What’s been going on this year – May update.

Well as Tom Cruise said in Top Gun Maverick, “it’s been a minute Mav” when hopping into an old fighter jet.

I suppose you may have been wondering what I’ve been doing these past months and been somewhat quiet time on the website.

Sorry about that, I’ll explain.

I started out with good intentions with a trip down to Tasmania to check out the gin scene down there for their annual gin festival in Hobart in January. This included some live Instagram updates from the event plus some interviews of the local talent.

Here’s a couple to dip into, say hi to the Tasmanian Tonic Company.….

And the friendly team from Summerleas Distillery (who I also reviewed last year):

A few months later, I was back out at the award winning culinary centre in Wagga Wagga, FoodIam for another series of craft spirits masterclasses, one evening Australian Gin, and the next Aussie Single Malts which are always sold out and warmly received with some great country hospitality, I’ll be back again before too long I’m sure.

I also had the opportunity to swing past the brand new cellar door of nearby Riverina Gin Distillery on it’s first day of trading. Full of local pride these guys and worth a visit if you’re out near Wagga way.

Meet the locals:

Closer to Canberra, the local scene of distilleries has been burgeoning of late, along with whole number of Australian distilleries, with over 750 now gin makers alone!

About an hour of picturesque country driving outside the capital is a hamlet of Wee Jasper with a brand new distillery experience!  A fantastic mother and daughter team with a bright future ahead of them.

Here’s a quick interview with the master distiller Shannon…..

A week in Melbourne in April enabled me to reacquainted myself with the cocktail bar scene after a few years away. Given the incredible challenges of the pandemic and the longest shutdown in the world, Melbourne has seen some changes with some of the old stalwarts not a shiny as they were, with a new guard coming through, but the famous Melbourne hospo welcome is alive and well I’m happy to say.

Also on my travels on the far South Coast of New South Wales near Eden recently I had the opportunity to meet another new distillery, Nine Circles, another great wife and husband team who had moved to that beautiful part of the world from Melbourne recently.

More recently I’ve been busy with several guest appearances as part of the annual Enlighten Festival here in Canberra including an 80’s cocktail experience at the Museum of Australian Democracy which was a hoot featuring 80’s trivia and tales of cocktail bars past for everyone to share and I lined up Japanese Slippers and Pina Coladas and more.

Here’s a fun clip showing Mission Accomplished at the 80’s cocktail experience!

Then a week later hosted two exclusive cocktail gallery nights for the Canberra Museum and Gallery where I created two special cocktails for the events with some purposely very vibrant colours for the exhibition, Light, Colour and Humanity.

Some of my creations that went down very well.

And just last week, I was invited to co-host a fashion and cocktails masterclass at the Canberra Centre where I showcased my take on some classic cocktails over the decades including the Last Word, Tequila Sunrise (the original version) and the Cosmo.

My co-hosts at the Canberra Centre masterclass, the lovely team from Style Liberation.

There’s more, but you get the drift, so I haven’t been idle, and there’s World Gin Day and World Martini Day coming up in June, so look out for opportunities to be involved with those hopefully.

Don’t forget to tune into my Instagram feed as I do monthly live conversations on the first weekend of each month, at cocktail hour, along with weekly posts and daily updates.

Plus here on the website I update all the lists of Australian and New Zealand distillers at the start of each month, keeping a tradition up I’ve been doing for over a decade now, more being added every month.

So, I’ll be back before too long with some new reviews and news too, my computer did get rather wobbly and I lost a bunch of interviews with distillers darn it, so I’m working on recovering those and sharing their insights with you.

Until then,


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