Australian Cocktail Month launched this week in stunning style at Hickson House Distilling in Sydney’s The Rocks.
The drinks industry was out in force to sample delicious drinks and celebrate founder Penny Sippe (below, right) bringing the festival back and bigger than ever in 2022.
The initiative was developed to champion the Australian cocktail industry and support bars and bartenders as they welcomed guests back into their venues following COVID-19 closures and restrictions of 2020, 2021 and early 2022.
“I am so excited for another year of Australian Cocktail Month,” said Sippe. “Year two and we have more cities and double the bars involved. Encouraging consumers to head out and explore the bars that make our cities so vibrant whilst enjoying amazing cocktails created by some of the country’s best bartenders is our goal.”
Drinks Digest was thrilled to raise a glass to the encore event, with the Rise And Rind, featuring Grey Goose Essences – Watermelon and Basil, watermelon shrub and wayward raspberry sour, being our favourite tipple on the night (below).
Hickson House is one of the fantastic bars participating in ACM throughout May. The distillery, bar and dining room is located in the former carpark of advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi. It was the location for some of the most extravagant parties seen in Sydney.
“We found glitter in the dust on the beams during construction,” co-owner Mikey Enright told Drinks Digest on a recent tour of the distillery.
The space was definitely glittering again on Tuesday night, thanks to shimmering chandeliers, a glowing back bar and some fancy mixology.
The event is showcasing cocktails, spirits, bartenders and 145 bars across 12 cities. Those holding Australian Cocktail Month tickets will enjoy delicious cocktails at handpicked partner venues in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Darwin, Geelong, Gold Coast, Hobart, Melbourne, Newcastle, Perth, Sydney and Wollongong. The $20 (plus booking fee) ticket allows guests access to a special menu of cocktails created exclusively for the month.
The menu is available at participating venues, with cocktails priced at $14, and non-alcoholic options at $10. The Australian Cocktail Month ticket can be used at any participating venue throughout May.
ACM features local brands including Archie Rose, Brix, Farmer’s Wife, Feels Botanicals, Four Pillars, Great Ocean Road, Hickson Road, Idle Hour, Karu, Milton Rum, Morris Whisky, Mr Black, Needle & Pin, Poor Tom’s, Prohibition Liquor Co, Regal Rogue, Saint Felix, Starward and West Winds.
Jangling Jacks, Hickson House (above), Apollonia, Sammy Jnr and Jolene’s are some of the bars participating in Sydney. Included in the 24 venues taking part in Melbourne are Black Pearl, Lover, Caretakers Cottage, Nick & Nora’s and The Everleigh, while Maybe Mae, Hains & Co, Alfred’s Bar, Bar Torino and Hennessy Rooftop Bar among others are welcoming guests in Adelaide. Brisbane bars offering the Australian Cocktail Month menu include The Gresham, Savile Row, Death and Taxes, Blackbird and Frog’s Hollow Saloon.
A tight precinct of six bars each in Canberra, Darwin, Geelong, Gold Coast, Hobart, Newcastle, Perth and Wollongong complete the offering.
Australian Cocktail Month is also playing host to a range of international brands. Like gin? Bombay Sapphire, Citadelle, Fords, Hendrick’s, Malfy Limone, Peddlers and Warner’s Rhubarb will be on offer. Tequila more your thing? Patrón and Sesión will be showcased. Prefer whisk(e)y? Then get excited for Balvenie, Benriach, Buffalo Trace, Glenfiddich, Shanky’s Whip and Sheep Dog cocktails.
Grey Goose and Titos will provide the perfect opportunity for bartenders to create spectacular cocktails, Bacardi, Diplomatico, Plantation and Rumbullion! will delight the rum lovers and finally Hennessy and Stambecco round out the spirit offering. Australian bartenders will literally be mixing these spirits with the best – Monin syrups and purees along with the highly prized Fever-Tree mixers round out the products bartenders will be using to craft their Australian Cocktail Month creations.
Recognising that the desire for low or no alcohol options is continuing to grow, Australian Cocktail Month has partnered again with Lyre’s and their exquisite range of lovingly crafted non-alcoholic spirits allowing guests to partake without compromising on what makes Australian bars great: the cocktail experience (and loads of flavour).
Australian Cocktail Month tickets are on sale now – head to www.australiancocktailmonth.com.au to grab yours and to see the full list of participating bars.