Recap Of The Australian Drinks Festival 2016

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MELBOURNE | The Australian Drinks Festival is a celebration of alcohol, combining pop-up bars, cocktails and countless free samples of beers, wines, spirits and cocktails by all of your favourite large and independent brands. Back for a 3rd year in 2016, exhibitors included Bacardi, Beluga, Jameson, Barport, Stolen, Hendrick’s Gin, Chase Distillery, Monin and Vantage Australia to name but a few. Moreover, the festival offered a range of food and entertainment, as well as a line-up of guest speakers and over 40 demonstrations and seminars.

The City Lane was invited by the organisers to attend the Saturday session of the festival and there was a great turnout, with a dynamic, buzzing atmosphere. Everywhere you looked there were tasters on offer, with passionate distillers, winemakers and brewers on hand to answer questions along with the best bartenders in Australia mixing drinks right in front of you. In addition, the public was invited to engage in fun cocktail making classes.

Although I tried plenty of testers, I couldn’t resist purchasing a couple of drinks. My favourite drink of the day was from Nip of Courage, an Australian spirits distributor. At the festival, Nip of Courage allowed you to choose your own Australian Gin, Fever Tree mixer and garnish. I went for the Loch Gin, with Premium Indian Tonic Water, finished with strawberries, lime and basil, such a refreshing and delicious combination.

Another drink I couldn’t resist trying was the extremely trendy Mr Black cold press coffee liquor, craft distillers and coffee roasters. I went for the classic Espresso Martini served in a branded jar. Mr Black uses specialty beans from Ethiopia, Brazil and Papua New Guinea. The coffee goes through a cold extraction process to produce full flavour, rich drinks, before being blended with pure Australian grain spirit.

I couldn’t leave The Australian Drinks Festival without trying the 666 Vodka, served from a car in real coconuts – it had to be done! This brand is Australia’s number one craft vodka, triple distilled in Tasmania using Tasmanian barley and pure water from Cape Grim. The drink was sweet and delicious, the perfect end to the day. A few other highlights from the day included Poor Toms Gin, Auchentoshan Whiskey, Monin Syrups and Liqueurs and Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine.

All in all a great day and something you should definitely consider when the 4th edition comes around in 2017.

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Paul
Paul
Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences. Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.

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