Jacoby’s x Curatif Trader Vic’s Mai Tai
Jacoby’s bar is a short stroll from my office so I find myself conveniently there often. Whoops. I love their cocktails, all Tiki fresh and fruity and jolly, and this tiny can of Mai Tai is a great way of dialing in a little bit of the creative genius of this wickedly fun bar. This version of the classic cocktail uses Crawley’s orgeat syrup which delivers an attractive, lightly nutty-savouriness to the drink. Outside of that, the rum is boozy and sweet, the bitter orange tang of Pierre Ferrand dry curacao whips the palate clean and fresh, and the dribble of Angostura bitters brings a piquancy. All up, it’s a brilliant, palm-sized hit of good times. Toss them around on summer nights.
Buy direct from Curatif or pick up at Jacoby’s in Sydney.

Empirical Spirits Sour Cherry
Empirical Spirits, created by a couple of clever chefs out of Copenhagen, defy categorisation but do fall under the banner of “spirits” as the things they produce are distilled. While the core range of distillates are mind-bending and amazing, their ready-to-drink cans take things to the next level. This one combines sour cherries, blackcurrant buds, walnut wood and pinecones for a tart, super-savoury drink that’s best shared around the picnic blanket while oohing and ahhing about how wild and wonderful the thing in your glass is.
Buy at Drnks, P&V Wine & Liquor Merchants and Native Drops in Sydney; Blackhearts & Sparrows and Samuel Pepys in Melbourne; The Wine Thief and Wines of While in Perth; and The Local Larder in Brisbane.

Delinquente High Crimes Rosato 2020
Con-Greg Grigoriou is a winemaker with a clever head on his shoulders. He works with great vineyards in lesser-sung wine regions, uses interesting grape varieties, produces great, natural-leaning wines and has more recently been at the forefront of avant-garde wine in casks. Kudos! This one is a blend of obscure grape varieties bianco d’Alessano, malvasia and negroamaro, that results in a bright, thirst-quenching rosé that reeks of cranberry and tastes a bit like Campari and pomegranate juice. It’s best drunk under sprinklers in direct sunlight.
Buy direct from Delinquente, or at P&V Wine & Liquor Merchants, Drnks, Winona and Native Drops in Sydney, and McCoppins, Mr West and Meatsmith in Melbourne.

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Brave New Wine Small Town 2020
This is pretty much half-half white and red grapes all blended up – gewurztraminer, viognier, pinot gris, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and merlot all make easy bedfellows here. The resulting wine is crisp, vibrant and pleasingly juicy. It shouts out “spicy” and “fresh berries” and “floral things” and wraps it all up with a lip-smacking, mouth-watering finish. Drink this sucker straight off the ice in your rsky by whatever body of water you’ve dragged your pals to, and I wager that it will be done in less than half an hour. Here for a good time, not a long time.
Sold out in many places, but still available online or in person at The Oak Barrel in Sydney, or online from SA’s Sometimes Always.

Sprezza Rosso
Way before this seltzer-in-can craze was rising and rising, there was these wickedly interesting and super drinkable vermouth spritz. This is a blend of the snappy Mancino rosso vermouth with Scrappy’s Bitters and mineral water. It’s equal parts citrusy, earthy-spicy, bitter and woody, with frisky bubbles perking everything up. While vermouth may not be everyone’s bag, this does a great job of bringing naysayers into the fold. It’s refreshing, and of course, dry, not sweet – which means improved drinkability. It’s good to go straight from the can, despite the urge to pour this over ice in a fancy glass with a wedge of blood orange tossed in. Actually, that’s a pretty good idea too.
Buy at Dan Murphy’s, or P&V Wine & Liquor Merchants and The Oak Barrel in Sydney.

Mike Bennie is a wine and drinks journalist, presenter, co-owner of Sydney’s P&V Wine + Liquor Merchants and co-founder of the Drink Easy Awards.

Get more Mike Bennie drinks recommendations through Unwined, his regular column in Broadsheet’s print issues.