Aaron Anderson works as an exhibition manager at an art gallery in Zetland four days a week. Every other day, he’s either distilling corn liquor or mixing cocktails in St Peters at his microdistillery, Crooked Tune.

Anderson’s hectic schedule is the main reason why you won’t see Crooked Tune’s wares on a bar menu outside the inner west. From distilling to sales, the Kansas native does it all. And not only is he entirely self-taught, he also designed and built Crooked Tune’s beautiful two-pot copper vessel himself.

A gleaming piece of steampunk paraphernalia, the thing looks like it crash-landed from another time. That’s not far off the mark. Anderson is one of the only people in the country making corn liquor – perhaps better known as moonshine in Australia – as it’s been done in America since colonial times.

Crooked Tune’s dram is made with a blend of – you guessed it – corn and barley, before it’s bottled and sold straight up. A smooth and slightly sweet spirit, it’s also the base for most of the distillery's range, including the botanical-infused Mountain Gin and Cherry Bounce (double distilled with cherries and spice).

Right now, Crooked Tune is easily one of the smallest distilleries in the country. The bunker of a space below Precinct 75 doubles as a speakeasy-style bar. Americana is crammed into every corner, with guitars and Anderson’s banjo hung above a cosy green-velvet couch.

Bookings are strongly advised (but not mandatory) to get a spot. Once you do though, you’re in for around 25 different cocktails showcasing the Crooked Tune range. So what’ll it be, partner? A smooth and stiff classic, like a Sazerac with barrel-aged corn liquor and Green Lightning absinthe? Or a zingy Peach Cobbler Margarita with a spicy Tajin rim?

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Updated: November 1st, 2023

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