While my repertoire of winter drinks may not be the baseline for others, it’s inherent that I try to keep up the diversity of options of the warmer months with a roster that includes beer, wine, spirits and non-alcoholic options. Sure, the libations I opt for during cooler days may deepen in flavour, become more generous in texture, but I try to shake off the almost instinctual approach to fixing being cold with red wine alone. Diversity and interest is key.

I fully recognise the joy of cosying up with a red wine fireside, and of course there’s evidence that the richer foods of the season pair wonderfully with fuller-bodied wines, but I like to shake off that shackle and go for other beverages that seem apt when my best trackies, slippers and fingerless gloves might appear. Here are some things to try:

Heaps Normal Cheeky IPA

Who’d have thought that shower beers could be replaced by toilet beers? This fuller-flavoured beer is a collab between do-good toilet paper company Who Gives A Crap and Heaps Normal. It is a pleasingly bitter, creamy textured and hoppy IPA that delivers generosity for the cooler days ahead.

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Beechworth Bitters A Walk In The Black Forest Amaro

This is the work of Michael Ryan, chef-proprietor of landmark restaurant Provenance in Beechworth, Victoria. It’s a bitter amaro of distinct spice, woody elements, dark chocolate and tart cherry characters that feels as warming as it does restorative. Great to whet the appetite or solve things post a hearty meal.

Seven Seasons Bush Honey and Wattleseed Coffee Liqueur

Amazing Aboriginal-owned and -operated distillery Seven Seasons leans into the local Larrakia bush honey to bring sweetness to the pleasing nutty bitterness of wattleseed and the sweet earthiness of coffee – the resulting beverage is rich, sweet-spiced and delicious. Good for cocktails, great for sipping neat.

Two Metre Tall Sour Pumpkin Ale

This sour pumpkin ale is a blend of varied brews. Local pumpkins underpin the barrel-aged, soured flavours of the beer with a creamy texture, a good bite of tangy acidity and piquant herbal elements. It’s ideal paired with a multi-dish feast, a perfect foil to feel warmed and refreshed in the same sip.

@mikebennie101

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