BBQs, beaches and bouncy castles. Surfing; the Triple J Hottest 100; a poolside tipple. A quiet catch-up with friends and family. The opportunity to reflect on the nation’s past. Whatever it means to you, the one thing that we all share in common on Australia Day is the public holiday, and thankfully it means that most of us can down tools, forget about the office for the day and spend the afternoon with our nearest and dearest.
Whether hosting a sit-down meal, or casually hanging out with friends whilst cooking up the classic Aussie BBQ on this most Australian of days, you’re going to need an array of refreshing beverages to wash down your classic Aussie tucker.
Preparation is key
Remember that if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail! So the first step is to make sure you’ve got the esky out, a freezer is full of ice and an ample supply of glassware to ensure that the cold drinks keep flowing throughout the day. Don’t forget to chop the garnishes and throw the stubby coolers in the freezer too (and this is all before you have the opportunity to twist the cap off of a beer for yourself).
The secret to throwing a good Australia Day bash is to cater for everyone, so make sure your drink choices take other people’s tastes into account. Try to be versatile and cover all bases so that everyone from your Nan to your niece can have a good time and feel relaxed and refreshed.
The drinks list!
On that note, it’s time to tick off the drinks list to make sure that you’ve got something for everyone. In keeping with the Australia Day theme, here’s a run-down of some essential Aussie-made drinks that will ensure your Australia Day BBQ or party goes off like a storm, and once everyone leaves they’ll be talking about how thoughtful you are, not only for throwing an awesome soiree, but also for supporting Australian producers and their scrumptious produce.
One of the biggest trends in beer recently has been the emergence of the craft brewery. Wishy-washy, watery beers no longer cut the mustard, and now everyone from your best friend to your uncle have their favourite ‘craft’ beer that they’ll claim to be the best thing since sliced bread. Balance up something clean and fresh like Mountain Goat Summer Ale (in a can no less!) with a classic brew like the iconic Coopers Pale Ale. That way, even those who aren’t too adventurous are still going to be able to sip on a tried and tested classic as they tuck into the snags and salad. For those who aren’t so keen on beers, you could grab some of the deliciously fresh Napoleon & Co. Apple and Pear Cider from the Yarra Valley - this never fails to go far in the refreshing stakes.
Buying wine for an Australia Day jamboree can prove pretty tricky. There will be many tastes to cater for, so push the boat out and go for something quirky. Replace the need for any serious fizz by introducing your guests to a quality expression of the often maligned Moscato. Give the Montevicchio Moscato from Heathcote a whirl. It’s loaded with sherberty fruit and has just the right suggestion of sweetness to help balance up the refreshing burst of acidity. This is a win when it comes to quenching the thirst of those looking for a glass of sparkling or a glass of white.
Given it’s the middle of summer don’t be afraid to serve a red with a little bit of a chill to counterbalance the warm weather. By slightly chilling your red you’ll preserve the bright, crunchy side of a wine like Chaffey Bros Battle for Barossa which is a harmonious blend of juicy Tempranillo supported by a dollop of spicy Grenache from the Barossa Valley. With its feet firmly in the modern camp it’s a deliciously bright red that is perfect for some of the more serious meats that might be served up.
And last but not least, there are the spirits aficionados. A great option is to get the cocktail shaker out and get your Tom Cruise on - and there’s no better cocktail to quench the thirst on a hot Australia Day than the super refreshing Tom Collins. Grab yourself a bottle of Archie Rose Signature Gin, some lemon juice, sugar syrup and a splash of soda, and you’ll be ready to keep everybody cool and refreshed all day long.