Seven Superb Sips For This Season

Drink, Guide / 28 June 2024
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Seven Superb Sips For This Season

Drink, Guide / 28 June 2024

Forget the frozen margaritas, this month we’re all about sipping by the fire.

As the days grow shorter and the nights grow colder, our taste buds start to crave something a little different. Sure, summer cocktails are all well and good, but there’s a special kind of magic to a drink that warms you from the inside out. This month, we’ve been exploring a variety of beverages that are perfect for the cooler weather, from comforting classics to exciting new releases. Whether you’re seeking a robust red to pair with a hearty meal, a unique spirit to add a twist to your cocktail repertoire, or a guilt-free fizz to brighten up a crisp afternoon, we’ve got something to tantalize your taste buds. So, pull up a chair by the fireplace, grab your favourite mug (or cocktail glass!), and dive into our selection of six winter warmers that will leave you feeling satisfied and toasty.

June Drink Guide Sprio Spritz

Sprio Spritz

We’ve been loving SPRIO Spritz lately, an Australian drink that’s as delightful as it is guilt-free. These bottles contain a gentle fizz that warms your cheeks from the inside out, followed by a burst of real citrus – not the sugary kind, but a clean, uplifting flavour that comes naturally from Sicilian lemons and blood oranges. Unlike some heavier winter drinks, SPRIO Spritz offers a lighter alternative without sacrificing taste. And without the artificial sweeteners and syrups, this is more like a grown-up soda for cooler weather, with fine bubbles that add a touch of festivity. We’ve been enjoying it alongside a cozy roast or as a pick-me-up on a crisp afternoon. Plus, the all-natural ingredients and lower sugar content make it a feel-good choice. 

June Drink Guide - Millon Wines

Millon Wines “The Masterpiece” Shiraz

It’s been quite a cold winter in my classic brick Sydney apartment, and while I don’t usually gravitate towards a heavy-bodied red this Millon Wines’ “The Masterpiece” Shiraz has been the perfect way to wind down early when the sun unfortunately sets at 5 pm. This Eden Valley drop goes beyond just a good winter red. The deep ruby colour hints at the richness to come, while the initial aromas of red cherry and plum give way to a touch of white pepper spice, making it really inviting while also soothing. The first sip is a revelation with layers of black fruit and spice blended into a concentration that’s both seductive and beautifully structured. It’s clear why they named it “The Masterpiece”; it’s a wine crafted with care and precision, allowing the quality of the grapes to shine through. Definitely, a bottle to savour, perhaps with a cheese board and good company on a chilly night in.

June Drink Guide - Buffalo Trace

Buffalo Trace Distillery 2024 Antique Collection

Buffalo Trace Distillery has just turned 250 years old and has launched its 2024 Antique Collection to celebrate. You can imagine the excitement of getting my hands on a bottle from this collection. The George T. Stagg has become my go-to when having winter guests, with flavours of cherry and cinnamon. For something a little brighter, the citrus and rye flavours of the Thomas H. Handy are a great choice. My personal favourite, though, is the 18-year-old Sazerac Rye, which blends black pepper, vanilla, and oak beautifully. The William Larue Weller, with its stewed cherry and brown sugar profile, and the star of the show, the Eagle Rare 17-Year-Old with its dark chocolate and cherry pie notes, and a spicy cigar finish, round out this incredible lineup. Whether you want a bourbon on the rocks or the perfect base for a cocktail, the Antique Collection has something for everyone—all you need to do is figure out which one to try first!

June Drink Guide - Four Pillars Limited Edition Bloody Shiraz Gin

Four Pillars Limited-Edition Bloody Shiraz Gin

I love revisiting old friends, especially when they’ve done some work on themselves and Four Pillars’ Bloody Shiraz Gin is back for 2024 with quite an upgrade. This limited-edition gin, now in its ninth year, has become a bit of a cult classic for a reason. The alchemy of gin and Shiraz grapes is truly something special. The first sip offers a delightful surprise, naturally the juniper notes you expect from a gin are there, but this time they’re softened by hints of citrus and a lovely burst of raspberry. At its base a touch of spice lingers on the finish, making it a truly unique and interesting gin. We love it served simply as a G&T with a big squeeze of lemon, making it the perfect light yet sophisticated drink for the cooler months.

Hickson House Harbour Bridge Gin

Sydney locals Hickson House Distilling Co have launched a new gin series paying homage to Australia’s most iconic landmark, the Harbour Bridge. In 2032, the Sydney Harbour Bridge will celebrate its 100th anniversary, and every year in the lead-up to the historic milestone, Hickson House will produce a limited-edition gin as part of their Harbour Bridge Gin Series. Each gin will capture a unique chapter of the bridge’s story, which is steeped in history, engineering excellence and colourful characters and stories. The Harbour Bridge is closely connected to the Hickson House Distilling Co., which is located in the heritage-listed Metcalfe Bond Store in the heart of Sydney. In the 1920s and 30s, this building was used to store the timber and steel beams for the construction of the Bridge. Some of those original steel beams can still be found in the venue. This sip of history can be enjoyed as a classic gin and tonic, or for something different, we suggest trying their Bridge Basil Smash.

June Drink Guide - Beresford Classic Shiraz

Beresford Classic Shiraz 2021

Cracking open a bottle of Beresford’s Classic Shiraz 2021 is akin to revisiting a trusted friend. This McLaren Vale Shiraz has garnered a well-deserved reputation for its consistent quality, and the 2021 edition is no exception. The first whiff offers a lovely surprise, a burst of blueberry and plum with a touch of something floral. It’s surprisingly youthful for a four-year-old wine, with a vibrant energy that carries through to the palate. Flavours of red cherry, plum, and hints of mint and spice mingle beautifully, with a touch of oak adding complexity without overwhelming the fruit. The tannins are fine-grained and firm, giving the wine a satisfying structure that lingers on the finish. This is a Shiraz that’s perfect for a cosy night in and pairs beautifully with a hearty winter meal, such as a trusty lamb ragu.

June Drink Guide - DNA Distillery

DNA Distillery Rakija

If you live in The Shire you may have seen some bright red events popping up in bars and restaurants lately courtesy of the new beverage brand DNA Distillery. They’re producing rakija, a double-distilled fruit brandy popular across the Balkans. Pronounced ra-ki-ya the founders of DNA Distillery have taken a recipe handed down over five generations and added a modern-day spin. Their version is now made from bold and full-bodied Australian shiraz and double distilled in an actual distillery. No make-do backyard is set up here like their ancestors. Made to be sipped slowly or mixed in cocktails there are three batches to try plus a can version. If you’re looking to try something different we rakiya will like this!

June Drink Guide - Manly Spirits Fairy Bower Gin

Manly Spirits Fairy Bower Gin

We recently had the pleasure of trying Manly Spirits Fairy Bower Gin, and I have to say, it’s like a refreshing Northern Beaches breeze in a bottle. This gin has both bright citrus and lime notes, and it immediately took me back to sunny arvos by the Fairy Bower Pool, with my friends and the breathtaking view of Manly’s coastline and Shelly Beach. The Australian botanicals give it a local twist that’s both vibrant and delicate. I love how it balances its flavours so well, making it perfect for cocktails, like a Gin Sour – where it stands out, without being overpowering. For me, this gin encapsulates the spirit of Manly living, making every sip a refreshing enjoyment.

With these hot new beverages in your repertoire, you’ll be the toast of the town (pun intended) all winter long. Now, who’s up for cozy fireside drinks?

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