Melbourne’s lengthy lockdown spawned several trends that have since stuck around which can only be considered a silver lining for the city. The trend of the deli sandwich is no doubt of note, as is some of our most-loved restaurants still offering a takeaway model, though one many are particularly fond of is the rise of the bottled cocktail, and the quality of where they’re coming from.
The latest to hit select shelves is Home Grown, and the team behind it (hospitality incubator Worksmith and Melbourne Cocktail Festival) has bottled three spritzed bangers that truly redefine what bottled cocktails are. You’ll find only Australian spirits in the initial range of three, and unlike a lot of the orange-based pre-mixes out there, the trio covers a full gamut of flavour profiles.
First up is the Creamy Soda Highball, which is touted to have ‘notes of the Notes of the suburban 90’s Milk Bar”. The claim is on the money, and while that hit of nostalgia is tempting enough, the stuff is made with the city’s own Ned Whisky to sweeten the deal.
Round two is the versatile Strawberry & River Mint Spritz; a blend of strawbs, Grainshaker rye vodka and ØKAR Island Bitters that you could whip out at any time of the year thanks to its relatively dry profile. Meanwhile, bookending the range is the Ginger & Mango Spritz made with locals, Anther Gin.
Like the drinks themselves, Home Grown is staying ahead of the curve and limiting the range to a mid-range ABV, meaning it won’t kick you in the ass after a glass or two. They’re also bottled at a generous 750ml which will make for some decent mileage around the dinner table.
“There’s a great selection of ready-to-serve bottled cocktails that serve 1 or 2 people, but beyond that, the quality drops off drastically. As soon as you hit higher-volumes—especially with kegs—you’re looking at leading ingredients like sugar syrup to fill the flavour gap, and a dramatic drop in the quality of spirit used. It really doesn’t have to be like that. Why does it still feel slightly risky ordering a drink that’s had the hard yards taken out of it? It shouldn’t at all.” Said Home Grown co-founder Michael Bascetta.
Home Grown is available at homegrowndrinks.com, as well as Meatsmith, The Alps, Diggin in the Cellars, Le Pont, Co/Lab Pantry and more select retailers.
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Image credit: supplied