• Origin: Heathcote / Bendigo, Central Victoria, Australia
  • Producer: Gilles Lapalus & Shaun Byrne
  • Kinfolk: Maison LAPALUS (Bertrand Bespoke Wine), Marionette Liqueur
  • Production: Wine, Vermouth, Amer, Liqueur
  • Website:

Maidenii is a collaboration between French wine maker Gilles Lapalus and Australian bartender Shaun Byrne.

At the time of conception there was no Australian Vermouth on the market. Shaun and Gilles wanted to fill this niche to showcase Australia’s unique native botanicals.

In its creation, Maidenii uses fresh wine with no added caramel or sugar plus sources leaves, flowers, fruits, herbs, seeds, spices and roots for both contemporary and classic expressions within their vermouth and amer . The vital components, wormwood and wine, are from central Victoria. Other key ingredients include strawberry gum, river mint, sea parsley and wattle seed showcasing Australia’s plethora of native botanicals.

Over the last few years, Maidenii has grown from a boutique product available only to a few select bars into an awarded and sought after premium spirit distributed globally.

Maidenii Nocturne Amer 21.5%


Nocturne combines mature wines from Central Victoria with indiginouse botanicals create this premium Amer.

Wormwood plays a key role, supported by nine native botanicals with a strong focus on Australian bush fruits including muntries, riberries, desert limes & quangdongs. Four other bittering botanicals are blended in with the final botanical; Yarra Valley black truffles from the 2015 season!!

The base wine and botanicals are blended for a six month maturation in old French oak. Sweetened with grape concentrate & bottled without filtration. Nothing else added.

Tasting note: [2016 edition] Pale, slightly cloudy salmon pink / autumn leaf orange. Pure and intense aromas of pink grapefruit and a gently bitter medley of fresh herbal notes; complex in the mouth, and seamlessly integrated.

Applewood distillery

  • Origin: Gamaracha; Adelaide Hills, South Australia
  • Producer/Distiller: Applewood Distillery / Brendon and Laura Carter

Being wine makers Ben and Laura have a strong connection to the soil and the taste of place unique to where they reside. Embracing native ingredients and paying homage to the agrarian and indigenous cultures of Australia they hope to introduce a new audience to what they see as unique to Australia and its people.

Applewood Distillery Okar Amaro 26% [2017-2018]


Applewood Distillery’s Okar is an Amaro – a type of bitter/herbal aperitif that have been popular for more than a century – famous for it’s use in the Negroni or Spritz. Riberries alongside Davidson Plum, Finger Limes, Lemon Myrtle, Saltbush, Rivermint, Peppermint and Strawberry Gum Leaves are just a few of what makes up the Okars botanical recipe.

Tasting: Deep cherry red with crimson edges. Powerful, fresh bitter-herbal bouquet evokes semi-ripe blackberries, mint, thyme and citrus peel with later passes accenting blackcurrant and lime juice. Drinks as a silky, medium bodied amaro with attractive fruitiness countered by a surge of bay leaf, peppermint, citrus peel and delicately bitter, drying, herbal tea-like notes at the finish. The salt bush brings savouriness and is present throughout.

Poor Toms’

“Imbroglio” aperitivo bitters.

“Imbroglio”: an extremely confused, complicated, or embarrassing situation.

This bitter/sweet Australian Amaro is a natural leap for the Poor Toms team, Imbroglio shares much in common with Gin in technique and intent. Individually distilled Seville orange and mandarin plus ten more familiar Gin ingredients. Added to the mix 13 steeped herbs, fruits, and vegetables (including gentian, wormwood, strawberry gum, and beetroot), the product is fresh and herbaceous with earthy notes. Notably less sugar than other comparable products but still carries great flavour. Sitting well in contemporary versions of classic aperitifs or simply on its own over ice.

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