No matter where in the world you are, December is an amazing time. As we edge towards the end of the year, there is an excitement and energy that comes with all the parties, bar hopping, and associated clambakes.
Even behind your home bar, it’s hard not to feel the buzz, a new spirit and liqueur releases come thick and fast. Whether you’re looking to create drinks with a complex depth of flavour, or simple highballs to beat the heat, December holds the promise of something for everyone.
Melbourne Gin Company – Single Shot Gin
If you are looking to up your Gin cocktail game, then you don’t need to look much further than Melbourne Gin Company’s new expression Single Shot.
Five years in development, this Gin that has been turning heads even before its release.
It not only took out Double Gold at the 2018 San Francisco World Spirits Awards, but it also won a Gin Master at the 2018 Gin Masters Awards in London, as well as a Gold Medal at the 2018 World Gin Masters – Asia (Hong Kong).
Spurred by the distiller’s fascination with the alchemy of Gin, Single Shot is all about the distillation. Rather than individually distilling each of botanicals before blending them together, Single Shot is made in a single distillation.
More labour intensive than other forms of distillation, the single shot method has allowed the Juniper to truly shine while creating a better mouthfeel to the Gin. So you could argue that if you’re going to do Gin right, this is the way to do it.
“It has taken us five years to make a gin we can create in a Single Shot,” said Andrew Marks, Owner and Distiller, MGC, “and while we’re thrilled with the international accolades we can’t wait to get it out to the public.”
Single Shot is available from melbournegincompany.com.au for AUD$95
Fever Tree Ultimate Tonic Water Selection
Fever Tree has just made pairing Tonics with your favourite Gins that much easier.
Just in time for summer, the brand has released the Ultimate Tonic Water Selection, with four of their boutique Tonics all in one pack.
Offer the perfect chance to mix and match and experiment with new flavours, the pack contains their Premium Indian, Aromatic, Mediterranean and Elderflower Tonic Waters.
Their Premium Indian has subtle and supportive citrus and fruit notes are perfectly balanced by the bitterness of the quinine to create a uniquely clean and refreshing taste. It works perfectly with Tanqueray London Dry Gin and a grapefruit wedge.
The Aromatic has been specially created to enhance juniper-rich and robust Gins with aromatic botanicals such as cardamom, pimento berry and ginger. It works perfectly with 78” Sunset Gin and lemon.
The Mediterranean blends the essential oils from Lemon Thyme and Rosemary gathered from around the Mediterranean shores with the highest quality quinine. It works perfectly with Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin and a slice of orange.
The Elderflower Tonic Water provides a summery twist to the classic Gin and Tonic, with the refreshing floral flavour of handpicked English elderflowers. It works well with Hendrick’s Gin and a slice of cucumber.
Available from danmurphy.com.au from AUD$8.49
Brix Spiced Rum
On the outskirts of Sydney’s CBD, native Australian spices have mixed with smooth Caribbean Rum, in the highly anticipated third expression from Brix Distillers.
The distillery, which launched earlier this year has made quite a name for themselves with their first two expressions and are well on the way to changing hearts and minds about the future of Rum in this country.
This latest expression is a delicate blend of their Sydney crafted Brix White and 5 yr old Caribbean Gold Rum. The combination has been infused with Grapefruit, Semi-dried mango, cinnamon, vanilla and native Australian spices.
The first expression was their White Rum, which is made in-house and is known for its caramel notes. The second was their Gold Rum which is a blend of Barbados aged rum, created in collaboration with an overseas master distiller.
“Because we’re small scale, it means we’ve got more opportunity to experiment … There’s a lot more versatility with rum, whereas there’s a lot more rules around whisky and brandy,” says head distiller, Shane Casey.
With gentle fruit and floral notes, the Spiced Rum has hints of golden syrup and brown sugar, as well as the oaky flavours of ‘vanilla cake batter and butter biscuits’.
Available through danmurphy.com.au for AUD$86.90
If you don’t think there’s much that can shake up the world of single-malt Scotch Whisky, then you haven’t meet Allt-a-Bhainne.
Allt-a-Bhainne (pronounced Altavane), is a relatively young Scotch whisky distillery that was founded in 1975. Established mainly to produce whisky to go into the Chivas Brothers blends, the distillery occasionally releases single malt bottlings that show what it can really do.
Their latest expression, simply called Allt-a-Bhainne, is set to change the way you think about single-malt. Described as having ‘just enough peat to start a fire’, this expression puts a twist on the traditional Speyside profile, to achieve a sweet, spicy and accessible malt.
Richard Clark, Allt-A-Bhainne master distiller, said: “We know that whisky drinkers have evolved. They are becoming more adventurous with their repertoire and want to try something new. That’s why we’ve decided now is the perfect time to launch Allt-A-Bhainne.
“Convention said we shouldn’t mix peat with Speyside and that smokiness and sweetness wouldn’t work together. But we followed our nose, distilled the whisky in the way we know and trust, and Allt-A-Bhainne is the result.”
Allt-A-Bhainne is available through vintagecellars.com.au for AUD$66.99