CLCollectiveCOCKTAILCollectiveCOCKTAICOCKTAILCOLLECTIVECOCKTAILCOLLECTIVECOCKTAILCOLLECTIVECOCKTAILCOLLECTIVE
Podcast

Make Your Aperitif A Gem With Rhubi

With the tagline ‘Rhubi … just add soda’, Tim Philips explains the simplicity yet true beauty of his new aperitif Rhubi Mistelle

By: Tiff Christie|March 22,2021

When you think of aperitifs, it’s a fair bet that Mistelle is not one that you’ve come across very often. A type of fortified aperitif, Mistelle originated in France where grape juice and other fruits, are mixed with some sort of locally made spirit. 

While this style of drink has a long history in the grape-growing regions, today, we are looking at a Mistelle created by award-winning Australian bar, Bulletin Place. Adapting the style, while adding some good old Australian irreverence, the team created Rhubi Mistelle. 

To understand more about this aperitif, we talked to award-winning bartender and Bulletin Place’s own, Tim Phillips, about history, taking a product to market and the cocktails you can make with it. 

For more information on Rhubi Mistelle, go to rhubimistelle.com.au or connect to the aperitif on Instagram @rhubimistelle

PIN IT

Read Full Transcript

Interviewer:
When you think of aperitifs, it's a fair bet that Mistelle is not one that you've come across very often. A type of fortified aperitif, Mistelle originated in France where grape juice and other fruits, are mixed with some sort of locally made spirit.

While this style of drink has a long history in the grape growing regions, today, we are looking at a Mistelle created by award-winning Australian bar, Bulletin Place. Adapting the style, while adding some good old Australian irreverence, the team created Rhubi Mistelle.

To understand more about this aperitif, we talked to award-winning bartender and Bulletin Place's own, Tim Phillips, about history, taking a product to market and the cocktails you can make with it.
Thank you for joining us, Tim.

Tim Philips:
No worries at all. Thank you so much for having me Tiff, it's a pleasure to be on.

Interviewer:
Now, from what I understand, you originally made the Rhubi Mistelle in your Sydney bar, Bulletin Place. Can you tell me how that came about?

Tim Philips:
Yeah, so for those that haven't had the chance to come to Bulletin Place or know our general kind of shtick, we ultimately have been doing a new cocktail list every day for the eight years that we've been around. And every day that cocktail list is always inspired by produce that we receive from, as local as possible, growers. We really try to focus on the Australian biodiversity and seasonality. And, to be perfectly honest with you after, at best stage five or six years, we got sick of doing the same thing every single year, every single season that would roll around.
So throughout our exploration and our bar manager at the time, Evan Stroeve and my now business partner in this project, we were working on a lot of fermented projects. This is fermenting our own fruit wines. We looking into making our own vinegars, for example, fruit vinegars, and doing a whole lot of experiments. But a lot of those experiments, they took a long, long time and that kind of investment in time was fun, but it obviously costs money and projecting how much strawberry wine you're going to sell in six months' time, is quite difficult in finding a way to store it.
The category of Mistelle was something that appealed to us. Yeah, you introduced it really well. Mistelle is traditionally made by fermenting fruit juice essentially with apples or pears or grapes traditionally, and then that ferment is then mixed with a spirit of the same produce. So you would traditionally mix a Brandy with some fermented grape juice or something like that.
We wanted to do the same thing, but we were mixing it up a little bit and we were trying all sorts, with nectarines and with bananas, and peaches, and pineapples. But the one which was the most tasty and the one that we were having the most traction with, was the earthy and quite picante rhubarb juice. So that real earthiness and its availability at 10 months of the year in Australia, meant that it just worked really well for us. We were making it in five litre batches and really just giving it away to our mates. It wasn't something that was appearing a lot of the time on menus, but we just loved it. We were just offering it to guests as a little bit of a handshake at the end of their experience with us.

Interviewer:
So what made you decide to take it from the bar and into commercial production?

