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Ester Spirits - Bees Knees and Old Tom

The New Bees Knees and Old Tom Gin
Ester Spirits - Bees Knees and Old Tom

Driven to make a softer and earthier Plymouth-style Gin, Felix Clark spent 18 months perfecting his Old Tom recipe. He veered away from the dry-spice and juniper-heavy botanical approach used for Ester’s Strong and Dry Gins, focusing instead on a traditional citrus mix and using orris and angelica root to imply sweetness without sugar. Perfect in a Martini, a lighter take on a Negroni, or neat straight from the freezer in a big, balloon-shaped glass.

Ester’s new bottled cocktail is Bees Knees: a zesty, heady take on the traditional prohibition-era drink featuring Gin, honey and lemon. It is more than just a take on a classic; true to form, Felix and Corrina have gone the extra mile and bottled it in a beeswax-lined bottle—a move that accentuates the slick, mouth-coating texture and rounds out the cocktail’s delicious flavours. Ester’s Strong forms the base, with the honey and wax locally sourced from Ballina.

The Spirits

Ester Bees Knees
Bibendum Bar

Ester Bees Knees

The latest buzz-worthy salvo from the crazy diamonds at Ester Spirits is this turbocharged take on a prohibition cocktail. Traditionally a blend of Gin, honey and citrus, Felix and Corrina have added even more punch with added yuzu sake—and then they’ve lined the inside of the bottle with beeswax. As Felix tells it, the honey and wax can have seasonal characteristics; in 2020, the batch had a smoky, peaty note, whereas in the flood year of 2021, the bees were very active, pollinating everything from bananas to passionfruit, giving a distinct tropical note. So, each batch is different, lending a unique undertone to what is arguably Australia’s most singular bottled cocktail.

Felix explains: “As the cocktail sits in the bottle, it draws the lipids out of the beeswax and imparts the cocktail with layers of unctuous honey flavour, combined with the fresh bite of sour citrus.” This sweet, oily and sour creation is a zing of beauty.

Serve as cold as possible in a coupe or over ice, or try topped with Midnight Mixers tonic for a springtime spritz. 24.5% alcohol.

Ester Bees Knees
Bibendum Bar
Ester Old Tom Gin
Bibendum Bar

Ester Old Tom Gin

Ester’s maverick take on the 18th-century English classic uses a base of triple citrus Gin with mandarin, sweet orange and lemon. Then, lemon verbena adds a burst of bright, sweet sherbet flavour, and jasmine flower infuses the Gin with gentle floral notes. It’s a delectably soft, sweet and silky Gin that will turbocharge your Tom Collins or Martinez, but we also love it in a soft-focus G&T. Unlike many Old Tom’s on the market, this Gin contains no added sugar. The sweetness you find on the palate comes from the distillate itself.

Ingredients: Juniper, mandarin, orange, lemon, lemon verbena, lemon myrtle, jasmine flower, liquorice, angelica, orris, juniper, coriander, cassia, cardamom, macadamia.

Ester Old Tom Gin
Bibendum Bar
Ester Old Tom Gin Jerry (15L)
Bibendum Bar

Ester Old Tom Gin Jerry (15L)

15 Litre. Ester’s maverick take on the 18th-century English classic uses a base of triple citrus Gin with mandarin, sweet orange and lemon. Then, lemon verbena adds a burst of bright, sweet sherbet flavour, and jasmine flower infuses the Gin with gentle floral notes. It’s a delectably soft, sweet and silky Gin that will turbocharge your Tom Collins or Martinez, but we also love it in a soft-focus G&T. Unlike many Old Tom’s on the market, this Gin contains no added sugar. The sweetness you find on the palate comes from the distillate itself.

Ingredients: Juniper, mandarin, orange, lemon, lemon verbena, lemon myrtle jasmine flower, liquorice, angelica, orris, juniper, coriander, cassia, cardamom, macadamia

Ester Old Tom Gin Jerry (15L)
Bibendum Bar

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