5 Aussie Spirits for Gin Drinkers Who Don’t Like Juniper
Flavour, texture, character and spice - probably not things you associate with vodka.
But these Aussie masterpieces not only push the boundaries of vodka and close the gap on gin, but bring a whole new category of spirits to life.
Vodka has been about for quite some time. First written records go back to 15th Century Poland and other evidence goes back further than that.
But these days, the democratisation of booze means vodka is a truly international spirit - perhaps too much so.
Traditionally almost completely odourless and flavourless, vodka is a versatile addition to drinks but is often thought of as just a way to make cocktails stronger or non-alcoholic drinks ‘hard’.
And while other spirits have enjoyed the advent of the craft distiller movement, vodka has had to rely on celebrities and the impressive marketing power of corporations.
It’s a real shame. But things are about to change.
Consumers are beginning to realise that carefully crafted vodka can have the same nuance and texture of any other high-quality spirit. In fact, depending on how the distiller develops the vodka, its body and flavour can be profound.
These Aussie creations really push the boundaries on the vodka category, and they stick an elbow in gin’s back too.
After all, vodka is really just gin without the juniper.
The question is are we at the point where perhaps we should be calling these spirits by a new name entirely?
5 Aussie spirits that are way more than just vodka
1. Stone Pine Distillery’s Native Citrus Vodka
Infused with fresh finger limes, this high-purity wheat spirit is pot distilled to capture the unique flavour of this native citrus fruit in a silky smooth, premium vodka.
With its zesty lime and citrus notes, a warm peppery finish and a silky smooth alcohol delivery, this vodka is best served neat from the freezer, in a Bloody Mary, vodka soda or martini.
2. Karu Distillery’s Morita Chipotle Vodka
Along with a number of other floral and fragrant botanicals that make this remarkable spirit, Karu have distilled the might and depth of Mexican chipotle with meco and morita chillies.
The result is about as far from a bland, basic vodka as you can get. Rather than just an addition to a cocktail, this vodka is the cocktail.
3. Hartshorn Distillery’s Peat Smoked Vodka
This remarkable Tasmanian distillery turns sheep’s whey - the byproduct of their cheesery - into world-class spirits, but this vodka in particular is truly unique.
The spirit itself has a smooth creamy velvet quality with sweetness, spice and a hint of apple. Add to that the unmistakeable character of peat, which is infused into the initial fermentation and at the final stage of distilling, makes this a perfect sipping spirit or in a dirty martini.
4. Grainshaker Rye Australian Vodka
Taking its name for the original grain sorters that were used to clean and sort the harvest, Grainshaker is a celebration of the products that go into its vodkas.
Using rye to create this vodka gives the spirit a remarkable spice and depth you don’t expect from a vodka with no other botanicals or processes other than the copper pot still it’s made in. Delicious over ice or in a Bloody Mary or martini, this vodka is exceptional.
5. Penni Ave 16th Beach Sea Celery and Salt Bush Vodka
Creating the very embodiment of its origins, this Mornington Peninsula vodka uses sea celery and salt bush to give us a taste of Victoria’s stunning southern coast.
This savoury vodka, named after the distillers’ favourite back beach on the surfside of the peninsula, works beautifully just with soda and a slice of cucumber or of course in a bloody Mary.