Tim Philips:
After some time of making it in five litre batches and receiving some really positive feedback for it, we started putting our heads together and thinking, "Maybe we can sell this". Obviously, we were concerned that where we were producing it at Bulletin Place in the batches of five litres, wasn't the most consistent in terms of its colour and it wasn't its most consistent in terms of the rhubarb we were getting and juicing in that end product. Each batch had its own idiosyncrasies and foibles and certain highlights as well. So we wanted to make it a little bit more of a commercial liability by expanding. We actually consulted with a friend of ours, and a friend of the venue who makes their own gin and we asked him about how his experience was bringing something to market, and then that began the journey of us essentially finding a third-party producer that would be able to do this on scale without sacrificing the integrity of the category or without sacrificing any of that, or taking any shortcuts that we had gotten to, to produce it in five litre batches at Bulletin Place.
And I guess that process was probably the most arduous. There's a lot of producers out there which will aim to match your liquid flavour profile, but certainly don't want to do the hard work to get it there. And we were very conscious to ensure that we were certainly meeting the same guidelines and procedure that we were doing in the small batches at Bulletin Place and we were very protective of that. In fact, once we actually found that third party, we actually feel like by working with them, we considerably improved the product and we've added a considerable of that more depth of flavour and character to it. It's been a long process, but it's been a certainly very trying and educating one as well.

Interviewer:
Has creating a commercial product, been what you expected?

Tim Philips:
Well, it's certainly full of low lights. It's certainly full of disappointments, I guess, comparing it to opening your own venue, it's quite similar in that regard as well. Opening your own venue is one of the most stressful things you can ever do. And obviously the amount of work and money and creative juices and just soul that goes into doing it. Obviously, once you finally open the doors, that's when the hard work really begins.
We're certainly finding that now. That big dopamine release of finally getting a product to market and after two and a half years of getting obviously the design right, not to mention the liquid as well, we certainly had that big release and now it's only just begun. We've actually got to sell it. We've actually got to move that 25,000 bottles that we invested in. That's 6,000 litres of rhubarb juice that we invested in. Now comes the fun bit, but certainly from opening our own venues, we're not shy of getting our hands dirty.

Interviewer:
Explain to people what makes a Mistelle different from other aperitifs.

Tim Philips:
Ultimately, a Mistelle is a fortified wine. You could loosely term it as that. We would say that Rhubi is simply an aperitif and again, the aperitif is a much more broad category. Quite typically, a Mistelle, as I mentioned, would take a fermented fruit juice, very lowly fermented fruit juice, what we would call a must, and it would normally be fermented up to 2% alcohol. Obviously, not very high at all. The reason why you're doing that is just to eat a little bit of the sugar in the fruit, but also create some kind of fermented tannin and some, almost mousy, characteristics.
When it comes to rhubarb, there's not much inherent sugar to work with really. It's not a vegetable, it's not a fruit. It certainly is just rhubarb. Anyone that's taken a bite of rhubarb raw, or even juiced it for a smoothie, would know that it is very earthy and very tart. We like the idea that it didn't have a lot of sugar. When we ferment ours, we don't take the alcohol level very high at all. We don't even take it to a point where it really registers. What we're looking for is the change of character. Then, we would typically in a Mistelle production, match it with a distillate of the same fruit. In our case here, we don't make a, a spirit from fermented and distilled rhubarb, we take a juniper spirit that has been infused with fresh rhubarb and then we match those two, meeting the same guideline as a typical Mistelle, and then the secret herbs and spices come into it there.
A lot of Mistelles will add certain botanicals to give a character. When it comes to our Rhubi, we had a French gentian. We add a touch of quinine, and then we steep the whole thing in mandarin and grapefruit skins just to really highlight and lift those aromatics. Typically, a Mistelle, which is bottle at 7, 8% alcohol, would be drank with maybe some sparkling mineral water, or it would be drank on ice or drunk slightly chilled as a lovely aperitif. It would also make a fantastic nightcap at the end of the meal.
Whereas we really aim for Rhubi to be that start of the day, start of your picnic, start of your barbecue, style of drink, where we have a lot more inherent acidity in there. There's a little bit of bitterness that comes through with the gentian, and then obviously that big bright citrus peel that floats in there as well means that it's a perfect aperitif and party starter for any kind of outdoor occasion, or group occasion, or a precursor to a good meal.

