocktails, but I've loved the menu at Pony and also at China Doll. Thre's a drink at Pony that arrives flaming that is wonderful in the evening in their outdoor area. But these are only two places - I know there are a lot of fab cocktails being made in Sydney these days.

**Edited for clarity and so that I don't make out that there was NO sophistication in Australia 15 year ago - there was, it just wasn't anywhere near the suburbs or regional areas.

Edited by Snadra (log)
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Regarding Australian spirits, Inner Circle is amazing (though technically "made in Fiji" for labelling purposes). Bundaberg is godawful. We also have a number of small distilleries around the place making great whisky which have gained some international recognition i.e. bakery hill, lark distillery, sullivan's cove...

Murmur in Melbourne do a great drink called the Kickin' Koala, which they describe as "A blend of Drambuie, Finlandia vodka, honey liqueur, eucalyptus syrup, fresh lemon juice is shaken crazily with cracked pepper, bitters & a touch of egg white. Blinky would be proud!". This is pretty much the only Australian themed cocktail I've seen on a bar's menu round here, and it's a damn good one at that (the best we had at Murmur that night. forget about ordering a zombie).

Anyway, happy invasion day peoples...

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If anyone is ever in Melbourne, Polly's is my favorite cocktail bar there. From the outside, it doesn't even look like it's even occupied but you walk in and it's plush and luxurious and the cocktails are fantastic. It's very much an insider's type place, people have to tell you about it or you'll never find it.

PS: I am a guy.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I bought a bottle of Inner Circle 40%. Haven't quite made up my mind although it is infinitely better than the cheap Bundaberg. But I'll only try the more expensive B if I can get it in a mini-bottle or try someone else's. Still has a distinct estery? flavour that interestingly, seems to come through the ginger beer in a Dark and Stormy. Does anyone know if that is a feature of pot-still rum or where they make the cuts in the distillation? Any ideas of cocktails that will shine for this style of rum?

It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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haresfur, I adore an Inner Circle old fashioned. Not sure if that will work for you if you take issue with the flavour though.

Good tip. I started down this path but found I didn't have any Fee's Old Fashioned or Angostrua bitters so I morphed it into a Sazerac with Peychaud's, raw sugar, and Obsello absinthe. Very nice!

It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 year later...

Happy Australia Day!

Celebrating with a Knickerbocker:

1 1/2 oz Inner Circle Green

1 1/2 tsp Cascade raspberry cordial

2 tsp Cointreau (don't have any curacao)

juice of 1/2 lime

Shaken with the lime peel and strained over fresh ice

I think I'd cut back even more on the cordial next time.

It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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  • 1 year later...

Anzac day is tomorrow so I made Anzac biscuits while sipping on:

20 ml Inner Circle Rum (I used red but feel free to go with green)

20 ml brandy

10 ml coffee liqueur (I used Tia Maria)

3 dashes orange bitters (Scrappy's)

Stir with ice and strain or build over ice.

Garnish with a lemon peel (or a lime peel if you are going symbolic regarding the British Empire)

Sticking with the theme I suppose this is called an Anzac cocktail.

Tomorrow morning it will be Bundaburg rum in instant coffee after the dawn service.

It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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I find that the majority of cocktails here tend to be on the sweet side. On a typical cocktail list of say 10 drinks, when I ask for one that is not very sweet, I'm often refer to 1 or 2 of them. I get more choices if I stick with the classics.

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I find that the majority of cocktails here tend to be on the sweet side. On a typical cocktail list of say 10 drinks, when I ask for one that is not very sweet, I'm often refer to 1 or 2 of them. I get more choices if I stick with the classics.

Agreed. I think it reflects the target audience/cultural perception of cocktails here. That said, there are places like Der Raum that fly in the face of this.

Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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I think the majority of cocktails everywhere tend to be on the sweet side. Of course that applies to a lot of the early recipes, too. Luckily I'm not as anti-sweet as some people, although there is a line between rich and gag. I don't tend to go out for cocktails here given the driving laws, the prices, and the unlikelihood of finding quality. Although there is a place in Bendigo that sounds promising.

It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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I find that the majority of cocktails here tend to be on the sweet side. On a typical cocktail list of say 10 drinks, when I ask for one that is not very sweet, I'm often refer to 1 or 2 of them. I get more choices if I stick with the classics.

Agreed. I think it reflects the target audience/cultural perception of cocktails here. That said, there are places like Der Raum that fly in the face of this.

Too bad Der Raum is closing (or already closed?) and moving to Europe....
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I think the majority of cocktails everywhere tend to be on the sweet side. Of course that applies to a lot of the early recipes, too. Luckily I'm not as anti-sweet as some people, although there is a line between rich and gag. I don't tend to go out for cocktails here given the driving laws, the prices, and the unlikelihood of finding quality. Although there is a place in Bendigo that sounds promising.

I don't find that as much in the US. Of course there are sweet drinks, but I find more choices in the non-sweet category than here.
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Really? Shit. The website mentions they're replacing Der Raum Melbourne with another, differently-targetted cocktail bar. To be honest, as much as I enjoyed their cocktails I disliked the bar itself. The decor was kind of cool but the place was way too fucking loud for somewhere that took the craft of mixology seriously.

Incidentally, have you been to Black Pearl yet? Worth a visit?

Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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Really? Shit. The website mentions they're replacing Der Raum Melbourne with another, differently-targetted cocktail bar. To be honest, as much as I enjoyed their cocktails I disliked the bar itself. The decor was kind of cool but the place was way too fucking loud for somewhere that took the craft of mixology seriously.

Incidentally, have you been to Black Pearl yet? Worth a visit?

Article on Der Raum: http://www.broadsheet.com.au/melbourne/nightlife/article/der-raum-packs

Not been to Black Pearl yet. For some reason, I'm rarely in that part of town....

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