Gin Cocktails for Summer with Botanic Australis Gin

Summer in Australia is all about beach time, BBQs, chilling out with friends, and enjoying a good old fashioned drink…or three.

As you can tell from our name, gin is our summer beverage of choice, so we were absolutely thrilled when we received a bottle of Botanic Australis Gin from Mt Uncle Distillery and Nip of Courage to review.

Not only is this gin distilled in our home state of Queensland (woo!), but it contains 14 botanicals – 13 of which are Australian Natives. There’s Wattle Seed, Lemon Myrtle, Bunya Nut, Finger Lime, Lilly Pilly and Peppermint gum to name a few…and only one imported but necessary ingredient (unfortunately juniper doesn’t grow so well in the Atherton Tablelands).

If there is a more ‘Australian’ gin we’d love to find out but really the most important thing about Botanic Australis is the taste. With so many different ingredients the potential for disaster is high, but to his credit, Mt. Uncle owner and distiller Mark Watkins has achieved a perfect balance of flavours and a gin that goes down very easily. Mark adapted his recipe for Botanic Australis from a 300 year old London Dry Recipe and after much trial and error he has really has achieved a unique and beautifully flavourful gin.

We first tried it neat and experienced a whole range of different flavour notes – citrus, aniseed and spice being the most dominant. However we couldn’t leave it at that, more thorough ‘research’ was needed.  We wanted to know how the gin would perform in a more challenging environment: The Great Australian Barbecue.

We convinced a few friends to join us (really not hard when free alcohol is involved) then we set about procuring tasty cocktail recipes and some delicious summer BBQ recipes to match. The big day finally arrived this past weekend and it was fab – good food, great company and first class gin. We couldn’t have asked for more!

On the recommendation of Mark we kicked off the day with the Classic Negroni cocktail. While B’s husband barbecued a rack of lamb and some tandoori chicken, we we unleashed our inner mixologists and shook up around 50ml of Botanic Australis Gin, 30ml Vermouth and 30ml Campari with some ice (our measurements were approximate as we were working on a few varying Negroni recipes). We strained the cocktail into our glasses and garnished with orange peel and then…it was time to take a sip.

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The Weekly G&T

It’s Weekly G&T Time: ready, set, read!

  • Just last night I was driving through the city when a stunning lightshow on the Commissariat Store caught my eye. It was part of the G20 Colour Me Brisbane Celebrations which is lighting up some of our city’s most iconic landmarks. If you’ve ever been to Vivid Live in Sydney, this is the same kind of thing – visually stunning and fun so get out there and enjoy!
  • Love Fashion? Get yourself to James St Resort Trail Blazers this Saturday.
  • Sunday marks the 1st Birthday of Beerkary at Scratch Bar which was incidentally featured in our round up on Brisbane’s Best Cafes and Bars with Wi-fi.
  • At S&G we are great lovers of all things British (okay mainly the men…) so we are already getting excited for the British Film Festival to arrive in town. It’s on at the Palace from 6-16 November. What films will you see?
  • Love live music? Check out Brisbane’s latest live music venue The Motor Room.
  • The internet can sometimes be amazing. Say hello to Marcel the Shell.
  • On Wednesday night, I was lucky enough to attend the debut screening of PRIDE at fabulous Blue Room Cinebar. This is a very special film. It’s poignant, it’s funny and it’s based on an amazing true story. Go and See it.
  • Fish Lane at South Brisbane is set to go from a disused lane way to the home of a pizzeria, bar and bistro. 
  • BLOG OF THE WEEK: it’s a tie between Pepper Passport (her zucchini and haloumi fritter recipe is legit the best thing ever) and an old favourite of ours J for Jen who we would totally be friends with in real life if we lived in the same city!


Diner en Blanc Brisbane 2014

On Saturday 11 October, around 2,000 Brisbane funsters met at a secret location to eat, drink, dance, and make merry for Diner en Blanc 2014.

Diner en Blanc is the world’s most elegant pop-up dining event. Guests clad all in white gather together to travel to a secret location – unknown to all but a handful of people until the moment of arrival – where they set up tables and chairs, white linen and crockery and enjoy delicious food and exceptional company under the stars.

Diner en Blanc happens in over 50 cities all around the world, including 6 locations around Australia. It is a visually spectacular event and equally as fun! As ridiculous as it may seem to demand guests carry and wear nothing but white, the effect is stunning. See the Diner en Blanc international website for some photos of events around the world.

This year’s secret location was…Roma Street Parklands!