Interviewer:
Was the recipe that you used for this an original recipe based on Mistelle tradition, or was it a found recipe?

Tim Philips:
So as a recipe, we certainly just work shopped. I think this recipe, the initial recipe was just an extension of our fruit wine escapades. When it comes to a fruit wine, typically, if you were just to take as the most simplified version, if you were to take some apple juice from your fridge and you were to add a yeast and you can purchase brewers yeast or champagne yeast, which would have a little bit more character, potentially even add a little bit more sugar in there so the yeast has got a bit more to feed off and then leave it in a Mason jar and let it sit for a couple of days, let that yeast eat the sugar and let it convert that CO2. After about a week, this apple juice would certainly convert and start to turn and you'd have the very, very beginnings of what we would call a fruit wine.
Now there's a little bit more method to our madness when we work that out. It's how much sugar we add, how much yeast we add, how long we leave it for, because certainly, the product can go bad very, very, very quickly if you're not keeping an eye on it or know what you're doing. So as an extension of that, we felt like we were getting our rhubarb wine quite right, and then we really wanted to start preserving it.
The way you would typically preserve it is through fortification and then quite typical of the vermouth category, for example, would do this as well. We wanted to fortify it with ... we initially did a mix of a gin and a vodka because we found that gin was too pungent and vodka obviously being a neutral spirit, is a good way of watering that flavour profile down without dropping the alcohol. And then we would just to add a little bit more vibrant, fresh characteristics, we would chop up, to be honest, fresh rhubarb that we just slightly heat up to soften and just to release some of those flavours into that spirit.
We mix those two together. Originally we were bottling it at 20% alcohol that would be ready for use in cocktails, or it would be certainly preserved so we could give it out to our guests. Once you get the alcohol level over 16 or 17% alcohol that any kind of oxidisation or any future fermentation really gets halted. That was the magic mark of being fortified in that sense. So in that sense, it was pretty close to that original recipe. We have added some more complexity through the citrus peel and the gentian, but yeah, we're pretty close at the start, but the version we've got now is a lot more amplified and concentrated and much more cocktail friendly, I guess.

Interviewer:
Aside from the gentian and the citrus peel that you've mentioned, what else goes into this particular Mistelle?

Tim Philips:
We have created almost a bitter tea bag, which is quite high in gentian. There's a few other subtle flavours in there that really you wouldn't pick up, and there's a little bit of Australian ginger, which has been grown and dried in Queensland, which really just gives a slight character. You wouldn't pick it up unless someone really mentioned it to you.
Besides that, we really keep quite clean. As much as we've spoken to this products method, the whole idea of it was really to be that perfect canvas for cocktails and for drinks at home so people wouldn't really need to add too much more to it. Having that inherent acidity, matched with that sweetness through that little bit of sugar that's in there as well. I did mention there is a little bit of sugar, didn't I? There is a little bit of sugar in there. Much less sugar than your typical aperitif or Amaro or vermouth for that matter. That was about it. We just really wanted it to be made to be mixed with soda. Our whole monica, ‘Rhubi, just add soda’ would mean that it would be the perfect spritz without having to purchase any Prosecco, without having to purchase any garnishes.
If you have good ice at home, bad ice at home. If you want to put it in a jam jar, a wine glass, a high ball, we thought that the product was fairly malleable, that you could really just mix it with soda and it would make a great drink.

Interviewer:
Now, having a look at the colour, it's a little bit more vibrant than you might normally expect from rhubarb.

Tim Philips:
Yeah, absolutely. So typically the darker, the rhubarb, it means the colder the region it's been grown in. In every bottle we've got 11% fresh rhubarb juice and that rhubarb juice typically comes out, probably around that colour, actually. It comes out really quite bright. Obviously, once we ferment that and once we add our spirits to it, once we add our secret herbs and spices, the colour gets dulled considerably. Much like in the whiskey industry or the cognac industry, we do colour up and that's through use of a natural colouring. In our case, there's a natural colouring, which doesn't alter the taste in any way whatsoever.
I think there's 0.01% in every bottle, but it's a mix of, I think it's a mix of red cabbage and beetroot funnily enough, and that blend ends up giving you a colour that means it doesn't flavour the product in any way, but just means it becomes shelf stable. And it means it's a lot less susceptible to things like being light struck. So if you were to have your bottle open and keep it on your shelf in front of you a window, you're not going to lose the colour after some time. It just helped us get some consistency through batches as well because what we're finding is when we were obviously making it with rhubarb from the spring, it would look different to rhubarb from the winter. So just sort of colouring up and getting that consistency right, it was obviously very important and put consumers and obviously people buying this at ease.

