What’s on at the Australian Drinks Festival this weekend

This weekend sample 100s of brands at Australia’s premier drinks show. With over 60 companies showcasing a multitude of new and intriguing products, there is something to suit every taste, whether your passion is spirits, wine, or craft beer – The Australian Drinks Festival has you covered.

There are over 40 presentations covering everything you ever wanted to know (and a lot more that you never knew you needed to know) about gin, wine, Canadian whisky, cocktail making, beer, mezcal, or Australian boutique distilleries – just to name a few.

There is plenty more at the show to – meet the distillers, chat to expert bartenders, and indulge in culinary treats from some of Melbourne’s best food purveyors.



You’re sure to find a new favourite to up your G&T or martini game. Think Poltergeist Gin (distilled on a haunted heritage estate) or Chase from the UK (their gin is single estate, field-to-bottle), or Hartshorn Distillery (their gin is distilled from sheep whey).

Love Australian gin? Head to the Nip of Courage stand and check out the G&T Bar to learn all about different combinations of gins, tonics and garnishes.

Or head to the Tasting Den to spend some time with The Gin Queen – Caroline will get you up to speed on everything you need to know about gin and its botanicals… with samples!


Learn something new about your favourite drinks with a multitude of free presentations covering all sorts of topics.

  • Australian coffee liqueur brand Mr Black is presenting a session on how to get the most out of coffee in your cocktails – your espresso martini game will be on point after that.
  • Some of the best boutique winemakers in Australia are banding together to guide you through a structured tasting so you can make the most of the amazing array of wines Australia has to offer.
  • Want to be transported? Learn all about classic Cuban cocktails from a master cocktail maker and Monin Syrups.
  • Heard of Canadian whisky? You can learn all about this powerhouse amber nectar from world-authority Dave Mitton before tasting a few samples for yourself.
  • Hear from some of the most successful bartenders around how to build a successful and sustainable career in the bar industry.


Want to learn how to stir your way to the perfect martini? Look out for the Martini Whisperer – Phillip Jones knows everything there is to know and he will have you mixing up the perfect dry or dirty martini in no time.

Fancy a classic Negroni with a difference? Head to Hippocampus where they are mixing up your new favourite classic: an Aussie Negroni made with Hippcoampus Gin, Maidenii Vermouth and local bitters.

Nip of Courage will also tantalise your tastebuds with a range of classic cocktails, all reinvented with the help of a mindboggling array of Australian spirits – from gins, to rums, to liqueurs, there will be a cocktail to suit your fancy.

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