Taste of history: the antique spirits making a comeback

Taste history in a bottle - $249 for four bottled cocktails. Photo: supplied

Taste history in a bottle - $249 for four bottled cocktails. Photo: supplied

In case you missed the memo, bottled cocktails are now a thing. Sure, it’s niche, but being able to get a decent ready-made Martini in a bottle is a welcome niche.

But the evolution hasn’t stopped there. Michael Madrusan, the man behind award-winning Fitzroy cocktail bar The Everleigh and bottled cocktail supplier The Everleigh Bottling Co, has pushed the genre even further. He’s released a limited edition range of cocktails, the Antique Collection, that uses “antique” spirits from the 1950s to the 1980s. The Martini, for example, is made using 1950s Gordon’s gin while the Negroni has gin and Campari from the 1970s. The differences are more noticeable than you might think.

Manufactured to the most exacting standards. #negroni #everleighbottlingco #regram @lapachgifting #bottledcocktails #perfectserve #finedrinking

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There’s booze content, for starters. They made ’em stronger in those days with Gordon’s coming in at around 46 per cent ABV (compared to around 37.5 per cent ABV today). These antique drinks pack a punch. With the Negroni, there’s also a difference in colour because 1970s Campari was coloured with carmine dye, made from cochineal beetles, rather than the artificial dye that’s used today.

For those who don’t want to invest in the Antique Collection (at $249 for four cocktails it is an investment), Madrusan has an antique spirit cabinet at The Everleigh and will make you cocktails from across the decades. So now you can drink a Martini like a Sean Connery-era James Bond, except for the shaken-not-stirred part – 007 was dead wrong on that one.

everleighbottling.com

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