Interviewer:
Of course. Now, speaking of not changing the flavour, describe what the flavour is.

Tim Philips:
Yeah. Okay. So if I was to crack open a bottle right now, and if I was to put the bottle to my nose or even pour it into a tasting glass, the first thing you're going to smell is that really bright grapefruit and mandarin peel. It's going to come at you quite hard and you probably need to take that back, take that sniff back, take a sniff of your hand to reset and then bring it back up to your nose. And then you're going to start getting some of the subtleties in there. So right behind that grapefruit and mandarin, you're going to get this really weird kind of alpine menthol characteristic, which is the gentian, okay. Now that gentian, for those that have never had or tasted it, you probably would have tasted it in some of your favourite aperitifs and not known it, but it actually comes across as an almost slight menthol characteristic or a slight spearmint characteristic when used in very small doses.
Obviously, we take a sip and we get that really bright acid. That acid is coming from a little bit of wine tannin through the fermented rhubarb juice, but more importantly, that acidic backbone is the rhubarb juice itself. It's that earthy, astringent, acidic rhubarb. Then that is all cut through with the sweetness. So the sugar will cut through that, but still not cut through enough to make sure you've got some tannin on the side of your mouth and to cleanse it and become quite moreish, and as that finish goes down, you start to get a little bit more complexity. Obviously, that little bit of quinine comes through, almost that Tonic Water characteristic and that juniper gives a little bit of a punch in that alcohol strength, which is bottled at 18%. Which means it's all enough that it's not going to give you a full whack, but certainly is worthwhile.
Yeah, as I said, we really feel like as soon as you add some soda water, which inherent flavour is just carbonic acid, that just adds a little bit more effervescence and a little bit more acid to the whole mix and it just means it's a really easy, clean, very bitter sour and sweet aperitif.

Interviewer:
Now, if someone were to buy a bottle of the Rhubi for the first time, is soda water the way you would want them to first experience it?

Tim Philips:
Yeah, absolutely. There's obviously a couple of conversations, when you're bringing out a brand you generally would come up with a, I guess what you would call is a serve strategy and it gets you trying to dictate to trade or to bartenders or to consumers, how you should drink it. We've said to both parties, we really feel like the best way to serve this, is to just add soda. That being said, it is a completely malleable product.
We've obviously done a lot of experimenting, and anyone that keeps an eye on the Bulletin Place Instagram has probably noticed the creativity that comes out of those guys every week, and their liberal use of Rhubi within that.
We certainly don't want to dictate to bartenders what they should and shouldn't do with a product like this. But, with that said, there's been some amazing experiments that has shown Rhubi to be certainly very adaptable. And one of the best kind of examples I'd say is, Negroni, which is equal parts, gin, sweet Vermouth and Campari, as obviously, anyone that's listening to this podcast would know and if you were to replace any of those three ingredients with Rhubi, you would have a fantastic drink. So because of the Juniper spirit that we use, you'd be able to replace the gin and you'd have this lovely, lower ABV Negroni. If you were to replace the fortified wine in the Vermouth, that makes probably the most natural counterpart and then you'd have this more aromatic and citrus Negroni. And if you were to replace the Campari with Rhubi, you would have this slightly less bitter and almost a real introduction to Negronis, which would work a treat as well.
And because obviously there's enough bitterness in Rhubi as well, that takes the place as Campari in a nice, softer sense. That's the kind of fun we've been having with it to be perfectly honest with you. Coming into the colder months, we're having a lot of fun as well, using it in warmer cocktails. Yeah, it's been working really well. We didn't think it would be as malleable as it is.

Interviewer:
Well, tell us a few of the other cocktails you've been playing around with.

