December drinks wrap: Spirits

By J'aime Cardillo

12 Dec, 2022

These are the new drinks that should be on your radar.

Gin, whisky, negronis – oh my! These new releases will see you through summer.

Little Lon Distilling Co. Yarra Strength Navy Gin

Little Lon Distilling Co. Yarra Strength Navy Gin 

Little Lon Distilling Co. has launched its Yarra Strength Navy Gin, which pays homage to the beauty, people and nature of the Yarra/Birrarung River.

Brad Wilson, owner of Little Lon Distilling Co., wanted to make a gin of place. The Yarra Strength is a gin distilled with botanicals (along with lemon and earl grey tea) that once sat on the river’s edge, before being proofed with water from the Yarra (that was rigorously tested and filtered by water treatment experts, Waterford Technologies).

“It’s always rewarding to be able to bring an idea to life. Not every idea sees the light of day, but we felt it important to create a gin that celebrates Melbourne, that is, literally Made of Melbourne, and is distilled right in the heart of the city and its CBD; so, we were determined to see it through.”

Only 500 bottles of the limited edition Yarra Strength Navy Gin are available. You can purchase the gin for $175 from Ten per cent of each bottle sold will be donated to the Yarra Riverkeeper Association to help promote a healthy and protected Yarra River.

Morris Sherry Barrel Single Malt Whisky

Morris Sherry Barrel Single Malt Whisky

Morris Whisky has added its Sherry Barrel Single Malt Whisky to the core range of award-winning single malts. The Sherry Barrel is framed by the unique Rutherglen characteristics, with notes of spice, toasted nuts, malt and clean oak.

The whisky was matured in French and American oak that were previously red wine casks. After maturation, the single malt was finished in barrels that once housed Morris of Rutherglen's 10-year-aged Amber Apera (a sherry produced from the palomino grape).

The Morris Australian Single Malt Sherry Barrel Whisky (46 per cent ABV) is available for $145 via

Never Never Distilling Co. Bottled Cocktails

Never Never Distilling Co. bottled cocktails

Ready to pour cocktails? Say no more. Never Never Distilling Co. has released two bottled cocktails – the Panettone Negroni and the Oyster Shell Gimlet.

Panettone Negroni bottled cocktail
Inspired by the traditional Italian dessert, the Panettone Negroni conjures all the aromas of Nonna's kitchen on Christmas Day.⁠ It tastes like rich buttered fruit-toast spice with notes of sweet candied fruit. It’s a decadent and convenient Christmas twist on the world’s most popular gin cocktail. Made using the Never Never award-winning Triple Juniper Gin, Campari and Regal Rogue Vermouth, then skillfully blended with aged muscat, orange curacao, rye distillate and vanilla bean. Rich spice flavours combine with notes of sweet candied fruit to create a complex and delicious Christmas twist on the iconic Negroni.

Serving suggestion: Chilled, pour over a large block of ice and garnish with a fresh orange wedge.

Oyster Shell Gimlet bottled ocktail
⁠Remember lemonade icy poles at the public pool? Well, the Oyster Shell Gimlet is all that but gin flavoured. Inspired by the Australian summer and the perfect cocktail pairing for fresh, local seafood; the Never Never Oyster Shell Gimlet is a delicious and convenient way to bring the bar experience to your backyard. Made using the award-winning Oyster Shell Gin, house-made split lime leaf syrup and premium Barossa apera. This cocktail tastes like zesty, salted lime-leaf and sticky ice block wrappers on hot days by the coast. Its fresh citrus kick makes it the perfect cocktail pairing for fresh, local seafood.

Serving suggestion: Ice-cold from the freezer, pour into a chilled coupe for a traditional gimlet or serve in a highball glass with ice with soda water. 

The Panettone Negroni and the Oyster Shell Gimlet are $70 each (500ml) and are available from

Starward Canned Cocktails

Starward Whisky canned cocktails

Melbourne's Starward Whisky has released its first ever, ready-to-drink canned cocktails. There are three flavours in the range – Starward Whisky Tonic and Juicy Ruby Grapefruit, Starward Whisky Ginger Beer and Zesty Orange and Starward Whisky Soda and Tangy Finger Lime – based on the most popular cocktails available at the Port Melbourne distillery bar.

The canned cocktails are available to purchase as a single can ($7.99), in a four-pack ($28.99), or in a slab. You can secure yours at Dan Murphy's, select BWS stores, and

Strange Nature Gin

Strange Nature Gin

Strange Nature has gone against the grain with its inventive grape-based gin. Gin and sauvignon blanc? Sign us up.

The aromas and flavours – tropical, zesty and herbaceous – of New Zealand's favourite grape, sauvignon blanc are imparted (and the alcohol removed) before being distilled with the single botanical, juniper.

How to drink it? Try Strange Nature's Moscow Mule, Strange Mai Tai, or the Summer Spritz.

Strange Nature Gin is $89.99 (700ml) and is available from Dan Murphy's. Visit for more information.