Australia’s distilling scene is more exciting than ever. It’s among the fastest growing and most diverse in the world – testament to all the passionate folk sharing their craft.
This year’s Tasting Australia Spirit Awards presented by Master Cask have just been presented. The best way to celebrate? It has to be a cocktail! We sat down with Nick Corletto – managing partner of celebrated Adelaide bar Maybe Mae – to talk through the essentials.
Nick has twelve years’ experience in bars, with a focus on cocktails, spirits and the best Australian produce. He was also among the expert judges for this year’s awards.
Get started with these delicious mixes, then explore the other spirits named the nation’s best.
Pegu Club Gin Cocktail
A classic gin sour, the Pegu Club is magic on a warm summer’s day.
45ml Prohibition Liquor Co. Original Gin (Best Gin, 2022 Spirit Awards)
15ml Marionette Dry Curaçao
20ml freshly squeezed lime juice
10ml simple syrup
Dash of Angostura Bitters
Dash of orange bitters
Hard shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a coupe or martini glass. Garnish with orange peel to serve.
Penicillin Whisky Cocktail
A modern-classic cocktail, with honey richness, subtle smoke and a bite of ginger.
50ml Fleurieu Distillery Country to Coast #3 Whisky (Best Whisky, 2022 Spirit Awards)
25ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
20ml ginger and honey syrup
Briskly shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a large rocks glass over ice. Garnish with crystallised ginger and spray of smoky whiskey.
Croc Rock Vodka Cocktail
A harmonious combination of vodka and sherry with a refreshing burst of mint and lime.
40ml FNQ Spirits Croc Vodka (Best Vodka, 2022 Spirit Awards)
30ml Seppeltsfield DP117 Fino
30ml freshly squeezed lime juice
20ml mint syrup (or simple syrup and 5-6 mint leaves)
Dash of ginger beer
Add all ingredients except for the ginger beer into a shaker with ice and shake briskly to combine. Strain into a Collins glass with ice cubes. Add a dash of ginger beer. Garnish with a wedge of lime and fresh mint leaves. Dust with powdered sugar for a little extra.
Golden Hour Brandy Cocktail
A cozy sip with a spicy kick. Start this one the day before.
40ml St Agnes XO 20yr Imperial Brandy (Best Brandy, 2022 Spirit Awards)
15ml Marionette Apricot Liqueur
7.5ml Del Maguey Vida Mezcal
3 dashes of bitters (see recipe below)
For the bitters:
2 tsp szechuan pepper
4 tsp of pimento power
500ml neutral spirits
Start by adding pimento powder and Sichuan pepper to 500ml of neutral spirit or vodka. Cover and leave overnight at room temperature. Us a coffee filter or fold a Chux cloth to strain out the solids the next day. This is your bitters! Add 3 dashes of bitters and remaining ingredients to your preferred stirring vessel with ice and stir until chilled. Strain into a rocks glass with a large cube. Garnish with orange.
Looking for something extra? Make your way to Maybe Mae in Adelaide’s CBD. Formerly a disused stock cellar found in the tunnel between Peel and Leigh streets, it’s been converted into a below-ground art deco-style cocktail bar. Discover the hidden entrance down the stairs below Bread & Bone.
Open seven days, 5pm – late.