Tim Philips:
One of the favourite drinks, we've got a name for it, but I'm a little bit ashamed of the name. It's a very simple serve and if you were to take them in sour beer and the craft beer movement is going gangbusters. And one of our, for me, I'm not a big sour beer kind of guy. I feel like it always tries to rip the enamel off my teeth. So one of the easy kind of spritz or highball serves we've been playing with recently was taking a sour beer, like the Brooklyn Bel Air Sour, and then just throwing in a dose of Rhubi into that. We've come up with a drink called the Brooby, and it's a simple mix of sour beer and Rhubi. And it's been working a treat.
For those at home that probably want something a little bit more elegant, we've got a really lovely twist on what you would call a Negroni Sbagliato. A Sbagliato would be typically Campari, sweet Vermouth and sparkling wine. We've been taking our Rhubi with a dry Vermouth and then some sparkling wine. We were going to call this drink, ‘Cover It In Glitter’ because it seems that no matter how cheap your sparkling wine is, you still end up with a pretty good drink if you get that ratio right of Rhubi and dry Vermouth. We are quite fond of that one because it certainly takes those $12 sparkling wines and turns it into something really sort of magical.
And then obviously because of the citrus aromatics that we add to Rhubi, it just means it works really well with any drink that is typically with lemon juice or lime juice. Even if you were to add half a shot of Rhubi to your gin and tonic, that works wonders as well. So yeah, we've got a few up our sleeve and we're actually putting together a little book which we feel will probably be a little bit of help once we get a little bit more exposure in bottle shops, but for now we're just screaming from the rafters to drink it with soda.

Interviewer:
Easiest is often the best with those things.

Tim Philips:
Exactly. Everyone got a Soda Stream at home now as well.

Interviewer:
They do seem to.

Tim Philips:
It's actually the only mixer I've always got around the house because of the Soda Stream now. So we are trying to keep it easy for home entertaining and we're trying to keep it easy for those in bars. We're trying to keep the profit margins for those in bars that carbonate their own water. We're trying to make it easy people at home who want to entertain their friends with an easy cocktail, but only have a bottle of Rhubi around.

Interviewer:
Now, if people at home want to play around with flavour combinations, you mentioned citrus and a few other things. What ones do you think work really well with the Rhubi?

Tim Philips:
Yeah. The first thing, when you typically put together a cocktail and you would generally look to have a spirit as a backbone or even some sort of bittering agent as well. I think Tequila works naturally really well with Rhubi, that kind of real earthiness bounces off that inherent earthiness that is in rhubarb. Obviously, gin is a really natural bedfellow for Rhubi as well because of the juniper connection. But what we're also finding now that we're playing around with more wintery style drinks coming into that season, is the use of brandies. So things like Calvados, armagnacs, cognacs, obviously something like Calvados, like an apple brandy just go spectacularly well with a rhubarb-based aperitif. It's been a lot of fun. I haven't played around too much in the whiskey world with Rhubi as yet, but certainly for now, the white rums, tequilas and brandies are keeping me really busy.

Interviewer:
We've been lucky enough to have most of our bars open in recent times. So what has the reaction of bartenders been to the aperitif?

Tim Philips:
Yeah, it's been really positive. The bartending industry is such an amazing community and we've had probably the hardest year. I don't want to speak for the whole industry, but we've had probably the hardest year any of us have ever seen and we are certainly very conscious that launching a product after a year like that, especially when bars are looking to really minimise their offering, where they can to save costs, that we didn't expect really to come into the market and be available and be on the back bars of a hundred different bars in the country within a few weeks.
We also recognise that there's a lot of bars that are looking to downsize their selections now and certainly not look to invest in products that are unknown to consumers, but obviously it speaks volumes to the industry when you can release something and you get as much traction as we've had and as much goodwill. I think it speaks volumes to the community that we have in hospitality, and are certainly, thankful and look to support them as much as possible. It's one thing, I've been screaming from the rafters myself is telling as many people as I can, it's all well and good that we're able to reopen bars again, but it's another thing to get out there and make sure we're frequenting them as well. Supporting your independent Australian spirits and liqueurs and independent bars is all helping us get back on our feet.

