Since 2017, Fossey’s Distillery in Mildura has become known for its careful and imaginative approach to small-batch gin, vodka and rum. For the city crowd unable to get up to the Mallee to experience it firsthand, the distillery’s second location, in Carlton, is the best place to sample the range.

Entering the bluestone building on Lygon Street, you’ll find a boutique distillery with exposed brick walls, floorboards and, if you look closer, a giant copper still behind the bar. That’s where distiller and owner Steve Timmis infuses Fossey’s gins with a healthy dose of local botanicals, such as desert lime and pepperberry, alongside some less obvious flavours such as Christmas pudding. There’s also blood orange-infused vodka, butterscotch whisky, moonshine and a couple of single-malts. The still runs at night, giving visitors a glimpse of how their favourite spirit is made while they sip a nip. While the more curious can take a DIY gin-making masterclass, which might end with your own bottle of gin to take home.

Head upstairs for tastings at a cocktail bar that weaves some 24 house spirits, and a handful of seasonal and guest spirits, into mixed drinks. Mildura favourites such as the Gin Ginger (marrying Fossey’s Original Gin Elixir with a healthy dose of ginger and lime) and the Saltbush Margarita (a classic Marg with Fossey’s Old Man Saltbush Gin) are menu mainstays. There are also tasting paddles of the range, a huge assortment of specially matched gin and tonics and some guest spots from local and international distilleries.

The share plate menu is booze-friendly, in that it both complements and uses the house spirits. You might find fries alongside rum-infused sauce; cider-marinated pork belly with gin-pickled vegetables; or baked Camembert topped with malt honey glaze and crushed pistachios.

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Updated: February 16th, 2023

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