7 Classic Cocktails with a Bushfood Twist

by | Jul 29, 2022

Enjoy the tail end of winter with these old favourite cocktail recipes, served up with an Australian twist. Whether using bushfood infused spirits or ingredients from your own back garden, these re-imagined cocktails are sure to impress your guests at the next dinner party.

A Native Kick Cocktail

From Matthew Bull of NoBull Cocktails, the Native Kick features a bushfood-infused gin starring the Queen of Lemon Herbs, Lemon Myrtle. Enjoy this fantastic Australiana rendition of the classic Bee’s Knees Prohibition Era cocktail.

45ml – Native Citrus Gin (Blood Lime, Lemon Myrtle and Pepperberry)

15ml – Pepperberry Infused Vodka

22.5ml – Finger Lime Honey Syrup

22.5ml – Lemon Juice

Pour all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake and double strain into a cocktail glass.

Garnish with a Lemon Myrtle Leaf (slapped to activate) and a few Pepperberry pods.

Nomad Sour

A gin sour made with an Australian botanical gin infused with Native Thyme, Geraldton wax, Samphire and Sea Parsley. Recipe courtesy of Wandering Distillery.

45ml Nomad Gin

30ml lemon juice

15ml sugar syrup

15ml egg white

Add ingredients into a shaker with lots of ice. Shake and strain over fresh ice into an old fashioned glass.

Black Tea Hot Toddy

A traditional Hot Toddy with the earthy kick of Australian bushfood tea. Based on Black Tea Hot Toddy by Lindsey Goodwin (The Spruce Eats).

1 cup water

3 cinnamon myrtle leaves (crushed) OR 1 stick cinnamon

2 tsp Sharlee’s Dja-Wonmuruk Wattleseed, Aniseed Myrtle and River Mint Black Tea

1 Tbsp honey

50ml whisky

1 lemon wedge

Boil the water and steep the tea and cinnamon myrtle leaves. Strain into a large mug and add whisky. Squeeze in the juice from the lemon wedge and sweeten with honey to taste.

Finger Lime and River Mint Mojito

This sweet and refreshing mix of flavours is perfect for parties! We recommend leaving it until the last minute before harvesting River Mint leaves for this cocktail. Based on Mojito recipe by Good Food team (BBC Good Food).

2 Finger Limes

1 Tbsp lime juice

1 tsp white sugar

A handful of River Mint leaves

60ml white rum

Soda water

Muddle Finger Lime pearls, sugar, lime juice and most of the River Mint leaves. Pour into a tall glass and add ice. Pour over the rum while stirring and add soda water to taste. Garnish with a River Mint leaf and serve.

Samphire Collins

A bush tucker riff on an old favourite, the Tom Collins, made with an Australian botanical gin infused with Native Thyme, Geraldton wax, Samphire and Sea Parsley. Recipe courtesy of Wandering Distillery.

40ml Nomad Gin

14ml lemon juice

150ml lemonade

Sea salt (for rim)

Salt the rim of a hi-ball glass and add the ingredients over lots of ice. Stir and serve garnished with a sprig of Native Thyme.

Thyme and Lemon Drop

The classic 70s Lemon Drop packed with Native Thyme‘s fragrant herbal punch. Be warned, you won’t need much, as Native Thyme has a very strong aroma! Based on Lemon drop by Miriam Nice (BBC Good Food).

1 Tbsp white sugar

50ml vodka

25ml triple sec

25ml lemon juice

Native Thyme

Sugar the rim of a chilled martini glass. Lightly muddle 1 sprig of Native Thyme in a cocktail shaker with vodka, triple sec, lemon juice and lots of ice. Strain into glass and serve garnished with a sprig of Native Thyme or curl of lemon rind.

Wattleseed Espresso Martini

Here’s one we found on our online travels. Your favourite coffee cocktail infused with the rich, nutty flavour of native Australian wattleseed. Visit Wattleseed Espresso Martini for the full recipe by Claire Bucklow (Polka Dot Wedding).

15ml vodka

30ml kahlua

30ml Wattleseed sugar infusion

30ml espresso

Add all ingredients to a shaker with lots of ice. Shake well and strain into martini glasses. Serve garnished with a single coffee bean. You can find details for the Wattleseed sugar infusion on the original recipe website.

BONUS: Cocktail party conversation starters

  • You can use Wattleseed as a caffeine-free substitute for coffee. Just toast the ground seeds in a frypan, then steep in hot water in a French press.
  • Lilly Pilly fruit is considered a superfood because of its high levels of vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium and potassium. Researchers are studying potential applications in health, medicine and cosmetics.
  • There’s a growing body of research to suggest gardening has a positive impact on mental health.
  • A micro-forest might be the answer to the frustrated gardener’s problem of shrinking backyards in urban and suburban homes. Micro-forest gardens capture the “layers” of a forest in a tiny space.
  • If you love trailing plants, try growing a Native Samphire indoors or in a partly shaded spot in your garden. The succulent leaves grow long and leggy (as many plants do in the shade), increasing its green surface area to capture more light.

Our Book: Bushfood for Beginners

Packed with tips and advice from the seasoned green thumbs at Tucker Bush, it aims to help any enthusiastic gardener take the first step in their long and bountiful bushfood journey.

We’ve put together an e-book of our favourite recipes

Featuring contributions from some of Australia’s leading chefs, using native bush tucker ingredients. This book includes all the recipes from our website plus more, covering entrees, mains, desserts and more, along with basic essentials like drying your own herbs and making your own jam.

Introducing Our Range Of Dried Herbs

Tucker Bush Native Herbs are dried and ready to use in your cooking. Enjoy these local flavours with cooked meats, baked treats and steeped in hot water for an aromatic tea.

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