Diner en Blanc 2014 in the Roma St Parklands

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The Weekly G&T

Well we can all collectively breath a sigh of relief because the LONG WEEKEND is almost here! We’re looking forward to a long weekend in Maleny, drinking some Queensland wine, eating some Maleny Cheese and just generally chilling out. What are your plans? If you’re still unsure, you might want to consider some of the following…

  • Who doesn’t love a sexy accent and a good film? We can’t wait to grab some popcorn and a choc-top and enjoy a few films at the 15th Lavazza Italian Film Festival in Brisbane! It runs from 1st – 22nd October so there’s plenty of time to score yourself a ticket.
  • One of Brisbane’s favourite events is almost here – OKTOBERFEST! Get your tickets now to avoid missing out – and don’t forget your costume!
  • Speaking of, if you want a genuine Drindl or Lederhosen, see Shnucki Drindl. Designed and made locally by a German woman who moved to Brisbane, she makes beautiful, flattering, yet traditional designs.
  • Do you sometimes wish you could go back to the days when you’re were able to play with your Lego for hours? When life was simple and full of fun? Well this weekend you can! Head to the Brisbricks LEGO Expo this weekend and relive your childhood.
  • One of our favourite Brisbane Bloggers Phoebe Lee from Little Grey Box is now writing awesome stuff for The Urban List! Get a sugar hit from her round up of Brisbane’s Best Donuts here – but beware it will make you suuuuuuper hungry!
  • Want to explore Brissie and its surrounds over the long weekend? Check out our Tourist Guide to Brisbane for a huge range of things to do and our Eat, Drink Brisbane Guide for some of our favourite and recommended food spots.
  • We also just wanted to take a moment to say a big THANK YOU to all our followers, readers and supporters for coming on such a fun journey with us. We have big plans for our blog and can’t wait to share them with you.

The Weekly G&T

We don’t know about you, but with this week really calls for a refreshing G&T come 5pm tomorrow. Luckily, for you we’ve put together a pre-drink appetiser for you – our weekly round-up of everything awesome you can do in and around Brisbane.

Kwan Brothers – a new favourite hang

Disco atmosphere at Kwan Brothers, Fortitude ValleyAs the newest addition to the Alfred and Constance/Alfred’s/Chester St Bakery family, Kwan Brothers opened with much anticipation a few months ago, and in that short space of time it has become one of Sunshine and Gin’s (and Brisbane’s) favourite hang outs.

And there’s little doubt as to why. With Hotelier and Bar Owner extraordinaire Damian Griffiths (who’s resume includes Limes Hotel & A&C) and designer powerhouse Alexander Lotersztain behind the amazing interior, Kwan Brother’s offers a unique and bold late night venue offering up delicious asian fusion meals…oh and it pumps out a huge range of 90s music on Friday nights. How could it not be a success?


I mean you can enjoy Pineapple fried rice with a side of Mmmbop! Or if you prefer, to belt out the Backstreet Boys whilst digging into your BBQ Salmon in a Banana leaf that’s ok too. Oh and for the record both of these dishes are top quality for taste – as are the Tiki Pork belly skewers, the Korean Fried Cauliflower, the Crispy duck Spring Rolls, the Salt and Pepper Squid and the Banoffee Pie. Continue reading

Weekly G&T

Spring has erupted and almost finished here in Brisbane! I like to think we have about 6 weeks of it, but really we’re lucky if we get two. Still, the heat may be returning but that just means it is time to get out and enjoy our beautiful city and of course, a few extra ice cubes in your g&t’s!

  • The date for Diner en Blanc 2014 has just been announced. Date: 11 October, Location: well, that’s the secret, isn’t it? Kirst and I are thrilled to be involved once again in the world’s most stylish pop-up dining event. We attended in 2013 and inaugural year 2012.
  • Did you know you can do walking tours around Brisbane? Insider Tours operate daily tours around our town including daily tours: Convicts and Crime tour, a Brisbane Beers, Brews, ANZAC and Heritage Walk and Brisbane’s Best: Local Cocktails Food and Fashion walk.
  • As we mentioned last weekend The Brisbane Festival has kicked off and there is lots going on – this weekend you can see some theatre about love, catch hip hop artist Urthboy play a set, or watch some choreography.
  • If you enjoy theatre AND food, check out the Festival Flavours offers as part of Brisbane Festival.
  • Couples who marry at New York City Hall. Every so often I stumble on this link (the photos are regularly updated) and I always love it! The couples are so diverse, they have such incredible style and of course, it’s delightful to see photos of loving couples on such a special day.
  • Talking of celebration: 19 facts you may not know about champagne.
  • The Bridge to Brisbane annual run is this weekend.  You can still register to run if you want to…although you won’t be seeing us there.
  • Finally, don’t forget it’s Father’s Day this Sunday, so don’t forget to spoil your dad!