Summer’s in the air (and on the weather forecast). Lean into longer nights with crisp cans of Seltzer. Toast celebrations with a juicy limoncello spritz. Or opt for drinks with zero booze but plenty of flavour for your next Sunday sesh – your Monday brain will thank you. This is what the Broadsheet team is stashing in our eskies and kitting out our home bars with all summer long.
Zoncello Limoncello Spritz$25 This zesty bottle is the perfect summer toast. Zoncello’s signature citrus liquor is batched ready-to-drink in a juicy spritz. At ninie per cent alcohol, it’s an easy sip – especially on hot days. Bring a bottle out the next time a friend announces their engagement, buys a house or gets a promotion. Celebrations don’t belong to champagne.
Mode Frankie’s Sunset Dress Seltzer$25 This hard Seltzer from Mode screams summer with its mango-and-pomegranate profile and aesthetic label. Shake off the hottest days with a four-pack of the vodka-based beverage – it’s a far cry from the RTD cans of your youth. If you can’t settle on a flavour, the brand offers a mixed case so you can try them all.
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Damaged Goods Smashed Apple Aperitivo$45 Go on, have a drink! You’re helping save the planet (or, at the very least, cutting down on food waste). While the name “Damaged Goods” might not fill you with confidence, the drops coming out of this Swan Valley microdistillery are delicious. The brand’s smashed apple aperitivo (perfect for the punter who can’t choose between a cider or a G&T) uses discarded apple pulp (sourced from Funk Cider, nearby) steeped in citrus gin to create this bright and zesty aperitif. Drink it solo or with a bit of cider and soda water in a spritz.
Versa Martini Spritz$42 Martinis got weird and wonderful this year. Versa (who already offers a pre-batched bottle) has canned a spritz iteration for easy summer sipping. At eight per cent alcohol content, these cans pack a punch. Serve in a glass with an olive if you’re into drinks that are also snacks.
Curatif Archie Rose Espresso Martini$45 Once one person orders a spressi tini, the whole table wants in. A nightmare for professional bartenders, but a whole other can of worms if you’re the host of Christmas drinks. This little caffeinated can from Curatif and Archie Rose is the perfect thing to stash in your fridge when that friend is coming over.
Etota Bittersweet Spritz$30 Etota’s bittersweet non-alcoholic aperitivo now has a carbonated cousin. Serve the spritz chilled in the can or pour it over ice and garnish with a twist of orange. This is the perfect choice if you’re looking to cut back your alcohol consumption this summer – it still feels like a very real drink. You can also serve it with a shot of gin for a lower-alcohol cocktail option.
Papa Salt Coastal Gin$85 Papa Salt’s sea-glass-blue bottle stuns on any back bar. And with a saline and citrus-focused profile, it feels distinctly Aussie and effortlessly fun. It’s produced in Byron Bay by a group of five friends who all met while working in the film industry: Josey McNamara, Regan Riskas, Charlie Maas, Tom Ackerley and Margot Robbie. (Yes, that Margot Robbie.) So, if the taste and adaptability of the gin (which was designed to taste as good with soda as it does with tonic) weren’t enough to convince you, the whole “my drink was made by an A-lister” thing should be enough to swing it.
Wonki Blood Orange and Mandarin Seltzer$70 Wonki takes funny-looking produce that would otherwise become food waste and turns it into seasonal hard Seltzers. Founded by three Melbourne uni students, it’s a more sustainable alternative to classic ready-to-drink cans. The flavour of the moment is a citrus-packed blood orange and mandarin mix.
Tommy’s Lampone$60 Bursting with juicy raspberries (that are hand-picked in Victoria), this liquor is the red sister of the brand’s signature limoncello. Serve it neat, over ice or mixed into a summery spritz – the team recommend topping with prosecco and soda, and garnishing with fresh berries or a sprig of mint.
OK! Passionfruit Margarita Seltzer$26 Drink trends come in waves, and it’s always interesting to see what survives the washout. Seltzer is over, as far as one of our editors is concerned, but a love for Cantina OK!’s mezcal masterpieces never will be. Hard Solo can get in the bin where it belongs. OK! is where it’s at. Zingy, refreshing and with a big wedge of orange in a pint, thanks. But how do you improve upon perfection? Just add passionfruit, apparently.
Rhubi Mistelle$55 A team of Aussie bartending heavyweights are behind this mix of fermented rhubarb, juniper spirit, grapefruit and mandarin rinds, and gentian (a herbal French botanical). Rhubi is the tart, ruby-red aperitif that wins over ice, with something sparkly or in a spritzy cocktail.
Never Never Distilling Co Oyster Shell gin$79 This South Australian distillery has a little something for everyone. The Oyster Shell Gin is fresh with flavours of waxflower, coastal daisy, saltbush and round mint – and it’s got the perfect amount of salinity thanks to Kangaroo Island oyster shell. Mix it in a Martini or gin and tonic, or tip a little into an oyster shell and knock it back for the full experience.
Monday Distillery x Bondi Wash Non-Alcoholic Native Bellini$20 If you’re looking for a non-alcoholic start to weekend brunch, this native-flavoured Bellini is it. Made by Monday Distillery in collaboration with sustainable Sydney brand Bondi Wash, you can also pick up a 12-pack and get a free handwash. You’ll taste notes of quandong, a native Australian peach, and strawberry gum in this gently fizzy drink.
Bahama Gold Bahama Litres
Brunswick’s favourite public bar and bottle shop is rewarding their regulars by offering $2 off every bottle of tap wine with every litre-bottle refill. Grab a chilled red to enjoy on a hot summer night.
Additional reporting by Lucy Bell Bird, Dan Cunningham and Grace MacKenzie.
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