It’s the most beautiful time of year: the weather is warming up, flowers are bursting into bloom and the days are growing longer. No wonder those heavy red wines, whiskies and stouts that kept you cosy in winter suddenly feel out of place. Now is the time to embrace lighter drops that herald spring with every sip.
From fruity pinot noir to creamy sparkling, gin cocktails to pale ales, there’s a refreshing swap for your favourite winter tipple. Follow our lead to find your perfect springtime sips.
As spring arrives, the party season swings into gear. Whatever you’re celebrating, whether it’s spring racing, a wedding, birthdays or just the end of a long winter, a bottle of bubbly is a delicious way to do it.
With crisp apple, floral and citrus flavours, fine bubbles and a dry finish, sparkling wines are delightfully refreshing without being too sweet.
Try this too: Certified organic, Wildly Organic Sparkling NV is vegan-friendly wine that is as bright and cheery as you’ll feel drinking it, with pink grapefruit, apple and zesty lemon flavours. Salut!
Ready to swap those hearty beers for something a little more refreshing? Crack open a pale ale. There’s loads of diversity in this style of beer, but typically you’ll find zesty tropical flavours balanced with a hint of bitterness that will keep your springtime session upbeat.
Colonial Brewing Co Pale Ale combines American and Australian hops to create a smooth, passionfruit-spiked brew, while the Brick Lane One Love Pale Ale is a golden-coloured pale ale with bright hop aromas that deliver citrus, stone fruit and passionfruit notes.
Try this too: Bad Shepherd Victoria Pale Ale uses local ingredients and a Melbourne yeast last used in 1936 to create a crisp brew with tropical aromas.
The rise of Australian craft gin is unstoppable, which adds up to an exciting array of gins to experiment with this spring.
Gin’s citrusy juniper berry base is a fantastic canvas for interesting flavour combos, allowing craft distillers to create a truly unique spirit. Mixed with tonic, these gins make for a satisfying sundowner.
Never Never Oyster Shell Gin from South Australia is a grown-up, complex gin with minerality from Kangaroo Island oyster shells, Tasmanian seaweed and saltbush.
Inspired by warm days in Margaret River, Giniversity Pink Gin from Western Australia brings together native quandong with fig, apple and berries in a light and lively pink spirit.
From Victoria, The Melbourne Gin Company Melbourne Dry Gin is a classic dry gin with an exotic twist – think macadamia, honey lemon myrtle, cassia bark and angelica root.
Putting a native Australian spin on sloe gin, Cape Byron Brookie’s Byron Slow Gin from Brookie’s distillery in northern NSW uses Davidson plums foraged from the Byron Bay hinterland to create a tart and brightly coloured gin with notes of watermelon and rose.
Try this too: One for the RTD devotees, Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin & Tonic can from Healesville in Victoria’s Yarra Valley is the perfect balance of sweet fruit and gin goodness. Along with fresh notes of lemon (like you’ve garnished it with a slice of lemon straight from the can!), this botanical gin flaunts a natural sweetness and spice from the bespoke tonic.
If spring has you energised to whip up your own concoctions, you’ll need a well-stocked bar to keep your imagination firing.
What cocktails are king in spring? Think bright and fruity margaritas, citrusy sours, spicy old fashioneds for sultry evenings and, of course, espresso martinis to keep the good times rolling.
Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka is a smooth Polish vodka infused with bison grass, which gives it notes of vanilla, chamomile and almond. It’s delicious with apple juice or as a base for herbal, fruity cocktails.
VIVIR Café VS is a tequila-based coffee liqueur, made in Mexico with locally grown agave and coffee beans. Sip as is or mix up a mind-blowing espresso martini.
When you just want someone to hand you a cocktail, Curatif Rum Old Fashioned is a winner – a balanced mix of Jamaican rum, sugar and bitters, ready to pour from the can.