Interviewer:
Do you think a lot of the support from the bars for Rhubi has been because it has been made by bartenders, yourself and Evan?

Tim Philips:
Potentially. It was interesting, we were in Canberra this week and we were sitting at a bar called Molly down in Canberra, where we were looking at a back bar and we had actually a moment of clarity. We were looking on the back bar and we said, "Oh, Sean makes that, and Jez makes that and such and such makes that and ah, our mate works there and does that". And you'd be surprised now at the amount of bartenders or ex-bartenders now that have got considerable footprints on back bars. And what's not surprising now is how well that is being supported by the future generations of bartenders and bar owners and hopefully brand owners as well.
Australia is such an amazing land of opportunity and it is a bit cliche, but it speaks volumes to say that there are so many brands that we see on our back bars now that have been started by bartenders or they're being collaborated on by bartenders and they're being really supportive in the on-premise and then the on-trade.
I would say that because it has been made by bartenders where we're certainly getting supported really well, but I certainly thank these bars and we'll go out of our way now to make sure that we're supporting any kind of future endeavours by people that work in the industry.

Interviewer:
Now you've only launched quite recently, but have any bartenders created any cocktails that you didn't expect with Rhubi yet?

Tim Philips:
We've seen some crackers. So far so good, I think. Unexpected is certainly anything that we're seeing. We talk about Australia being one of the most fortunate and opportunity ridden lands in the world. It's also home of some of the most creative and best bars and bartenders in the world. So some of the drinks that we're seeing from bartenders and we're fortunate that there's a couple of drinks that are being used in the world-class competition run by Diageo that I've seen. I don't think they know that I'm not judging this year, so I'd like to think that they're using it for the flavour, but certainly if they're trying to score some extra points and I was judging, I'm that kind of biased that they'd be winning and they'd be up there on the day.
Some of the drinks have been great. I think we've seen a natural tendency for bartenders to mix with gin and tequila. I'm really looking forward to tasting my first dark spirit and Rhubi drink. But those will come, I'm sure in the winter. But for now, everyone's keeping it really light and bright and refreshing and delicate and floral and I'm certainly loving it. You certainly get a kick when you walk into a bar and you see your product on the back bar and you ask the bartender to mix you up something with it and comes out and it's something that you've never thought of and much more delicious than you thought could ever happen with your own product. It's a real buzz.

Interviewer:
Now let's talk about the packaging for a moment. The bottle is beautiful. Is that originally designed by you guys?

Tim Philips:
Yeah, it is. So our partners on this, is a company called Uncle Design. These guys are incredible. We came to them with our story and we came to them with who we were inspired by and what we're inspired by. Part of our story and a big part of Rhubi's story is that we want to really pay homage to the spiritual home of Mistelle, which is in Normandy in France. France is somewhere that I've lived and it's somewhere that's very close to my heart. My wife loves every single area in France and it's somewhere where I can't wait to go back to once all these travel bans are lifted. But in Normandy, where Mistelle is from, a lot of people have their holiday homes and something that's quite typical in a design feature of all the homes there are these real beautiful, we would call them French shutters, but they would just call them shutters, I guess.
We really wanted to mimic the French shutters that were typically found in the homes of Normandy and our bottle is actually a direct copy of the shutters of Claude Monet's holiday home in Normandy.

Interviewer:
Oh really, okay.

Tim Philips:
Yeah. So that is the ridge nature of the side there. We love the minimalism of the bottle. We really wanted the Rhubi to stand out on shelf and I think all the work that Uncle has done in the design has really captured that initial brief that we gave to them, that was a mix of capturing what Normandy is all about, mixed with almost a little bit of Bauhaus structural minimalism as well.
Lastly, but not least, I have to say the cap as well. The cap, or the closure is just beautiful. It's a stack of coins, a stack of French coins, I might add with the symbol of the Sower on top as well. That iconic symbol of the Sower, which is probably the most prominent French, and probably the most noticeable French artwork in French culture. It basically symbolize small ideas that can be thrown into the ether and can grow into big things. So we needed to capture her. She is certainly a big spirit and icon of Rhubi that is the Sower that we've got on the cap.

