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Five Victorian Distilleries You Can Support with Your Next Cruisy Afternoon Cocktail

Splash one of these standout spirits into your glass — and vote for your favourite to be stocked in more BWS stores across the state.
By Sarah Ward
August 29, 2020
By Sarah Ward
August 29, 2020


in partnership with

Splash one of these standout spirits into your glass — and vote for your favourite to be stocked in more BWS stores across the state.

There's no such thing as 'just a cocktail', as everyone who's fond of making and sipping them knows. Sourcing the exact right ingredients, combining them in the ideal way, perfecting your favourite recipe — ace all three stages, and you'll find yourself with a refreshing, drinkable work of art.

One particular part of the above equation is especially crucial, of course. If you don't pick the right spirit to start with, your cruisy afternoon cocktail just won't taste the same. And, if you can go one better and find a standout local drop — an inventive gin or a memorable premix, for example — you'll be able to both enjoy a stellar beverage and support a homegrown distillery at the same time.

When it comes to great spirits made right here in Victoria, you might already have your go-to. Or, you could be looking for ideas for your next concoction. Either way, we've teamed up with our pals at BWS to highlight five local outfits pumping out first-rate spirits you should know about. And, as well as adding them to your liquor cabinet, you can also sing their praises by voting for them to be stocked in more BWS stores across Victoria.

  • 5
    Bass & Flinders Distillery

    If you’re going to start a distillery in one of Victoria’s celebrated wine regions, you need to take a creative approach. So, that’s what Bass & Flinders Distillery did. Located on the Mornington Peninsula, it’s all about vine-to-bottle spirits, which are exactly what they sound like. When you’re sipping Bass & Flinders’ brandy, you’re sipping a spirit distilled down from chardonnay. If you opt for its gin, you’re also tasting a drop made from shiraz. Unsurprisingly, this technique sets the brand’s range apart in terms of flavour and texture as well. Also a heavy influence: the region’s fresh produce, including its apple orchards, truffles and cherries, as well as native ingredients from the Aussie outback

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  • 4

    If you’re going to make beer, wine and spirits, and run a micro-dairy, cellar door, eatery, cafe and bar as well, you need a sizeable footprint. So there’s no need to wonder why The Craft & Co is located across two Victorian venues — although it makes its spirits out of Collingwood. It doesn’t just make any old drinks, either. Its unique gingerbread gin is a cult favourite, because of course it is, while a series of gin teas sit alongside other tipples like grappa, an anise-based spirit, bloody mary vodka and limoncello. That’s an impressive range from a company that opened one of the first craft distilleries in inner Melbourne, and has spent the past five years perfecting its operations.

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  • 3
    Melbourne Gin Company

    The alcohol industry may be all about fluids, obviously, but it’s also a field that values fluid-thinking folks. Take Melbourne Gin Company’s Andrew Marks, for example. He was a winemaker before he decided to ply his skills on a different type of tipple. He still makes vino, but he has also become quite accomplished at making handcrafted, batch-distilled, non chill-filtered gin. Made in the Yarra Valley at Gembrook Hill Vineyard, Marks’ winery, Melbourne Gin Company serves up two types of its chosen spirit. With the dry version, you’ll sip your way through a drop that nods to London varieties, but with tastes of coriander seed, macadamia, sandalwood, honey, lemon myrtle and navel orange. With the company’s Single Shot gin, juniper is the hero. And if you’re wondering about the name, that’s because this tipple is made in a single distillation process.

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  • 2
    Original Spirit Co

    Some gins taste best on their own, without anything else — even tonic — changing the flavour. Others, like Original Spirit Co’s Ginfusion range, benefit from a mixer. In fact, this Aussie line is specifically made to go down smoothly with soda. Original Spirit Co started in 2007 with a German-style digestive made from a family recipe; however the family-run distillery has clearly expanded its remit in the years since. The blood orange and Japanese yuzu Ginfusion definitely stands out, though. Made with real fruit and the brand’s dry gin, it’s both citrusy and tangy, and is an easy go-to to make the simplest cocktail you’ve ever whipped up.

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  • 1

    If someone asked you to name vodka’s ingredients, you’d probably say grain or potatoes. Over at Vodka+, however, it whips up the spirit using Barossa Valley grapes, drawing upon Australia’s strong wine history. The Melbourne-based outfit’s top drop also features Bass Strait rainwater and lemon myrtle from Queensland, sharing the love around the country. The result: a tipple has a particularly rich and smooth taste, although it’s not the only product in the company’s range. If you can never decide what to pair vodka with, the brand has its own lineup of sugar-free premixes. Pick from flavours such as ginger, matcha frappe, lemon and lime, acai and berry, and pink grapefruit.

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Support your favourite local distillery by voting in BWS’ Local Luvvas campaign


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