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5 drinks cabinet staples for amazing vegan cocktails

So you’ve set up your own home bar with all the right equipment, thanks to the helpful tips from our restaurant manager and resident barfly, Mark Langford here.

But you can’t help but feel something’s missing. That’s right, what about the booze?

Mark recommends investing in a few basic good quality spirits to get you started, choosing from the many excellent and sometimes even award-winning local Australian spirits on offer, courtesy of talented distillers around the country.

Here is his top five must-haves for your home bar to start you off:

Moores Dry Gin

The first Australian gin to wine gold at the International Wine & Spirit Competition, Moores uses botanicals grown in the fragrant gardens of Distillery Botanica to create a really great gin that more people should know and enjoy. Moores is showing that the new wave of Australian spirits are just as good, if not better, than those produced anywhere else in the world. When we’re all allowed out of lockdown, I recommend heading up to the distillery on the Central Coast to meet master distiller Philip Moore and his team.

How to drink: As a gin and tonic with a slice of lime

Bodhi cocktail: The Sydney Sling

Brookies Byron Bay Slow Gin

Back when I lived in England, my nan used to make sloe gin using sloe berries grown on her own trees. When Christmas came round, we would break out the many bottles of it to share around. We didn’t enjoy the next day as much, if I’m honest. When I came to Australia, nan’s sloe gin was one of the things I missed and then I found Brookies Slow. It’s not made with sloe berries but with Davidson plums. And it’s so much better than sloe gin. Brookies proves that native Australian ingredients are truly delicious and should be explored more.

How to drink: Over ice

Bodhi cocktail: The Princess Sparkle Rainbow Sunshine

Underground Spirits Vodka

Simply one of the best vodkas I have ever had. This super smooth and delicious vodka from Underground Spirits in Canberra was created by Toby Angstmann who was a leading fertility specialist and robotic surgeon who developed a way of distilling using sub zero, sub micron cryofiltration (yep, I have no idea what that means either). Trust us on this: buy a bottle and you won't be disappointed.

How to drink: Over ice

Bodhi cocktail: Martini With A Twist

Mr Black Coffee Liquor

As we know, coffee is an obsession in Australia and this is a coffee liquor that lives up to that obsession. Also made by Philip Moore, in partnership with coffee nerd Tom Baker, this liquor has taken the world by storm since it was released in 2013. We only started using it at Bodhi last year - it has raised our espresso martinis game to a new level.

How to drink: Over ice

Bodhi cocktail: Coffee Cherry Pie

Adelaide Hills Distillery Bitter Orange

When I was growing up, my other nan used to make marmalade. She would leave the rind in, giving it this bitter slightly sweet taste, which is probably why negronis are my favourite drink. When I started at Bodhi, I had to learn which spirits were vegan, and I found Campari was not - a devastating discovery as that meant we couldn’t have a negroni on the menu. Thankfully local spirits came to the rescue and we discovered this bitter orange made by Adelaide Hills Distillery. It makes a perfect negroni.

How to drink: Over ice with a orange slice

Bodhi cocktail: Maximus Decimus Meridius


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