Interviewer:
Speaking of capturing big things. Do you have plans for other aperitif releases in the future?

Tim Philips:
I mean, not necessarily. This sounds silly and my wife would love for me to finally change my opinion on this, but funnily enough, we don't, whenever we go into a new project, we consider ourselves artists first and whether we're opening a bar or restaurant or launching a product, we really go into this, really trying to,.. it's not about the money is what I'm trying to say. The whole idea of launching a new aperitif right now, seems a real distant distant dream that I don't think we would chase.
In the same way that we really thought after opening a 40 seat cocktail bar in the middle of nowhere in the North end of the city, all we wanted to do at that stage was really just to give people a taste of Australian seasonality and really just serve nice people, nice drinks in a nice venue. At this stage, all we really want to do is concentrate on Rhubi and really just concentrate on getting this in people's hands and in glasses. So at this stage, I'm certainly going to say no. And also saying that because I'm out of good ideas at this stage, I think that was all about creative juices in one bottle.

Interviewer:
Now, speaking of getting it into people's hands, I assume it's available across Australia.

Tim Philips:
Yeah. So at this stage, we've just signed with our national distributor and that will be announced fairly soon. That's unfortunately a bit of a slow moving process, but it is the process that takes, so for now, we sell direct all across Australia through our website, which is www.rhubimistelle.com.au, and also check out our Instagram, which is just @RhubiMistelle. And then within the next couple of months, you hopefully start seeing us bobbing up in independent bottle shops first. We got to look after the small guys first, and we're really going to focus on the Indies for the first, probably at least six to nine months. Hopefully by the time we around this time, next year, you start to see us a lot more prominently in the bigger guys. But for now we're really just concentrating on our direct sales. If you're on the other side of the country and you want to want a bottle delivered for Mother's day or for yourself, but also looking after the independent bottle shops as well, which are the heart and soul and the artisans of our off-premise industry.

Interviewer:
Are there plans to export?

Tim Philips:
I think the story of Rhubi and our story is so uniquely Australian. It is that nod to France, but still typically very creatively and irreverent when it comes to being Australian. At this stage, we're really just focusing on Sydney really and then we're moving out from there where we are going to get down to Melbourne very soon, and as I mentioned, we're in Canberra a couple of days ago and we really just want to grow organically. And we just really want to look after our Australian supporters as much as possible. As I said, this is a project of passion and nothing would give me more joy to really just travel around the country spruiking my snake oil from the back of a boot in the form of a bottle of Rhubi Mistelle. For now it's Australia but to all my mates that I've lived and worked with in Britain, France and in the U.S., when I can travel, I'll be sure to smuggle as much as I can over for you to try.

Interviewer:
Well, I imagine if it's being used in international competitions, it will start getting some exposure overseas.

Tim Philips:
Yeah. That would be great. I mean, who doesn't want their product to be in as many markets as possible? I think for now, it's really just an Australian project. Hopefully, we look back at this podcast in a couple of years time and it has gone gangbusters abroad, but for now it's really just the focus to be on Australian supporters.

Interviewer:
If people want more information they can of course go to your website, which is Rhubi Mistelle, as you mentioned, or connect with the aperitif or on your socials.

Tim Philips:
Yeah, absolutely. We do have a Facebook page, which is acceptable without being very inspiring. Our Instagram is updated very often and that's @RhubiMistelle, and then as I said the website, I will give it one more plug, it's www.rhubimistelle.com.au. Hopefully, as I said, you start to see it bobbing all up and down in independent stockists soon.

Interviewer:
We look forward to that. Thank you so much for joining us today, Tim.

Tim Philips:
Great. Thank you so much, Interviewer, and thank you so much to all the listeners. I appreciate you taking your collective times out of your days to hear a bartender's spruik a foreign fortified wine made with a weird piece of produce for all of your summer drinking pleasure. So I certainly appreciate it. Thank you so much.

You Might Also Like

Follow for the latest on Instagram

Sign up for photos, stories, IGTV & more ... Follow
Reading

Make Your Aperitif A Gem With Rhubi

Share It! URL Copied
Up Next

7 Irish Whiskey Cocktails