Whether shaken or stirred, there’s no doubt our intoxicating patchwork of hills and valleys are home to some of the nation’s best small batch spirits. With an infinite supply of clean air and a barrel load of botanicals, you’ll find kicking back with a local drop is the perfect tonic to escape the rat-race.
Ambleside Distillers is a mecca for gin lovers, and its picturesque Hahndorf distillery with deck and tasting bar are a prime spot for a sneaky gin or cocktail. Fuel up with a flight of their three signature gins, take a behind the scenes distillery tour, or join a masterclass to make your own blend.
Applewood Distillery’s gin and small-batch spirits can be sampled at their cool and cosy tasting room at the Old Gumeracha Cold Stores – also cellar door for Unico Zelo wines and collectively known as Ochre Nation. Bookings recommended and tours available.
Lot 100 in Hay Valley is home to Adelaide Hills Distillery and cellar door, whose range includes the signature 78° gin infused with 12 botanicals, The Bitter Orange aperitif, 'The Gunnery' spiced white rum, plus a range of vermouth and an apple spirit.
Local boutique spirits to keep an eye out for at pubs, restaurants and bottle shops include:
‘Eau De Vie De poir Williamsis’ - 40% white spirit made from local pears by Paracombe Premium Perry in Paracombe (tastings and sales at their shed door)
Fig Gin from Glen Ewin Estate in Houghton (tastings and sales at their cellar door)
LOBO Cider’s apple brandy, ‘Lobodos’, their Apfel central European dry schnapps and LOBO Djinn (gin), infused with local quinces and botanicals.
Top spots to sample locally distilled spirits include:
The Stirling Hotel's Gin Club, a dedicated bar within this heritage hotel that showcases a diverse range of boutique local and international gins
The Locavore restaurant in Stirling with a great range of locally made spirits, matching its mantra of sourcing all food and beverages from within a 100-mile radius
The 1857 Distillery Bar at Inglewood Inn in the northern Adelaide offering a huge selection of South Australian craft spirits - settle in on the couch, play some board games, or pull up a gin and chocolate paddle to pair three local gins and garnishes with matched luxury chocolates
The South Australian spirits industry has created a Distillery Trail, showcasing a growing number of award-winning distilleries around the state, with plenty in the Adelaide Hills. South Australian spirits are leading the nation, and in many cases the world in terms of quality, and there has never been a better time to sample their products.