It's time to meet your new best friend… And I’m not talking about old mate at the bottle-o counter who keeps giving you free samples, or the new person at work who keeps laughing at your jokes even when they’re not funny. I’m talking about something that’s going to rock your summer harder than a topless Chris Hemsworth.
Now we know what you’re about to ask: WTF is Mistelle?
Mistelle is a traditional fortified wine that comes from where a lot of great food and wine comes from - France. Not just all croissants, cheese and Bordeaux. Mistelle is produced by taking juice and fortifying it. The French do this with a whole bunch of different products. Up north in Normandy they use apples and pears. They take apple or pear juice (sometimes they use both, as the Old Del Paso ad says - now I’m mixing my cultures) and pour apple spirit into it to make this wonderfully delicious but low ABV delight that you can use in anything.
In the south, their attention turns to grapes. That’s right - grape juice, plus grape spirit, equals maximum yums. It's light, bright, and as if the best parts of vermouth and gin had a baby.
Now, we didn’t exactly make ours in a traditional way, but that's for a few really good reasons.
One - we’re not French.
Two - There’s leftover orange peels from Nippy’s and beautiful native tamarind right at our doorstep that’ll go to waste if we don’t use it.
Three - Every year, some poor grape grower gets done over by the loss of a contract, so we step in, take these grapes and make them into something delicious that would otherwise go to waste.
Four - the tax man, because we don’t fortify grape juice. If we made a mistelle traditionally we’d get slapped with a big excise bill instead of a little wine tax bill and the reason for that is the tax man sees a gin and juice (or Snoop Dogg if you will) rather than a fortified wine. So in the end we make a wine before fortification with spirit and that’s what makes Tropic relatively affordable.
But the burning question here is, how the bloody hell do you use it?
The answer - really easily.
Spritzy Bois are all the rage right now. Every Instagram influencer worth their salt has photos of spritz time with the gang, with all the hashtags and added bullshit. Well it's time to take the facade out of the spritz business with a spritz that not only uses a whole bunch of stuff you’d usually throw away, but also helps Aussie farmers and local industry. #sustainableas
- 60ml Okar Tropic
- 30-45ml Pineapple Skin Shrub*
- Top with Soda
Pour all your ingredients into a wine glass (or mug if you’re in a Zoom meeting) with a good amount of ice, and take a one way ticket to flavour town.
*Pineapple Skin Shrub
- Skin of one Pineapple
- 300g Sugar
- 300g Water
- 30g White Wine Vinegar
*Buy a pineapple and cut all its skin off (sounds like something out of a Tarantino movie). Make a sugar syrup of equal parts sugar and water. Muddle your pineapple skins and leave them to soak overnight in your sugar syrup. Add your white wine vinegar and strain out your solids. Chuck your solids in the garden or compost - don’t be a duffer by putting it in the bin. Bottle the liquid and enjoy being a legend!
Shake and Bake
We’re not talking about marijuana here, kids. We’re talking about a cocktail designed for sunbaking out on your backyard patio like no one's watching. Fresh, juicy and a real thirst quencher, this drink will make even the coldest heart melt. That’s right - give it to old aunt Ethel and she’ll smile so wide her teeth will fall out.
- 45ml Pineapple Rum
- 30ml Okar Tropic
- 45ml Pineapple Juice*
- 15ml Lime Juice
- 10ml Sugar*
Shake all your ingredients in a cocktail shaker (or protein shaker) over ice and pour into your choice of chilled glassware.
Garnish with a mint leaf.
*JUICE THE REST OF THE PINEAPPLE AND USE THE SUGAR SYRUP YOU MADE FOR THE LAST COCKTAIL YOU DRONGO!
Taking Out the Trash
Don’t lie - you’ve got a bottle of gin in your house that you hate. Maybe you got it as a Secret Santa present from a coworker that doesn’t drink. Maybe a friend told you it was their favourite gin and that you should buy it, and now you secretly don’t listen to their opinion anymore. Point is, you’ve got some skeletons in your gin cabinet that you need to get rid of. Well it's time to grab that sucker and get it ready for a treatment that’ll have you buying another bottle of shitty gin. It's as wet as a kiddy pool and it’ll get you toasty enough to call that friend and tell them you trust them again.
- 60ml Coconut Oil Fat Washed Gin*
- 30ml Okar Tropic
- 2 dashes of Saffron Mango Bitters
Stir all your ingredients over ice and serve like a martini. Garnish optional. Serve naked. Meaning without a garnish. You can also serve it naked - you’re an adult.
*Coconut Fat Washed Gin
- 500ml of Gin you hate
- 100g Coconut Oil
Put your coconut oil in a pan and melt it all down until it's liquid. Put the gin that you hate in a tupperware that fits in your freezer. Pour your coconut oil in your gin and cover. After 4 hours, place your tupperware in the freezer overnight. In the morning, take your tupperware out of the freezer and carefully skim off all of the coconut oil. Strain if there are still some floating solids.