Australia Day Cocktails

Happy birthday Australia!

Admit it, you wish you were there, don't you

January 26th is Australia Day, a public holiday that commemorates the moment the First Fleet sailed into Sydney Cove in 1788, and a nation of preternaturally cheerful Cobbers, sun-kissed Shielas and irritatingly good cricketers was born.

Anyone who has been down under for Australia day knows they take it pretty seriously – drinking shoes are laced up tight and a full day of revelling is the norm.

As there are so many of the blighters in the UK, you may well see some Antipodean action in your bar, so we asked some of the best bartenders from that neck of the woods to give us suitably Aussie cocktails to mark the occasion.

Bourbon BBQ

  • 50mls Makers Mark
  • 150mls Tomato juice
  • 20mls Aussie mix*

Roll between shakers 6 times and pour over ice in a highball garnish with BBQ grilled damper with Vegemite

*Aussie mix – 100mls Rosella tomato sauce (can’t find Rosella? Use any other shite tomato sauce! – ed), 50mls Australian mustard, salt and pepper to taste, 6 dashes of worchestershire, 10mls lemon juice, 10mls Australian merlot.

Jared Plummer – Perth’s hottest export since Dennis Lillee, Jared headed up the multi award winning Hugo’s team before joining the multi award winning Mixxit team (Jared doesn’t do single award winning!). Does it get more Aussie than a BBQ? I’m sure you could garnish it with a couple of shrimps if you really wanted.

Banana Old Fashioned

  • 60ml Banana infused jack Daniels
  • 10ml Smoked maple syrup

Build and stir: Riedel O glass with purified ice

Julian Serna – There are few of Sydney’s top bars Julian has not tended and has been at the heart of more award winning bar teams that we have room to tell you about. Currently at Porteno and running his own consultancy Pure Drinks Design.

Grounds for Divorce by Chris Hysted

Grounds for Divorce

  • 45ml Talisker 10th
  • 10ml Walnut liqueur
  • 7ml Dark cacao
  • Stir briefly over ice the top with
  • 45ml James Squire Porter

Strain into custom stubby with ice previously frozen into it and serve along side a pot glass!

Chris Hysted – Behind the stick at one of Melbourne’s best bars, Black Pearl, and 2009 Aussie Bartender of the Year. This drink won the whisky leg of the World Class comp in 2008.

Coco Fria No. 6.

  • 60ml 666 Tasmanian Vodka
  • 15ml Liquor 43 Vanilla Liqueur
  • 120ml fresh green coconut milk
  • 10ml sugar syrup

Saw open a green drinking coconut. Pour four shots of the milk into a cocktail shaker. Add the vodka, liqueur, and sugar. Shake with ice. Strain into the green coconut shell. Garnish with a little crushed ice, straws, absurd swizzle stick, and the lip from the coconut. Drink in the sun.

Sebastian Reaburn – 42 Below Cocktail World Cup winner 2004, Australian Bartender of the Year 2008, Best Cocktail List at Tales 2008 for his bar 1806 and now Brand Ambassador for 666 Tasmanian Vodka – this man knows his stuff. Find yourself a Green Drinking Coconut and get mixing – want a bottle of 666? I’m sure Seb can sort you out.

The Aussie Boilermaker

Charlie Ainsbury – With years of experience at the institution that was Bayswater Brasserie under his belt and a freshly won Australian Bartender of the Year 2007 under his arm Chino headed off to Canada, he is now back in Sydney and heading up the Dukes team. This Aussie classic he has pinched from the Flinders Hotel and no doubt drunk dozens of times.

Morning-glory Fuzz

  • 50ml Sullivans Cove Double Cask Whisky
  • 25ml Lime Juice
  • 20ml Gomme (1:1)
  • 1 Egg white

Dry shake, shake, then pour into Highball lined with RETOX REBELS ( Eucalyptus Bitters. Top with a dash of Soda.

Tim D Phillips – What to say without upsetting him by mentioning the cricket…. Oh bugger sorry Tim! The man has worked in some of Melbourne’s best bars, London’s top venues, won UK Bartender of the Year and now back in Australia as Head Bartender at Sydney’s swanky The Clubhouse however his biggest career achievement is surely being a BarLifeUK blogger.

Tim is also raising money for a very good cause by giving up drinking for the whole of February – those who know him will know what a sacrifice this is. To support him find out more here .

Chris Hysted and friends enjoying another wonderful Australian performance in The Ashes

Boxing Day Fizz(er)

  • 40ml Tanqueray
  • 10ml Hibiscus Liqueur (Tambourine Mountain Distillery)
  • 15ml Honey water
  • 30ml Lemon juice
  • Dash of Bob’s Ginger Bitters
  • Charge of soda

Shake all 5 ingredients well with ice, strain into a sling glass over cubed ice. Charge with soda. Garnish with a mint sprig and cherry – Dedicated to the Australian Cricket team’s capitulation to the hands of the poms on Boxing Day.

Jason Williams – The current Aussie Bartender of the Year, Jason plies his trade in Melbourne’s The Galley Room.

John Macarthur’s Rum Rebellion Punch (Serves 20)

  • 1 bottle Navy Strength Pirate Juice (Inner Circle Green Dot or Holey Dollar Silver Coin)
  • Pint Planters Best (Angostura 1919)
  • 2 Cups Castor Sugar
  • 1 pint fresh lemon juice
  • 1 pint boiling water
  • 1 pint fresh white grapefruit juice
  • 2 pints cold water
  • Lemon slices and fresh mint sprigs for garnish
  • Cup of allspice
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 2cm knob of fresh ginger

Infuse your Pirate Juice with allspice, ginger and cloves for at least 24 hours. Prepare the oleo saccharum by muddling the whole peels of 4 lemons (reserve peeled lemons for juicing) with the castor sugar in your punch bowl. Dissolve your sugar with a pint of boiling water leaving in peels. Allow to infuse for 20 minutes. And the rest of you liquid ingredients, stir and refrigerate for at least 6 hours. Slip in a large block of ice before serving and garnish zealously with lemon slices and fresh mint sprigs. Serve whilst toasting the political demise of Governor Bligh.

This wee punch is based on a Tiki style Navy Grog extrapolated into a punch format. I served this at my mum’s 60th and all the old dears (my mums aunties and other relations) quaffed it from vintage tea cups in no time. It takes its name from John Macarthur was one of the men who led the infamous Rum Rebellion of 1808 which succeeded in overthrowing William Bligh then Governor of Australia. It remains the only time in the country’s history that the government has been overthrown. The ‘Pirate Juice’ and ‘Planters Best’ terms are taken from Wondrich’s new book Punch.

Simon McGoram – Honorary Australian (he’s a pervious New Zealand Bartender of the year) and former Australian Bartender magazine editor, Simon’s cocktail musings can be found at