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Five NSW 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 — a creative vodka, flavoursome rum or memorable gin, 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 New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, 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 NSW and the ACT.

  • 5
    Baker Williams Distillery

    Travel three and a half hours northwest from Sydney and you’ll hit Mudgee, a small central New South Wales town that dates back more than 150 years. It’s a place with history, including in gold rush-era Australia — and, since 2012, it’s also home to Baker Williams Distillery. This spirits outfit may be a microdistillery, but it boasts a sizeable range. On offer: an award-winning gin and lemon myrtle liqueur, plus a whisky, rouge vert jus, coffee-flavoured liqueur and a very popular butterscotch schnapps. Making all of the above with local raw ingredients is Baker Williams’ big focus, as is making the most of its resources, with its lemons and oranges going to cordial manufacturers, spent malt to pig farms and other organic waste composted.

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  • 4

    When Underground Spirits had the brainwave to turn everyone’s favourite sweet into a tipple — that is, to make caramel vodka — it was always going to be a hit. Yes, it’s creamy and buttery, sounds like a refreshing dessert drop, and definitely tempts the tastebuds. It also instantly livens up your cocktail of choice, goes down nicely all by itself or pairs well with something simple. Creative thinking seems to be this Canberra distillery’s strength, too, with the company founded by obstetrician and fertility specialist Toby Angstmann. He has adapted some of his medical skills to his new business — including in the brand’s impurity-removing cryofiltration process.

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  • 3

    Located in Surry Hills, and marking the first craft distillery dedicated to rum to set up shop in Sydney’s inner city in quite some time, Brix takes its spirit of choice seriously. It doesn’t just want you to sip its rums, of course, but it doesn’t want you to do so without truly appreciating rums in general. Also on the agenda: celebrating the spirit’s diversity. There are rums and then there are rums, whether you like clear rum in a mojito or a syrupy spiced rum that lingers on your palate. Both types rank among the various kinds made in the venue’s Australian-made 1200-litre still, as handcrafted using refinery-grade North Queensland molasses, plus local spice infusions.

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  • 2
    Headlands Distilling Co.

    Everyone has spent hours chatting with their mates, pondering their futures and coming up with wild plans. Not everyone starts a distillery, though; however that’s exactly how Headlands Distilling Co came about. Up and running in Wollongong since 2015, the distillery is the product of four friends from high school following through on their lofty dreams. Using native botanicals and barley from the Riverina region, Headlands Distilling has a ‘grain to glass’ philosophy, with the distillery overseeing every stage from milling and fermenting to distilling and bottling its spirits — including its first product, Seacliff vodka. The small company also donates 20 percent of its profits to charity SpinalCure, which is working towards curing spinal cord injuries, so adding them to your home bar will also help a great cause.

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  • 1
    Lust Liquor

    If you’ve ever gone searching for a particular product, discovered that it doesn’t exist and thought ‘I should just make my own’, well, you already know how Lust Liquor originated. The two best mates behind it went through that experience, then set about making a low-calorie, no-sugar range of premixed beverages. For folks keen for a guilt-free tipple as well as a hassle-free one — no blending or shaking required here — Lust Liquor’s range features three different types of drinks. Fancy a lime and soda, but alcoholic? Lemon, lime and bitters with vodka? A blend of raspberry and vodka? You’ll find all three on the company’s lineup.

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


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