Words by Jane Ryan
A new generation of brand and bar owners have reshaped what a bottled cocktail can be in Australia (and when and where we can enjoy bar-quality drinks). Here's our pick of the best.
You simply cannot make a fresh cocktail, stick it in a bottle and call the job a good'un. Ingredients perish, dilution and temperature is central to a lot of balance and flavour in drinks, and keeping things fizzy is extraordinarily challenging. But these clever clogs below figured it out anyway - utilising plenty of local and a few international ingredients they've gifted drinkers around Australia the chance to enjoy a Manhattan on the couch or a Highball in the park whenever we want.
Plus a lot of the cocktails are also finding their way into venues who are too understaffed and busy to be running a complicated cocktail program. Which means more delicious drinks for us where they wouldn't ordinarily be found. How good.
Best For: Hyper-tasty sparkling aperitivo-hour cocktails
Home Grown began at Worksmith, a food and beverage incubator in Melbourne who work alongside some brilliant local craft distillers and bartenders. Rounding them up to create something for everyone that’s fun, accessible and tastes great was a logical next step. They've got four top-notch ready-to-serve bottled cocktails using great local spirits that are both unique and big on flavour; celebrating some of the best Australia has to offer.
Choose from Creamy Soda Highball, Strawberry & River Mint Spritz, Ginger & Mango Spritz and the Sparkling Raspberry Negroni.
Best For: delicious twisted classics
LORO is a new range of cocktails created by Orlando Marzo, one of Melbourne's best known bartenders who has worked globally from Italy to London and Tokyo. He even received the coveted World Class Bartender of the Year in 2018. His range is full of contemporary ingredients slotted within the classic cannon of drinks, making for an exciting and flavour-driven experience. They are also delightfully easy to decant and enjoy.
Chose from the Cherry & Cacao Manhattan, Bergamot Negroni, Olive Martini and the Coffee Cocktail.
Best For: perfect classics and bright single-serve sparkling cocktails
This is the OG of the Australian bottled cocktail scene, and they are deservedly smashing it out of the park. Inheriting the name, recipes and ethos from the team's internationally-renowned cocktail bar, The Everleigh, based in Melbourne, all of their cocktails are hand-made and bottled with the same spirits and distinctive attention to detail which first saw the bar named one of the best in the world. While we return time and again to their classic range, we are increasingly enamored by the fizzy bottles too - bringing a brighter and more fun side of the brand to the world.
Choose from many - highlights include, French 75, non-alc Bellini (now selling in Coles), Americano, Fruit Cup, Negroni, Old Fashioned, Martini, Manhattan.
Best For: variety, with some rare gems you don't see outside of bars
Sydney-based Discerning Drinks give their customers two options, you can either buy the bottled cocktail or grab all the ingredients in a beautiful pack and have a go at bartending yourself. They've got all the classics you'd expect plus they've cleverly figured out how to transform the flavour profiles of typical citrus and shaken drinks into stirred down bottle cocktails.
Choose from: Cosmopolitan, Negroni, Margarita, Mojito, Espresso Martini, Two Thirds Negroni and a Gin Martini.
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