Ester Spirits is a backyard distillery turned world-class spirit house from married couple Felix Clark and Corinna Kovner. They burst onto the scene in 2020, jointly taking out Best in Show at that year’s Australian Gin Awards; the next year, their Strong Gin was named the world’s best navy strength at the World Gin Awards. Now they’ve done it again, taking out yet another top spot – and a style award – at the World Rum Awards with a pair of as yet unreleased cane spirits.

Clark, the label’s head distiller, has delivered a white cane spirit that’s “richer, more charismatic, on the palate”, as well as a sweeter golden spiced drop. That spicy number took out the World’s Best Traditional Spiced Rum at the prestigious awards in London this week. The straight version took home a style award, crowned the top drop among unaged cane spirits made in a pot still. “We haven’t even taken these to market yet,” Kovner tells Broadsheet. “Felix just wanted to get a feel for what the judges saw and what our peers think about the juice.”

“Everything we do is about that bigger – not necessarily brasher – flavour, a more saturated flavour,” Clark says. The golden spiced spirit is rich and pudding-like on the nose and tongue. “Instead of using white sugar we use honey and golden syrup, really trying to dial in on those darker, richer flavours.” It’s your girl if you’re looking to jazz up a Mojito, but it’s just as nice on ice.

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Known for their award-winning gins, the couple always planned to build a collection of spirits – and this is just the beginning. The gins grace many a menu around town, and the cane spirits are available now too. Find them at Bar Louise in Enmore (the spiced drop jazzing up a hot after-dinner coffee) and nearby Jacoby’s, plus Centro 86 in the CBD. “All of our juices had a really great response from the hospitality market,” Clark says. “And that’s really all the kudos I need.”

Drop in to the distillery or grab a bottle online. The rums are still wearing the Tester Series label – they’ll get their own sticker slapped on before their official release in the coming weeks.

This year’s going to be a busy one for Ester, with a triple sec, the Alternativo Aperitivo and a coffee amaro coming out soon.