In the realm of adult soft drinks, richly red Sin-kō-nah Tonic Syrup [RRP: $24/200ml] is right up there, and what’s more, it’s Australian. In fact, owner Sarah Robins tells me, Sin-kō-nah “will soon be the only Australian-made tonic syrup as Blood Moon Tonic is closing down.” Expect a bittersweet edge from this drink, which contains about a third less sugar than other tonic waters.
I spent 24-hours in Orange last weekend taking in some key events at the 2015 Orange Wine Festival. The highlight of my visit was the Barrel to Bottle Chardonnay masterclass at my favourite winery in the region: De Salis Wines. Winemaker Charlie Svenson was incredibly candid and generous with both his winemaking techniques, and with pouring his museum release wines.
Driving through Orange NSW last month I got a behind-the-scenes peek at the Fresh Fodder factory. Max Schofield showed me through his rapidly expanding small business, and explained firsthand why his taramosalata is known as ‘the gangster dip’.
What type of person would pass up the opportunity to ingest copious amounts of vodka, wine and caviar whilst listening to Dan Aykroyd ramble on about the significance of Crystal Skulls and how they somehow relate to large-scale quantities of vodka and en masse marketing techniques?
Last month I revisited Pastoral Smallgoods in Waterloo. Headed up by Jonathan Sankey, they were last year’s winner of the best Traditional Bone-In Leg Ham in the prestigious Australian Ham Awards run by Australian Pork Limited. A tour of their super-clean factory taught me a lot about the journey Aussie pork takes between the farm and our Xmas tables, with this busy little producer selling their award-winning hams to everyone from David Jones Foodhall to ALDI.
I approached this month’s Smooth Festival of Chocolate like I would if I were shopping while starving: I literally threw anything that looked remotely delicious into my trolley (aka: mouth). After avoiding breakfast, so I could have as much room available for edible decadence as possible, I started my cacao journey at Chocolate Del Mondo, where I dived face first into a Volcanic Chocolate Eruption ($10).
Farmers’ markets are basically some of my favourite things. When weekend availability permits, I’ll click up the kilometres in order to check out locally grown or produced food offerings from areas including the Canberra district, the Southern Highlands and up north as far as Newcastle and Blackhead.
Ushering in Sydney’s growing obsession with craft beers, Sydney’s annual Craft Beer Week, hosted by Joel Connolly, could as easily be named ‘Craft Beard Week’, if not for the all-too-obvious statement it would appear to make.
A new Japanese bakery has opened up in Enmore called Bake Kobo; however you’re forgiven if bread isn’t something you immediately associate with Japanese culture. “I heard it happened – the flour-culture – after the war,” says owner Kunihisa Sato, “Americans wanted to sell their products.”