Oh, how I have been looking forward to this. Ever since the artisan Australian gin craze took off a few years ago — followed by the artisan Australian vermouth craze — I’ve been waiting for some enterprising local booz I’ve been waiting for some enterprising local booze producer producer producer tocome out with a homegrown alternative to Campari. come out with a homegrown alternative to Campari. Why? Because then we’d have all three ingredients f hy? Because then we’d have all three ingredients for an all-Australian negroni Australian negroni Australian negroni —and how cool would that be? and how cool would that be? and how cool would that be? – Max Allen
The brainchild of Brendan and Laura Carter (the forces behind Unico Zelo winery), Applewood Distillery is set in an old industrial cold store, built in the 1920s and situated high in the pristine Adelaide Hills. Importing their distillery in 2012, they’ve taken a great deal of time to craft, in a carefully intricate manner – spirits that celebrate the food, lifestyle and drinking culture we embrace in this sun-drenched country. Exploring novel techniques such as torpedo ‘lavender-ing’ gin prior to bottling – or foraging for fresh native Australian botanicals such as saltbush and diluting with saké – the two have set themselves apart as spirituous adventurers searching to elevate the enjoyment of spirits in Australia.
Their most recent project has led them into the realms of Amari – crafting two unique and distinct alternatives to other popular spirit-based bitters. The phonetically spelt Økar and Red Økar are crafted with native Australian riberries, blood lime, gentian root and various myrtles to grace the likes of refreshing spritzes or affording the adventurous bartender the opportunity to craft an all-Australian Negroni – or perhaps a twist on the classic Americano – ‘Australiano’ anyone?
“When we first imported our still in 2012 – the intent was always to play around with Gin and Whisky – and after 3 years of trial-after-trial, we’re astoundingly happy with the result – a citrus-driven and floral Gin that has an interplay of fragrance, depth and vibrancy – inspired by Spring-time in the Adelaide Hills, distilled from grape-based spirit and composed of the following botanicals: Juniper Berries, Coriander Seed, Angelica Root, Ginger Root, Lemon Myrtle, Earl Grey Tea, Lavender, Vanilla, Cardamom, Macadamia, Lemon and Orange Peel. – Brendan and Laura Carter