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Celebrate World Vodka Day with these 5 Aussie craft spirits

Anyone who tells you vodka doesn’t taste of anything just hasn’t had good vodka. Here are five Aussie craft vodkas to prove our point! And they’re the perfect way to celebrate World Vodka Day in true Aussie style too.

Vodka has a reputation of being the utilitarian spirit that’s just there to make drinks stronger. Either that or the drink of choice for a cliched Russian Bond nemesis.

I used to wonder what I was missing out on as the (usually scarred up) face of the villain would crease into a smile as he sipped a chilled glass of the stuff.

It turns out I was missing quite a lot.

The base spirits, botanicals and techniques Aussie craft distillers are using in their vodka shows that hand-crafted small-batch vodka can have so much going on flavour and texture-wise.

Here are five Aussie vodkas that will change the way you think about this spirit forever.

From his distillery in Bathurst, NSW, owner-distiller Ian Glen can’t help but add a certain magic to the spirits he makes. Whether it’s his black and gold spiced rums, his amazing gins or this, his citrus vodka, Ian has a knack of nuance.

Stone Pine’s Native Citrus Vodka blends Australian botanicals with a smooth, generous vodka to create a spirit that stands up in mixers, cocktails and on its own.

Ian says:

“Pink Finger Limes are one of our favourite Aussie natives, along with Lemon Myrtle, which combine beautifully to give a smooth, rounded citrus character. Just these, pure grain spirit and filtered rainwater comprise our Native Citrus Vodka - nothing else."

The culminating effort of a brewer, a distiller and a small-bar owner, this vodka embraces the craft of creating spirits. From fermenting their own mash as you would a whisky to double distilling the wash into 93%ABV spirit to diluting with local spring water, this vodka is truly hand-made.

Here’s what Tilde~ brand ambassador and owner-operator of Door Knock Bar in Sydney, Natalie Ng has to say about this vodka:

“The aroma is reminiscent of sugar cane spirit, fresh pine, and citrus. Creamy, velvety in mouthfeel and texture with a fresh hint of fresh lemon peel. Tilde~ lingers on the palate before finishing with an elegant suggestion of aniseed.”

A fascinating spirits company owned by Daniel Motlopp, a man of the Larrakia people in the Darwin region, Seven Seasons focusses on native ingredients to Australia. Sourcing ingredients from indigenous farmers and foragers, Daniel crafts his spirits with the seven distinct seasons of the Top End in mind.

About the delicious, deep Native Yam Vodka, Daniel says:

“Made from a base of wild-harvested native yams from the Northern Territory, this vodka has balanced earthy flavours and creamy, nutty notes.”

Most spirits are made from fermented grains, but instead Hartshorn Distillery uses sheep’s whey. Fermenting then distilling this by-product from their sheep cheese business creates an incredibly rich luxurious texture in the spirit.

Add to that the smokiness from local Tasmanian peat that distiller-owner Ryan Hartshorn infuses the same way peated whisky is made and you’ve got something very special.

As Ryan explains:

“This spirit captures all the unique qualities of our sheep whey vodka and infuses them with the pervasive character of Tasmanian peat smoke.

“Our Peat smoked sheep whey vodka will be an elegant, balanced and complex experience in a dirty martini… [with] fresh oysters, salmon gravlax or with your favourite cigar.”

From the Atherton Tablelands in Far North Queensland, owner-distiller Mark Watkins has been creating a range of beautiful Aussie craft spirits since 2001. Mark’s focus is and has always been on local and national Australian ingredients, and his vodka—Anjea—is no different.

Named after a fertility spirit from North Queensland Abriginal culture, Anjea starts its life as wild honey that Mark collects from tracts of eucalyptus forest near his home.

He then ferments the honey and triple distils it to create a smooth vodka with a slight sweetness and creaminess—a residual from the bush honey base.

Check out some of Mark’s other spirits like his tequila-style Australian agave spirit series Dirt Road and his superb gold rum Iridium here.


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