New releases

Elevate your cocktail game with fortified wines

Move aside vermouth, a new breed of fortified wines are making a splash with mixologists.

Fortifieds such as vermouth have long been used as key ingredients in some of our favourite cocktails like negronis, spritzes and martinis but as drink lovers’ appreciation for at-home cocktail making has grown in recent years, so, too, has their spirit of adventure.

This passion for experimentation has led Australian fortified wine pioneer McWilliam’s Wines to develop two new releases that are designed for crafting in cocktails.

McWilliam’s White Tawny and McWilliam’s Fortified Ruby mix well with soda, tonic or served on the rocks.

While they may might not be the first ingredient that springs to mind for mixing, Food52 describes fortified wines as the “unsung heroes of the cocktail world”.

Fortified wine cocktails provide a more fruit forward base-spirit option than traditional spirits, and at a lower percentage ABV, they offer a low alcohol alternative to add to your drinks repertoire.

“We’ve seen some new innovations overseas in the fortified wine cocktail space, so we are excited to be part of the new wave of the fortified category in Australia,” McWilliam’s Wines Senior Winemaker Russell Cody said.

“McWilliam’s has a long and proud history as one of the pioneers of Australian fortifieds. This new era of fortifieds is about bringing more people into the category to discover the unique history of this wine while giving them the tools to experiment with new flavour combinations.”

The McWilliam’s White Tawny is a golden, medium yellow colour with a lifted and vibrant bouquet of green apple and creamy brioche. The palate is fresh and bright, with a subtle sweetness amplifying the wine’s citrus grapefruit characters.

McWilliam’s recommends serving this as a new twist on the G&T – the Tawny & Tonic (T&T) – with one part White Tawny and two parts tonic with a slice of lime.

The McWilliam’s Fortified Ruby is a medium crimson ruby colour with lifted floral aromas and fresh plum and raspberry compote fruit notes. The palate is spicy and fruit driven, with red fruits, a hint of cinnamon and a subtly sweet but lively finish.

Similar to the White Tawny, this is best enjoyed slightly chilled, or better yet, served with an aromatic tonic and a slice of orange.

Both releases are now available from Dan Murphy’s and from McWilliam’s online store at for RRP

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