Guide to Australian Vodka

The Australian vodka scene is experiencing an explosion of new product entries as many of those distilleries producing craft gin and whisky venture into the world of vodka.

Due to the fact that vodka isn’t known for its strong flavour profile or taste, it has often been overlooked by Australian distilleries as they try and produce boldly flavoured gins and whiskies that satisfy the overwhelming consumer demand for full-flavoured spirits.

That being said, distillers today are experimenting with a number of interesting ways of enhancing vodkas image and it is easy to find a craft product available that packs a punch in terms of flavour and drinkability.

Examples of this innovative nature are best represented by one distilleries use of whey, a waste by-product of cheese, as the organic base for producing vodka, and another combining Australian butter with vodka to produce an exquisitely rich and exotic drinking experience.

The Australian distillers focus on producing vodkas that are interesting, unique, and supremely flavoured means that many of the products available are typically more expensive than brands from other countries, such as Smirnoff.

The higher price point is justified, however, once tried and consumers are encouraged to explore some of the award winning vodka products that are coming out of the Australian market.

Map of Australian Vodka Distilleries & Brands

Australian Vodka Distilleries Map

Though Australia does not produce many big name vodka products, its craft range is growing in popularity at home and abroad as many distilleries pick up a score of accolades from producing exceptional bottles of vodka.

The prime example of this is the award winning Tasmanian based Hartshorn Sheep Whey Vodka, which won a gold medal in 2017 thanks to the distillery’s innovative use of sheep whey as the organic base.

This vodka is also unusual in that it is only distilled twice and not filtered, resulting in an authentically different flavour profile that is somewhat sweet in taste, and resoundingly creamier in texture than other vodkas.

Another prominent craft vodka brand coming out of Australia is being produced by the rapidly growing Archie Rose Distillery based out of Sydney.

Perhaps more well known for their range of bespoke whisky and gin products, their wheat based vodka is highly rated for its delicately sweet initial taste that is followed by a crisp and refreshing finish.

The two previously mentioned products being prominent examples of high end bottles of craft vodka produced in Australia, the perfect expression of a mid-range Australian vodka product is Vodka O.

Made from whey, it has won awards for its smoothness, slightly sweet taste, and easy going mixability in a swathe of popular cocktails.

As the production of Australian liquor continues to expand, it will become easier to sample a growing list of fine bottles of craft vodka produced by some of the most innovative distilleries in the world.

Australia is definitely a good place to look for those wishing to explore new directions in vodka craftsmanship.

For further expression of this new direction, consider the interestingly distilled range of botanical vodkas produced by the Manly Spirits Co. or consider this article, which details some of the other prominent vodka brands everyone is encouraged to explore.

Pairing Food with Australian Vodka

Considering the extremely innovative mindset adopted by many local distilleries, it is recommended that you consume most examples of Australian vodka neat or over ice, in order to preserve the incredibly nuanced flavours present within them.

Though typically reserved for lower quality vodka products, it is possible to enjoy Australian vodka after chilling it for some time in the freezer.

This is advisable for those who are just starting to consume vodka neat as placing vodka, or any spirit for that matter, in the freezer results in a spirit with a higher degree of viscosity, or texture, and a softened flavour profile.

Outside of consuming it alone, however, it is easy to utilise Australian vodka within a wide array of cocktails or mixers, including a Vodka Martini or Cosmopolitan.

For a bespoke distiller recommended cocktail, the Archie Rose Original Vodka can be made into a Vodka Martinique, which is a Caribbean inspired twist on the classic Espresso Martini.

Pairing Food with Australian Vodka

When looking to pair food with Australian vodka, it is advisable that you follow a number of tried and tested rules around ideal food pairings.

Common food pairing ideas for vodka includes matching it with salted or smoked meats, seafood or vegetables, caviar, many types of fresh seafood, and fatty meats, with the last item being recommended for those bottles of vodka that come with a spicy kick.

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