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Victoria’s top tipples

/ 03 Jul 2018
Australian Bartender of the Year Orlando Marzo has lifted the lid on his favourite Victorian tipples.

Marzo, formerly of London’s renowned Milk and Honey, and Head Bartender at The Player and Eau-de-Vie, can now be found creating beverages which match South Melbourne restaurant Lûmé’s multidisciplinary approach.

The Italian-born cocktail craft master was crowned Australia’s best at the 2018 Diageo World Class competition and will represent his adopted country on the world stage at the Global Finals in Berlin in October.    

Before his departure, Marzo has named his favourite drops.


Aperitif: Maidenii, Harcourt
Central Victorian winemaker Gilles Lapalus and Gin Place bartender Shaun Byrne have teamed up to create a vermouth. The pair are leading the aperitif’s revival with Maidenii in high demand in trendy bars and restaurants, led by the popular cocktails negroni and americano. The fortified wine is produced from vineyards near Heathcote and wild harvested herbs and plants gathered from the gardens and paddocks of central Victoria.

Sparking: Holly’s Garden, King Valley
The cool-climate Whitlands high plateau region of Victoria is home to Holly's Garden. Grown at 750 metres in the deep volcanic soils, the winery produces a voluptuous pinot gris and artisan sparkling wines. The cool evenings allows the vines to ‘rest’ at night and delays the accumulation of sugar whilst retaining acidity and building flavour. 

Wine: Patrick Sullivan Wine, Gippsland
Located in the Strzelecki Ranges, Gippsland, Patrick Sullivan Wines are produced biodynamically and with minimal intervention. The small-batch wine label is a true reflection of the region and its natural environment. The wines, named and paired with its artwork label only after their bottled, sit and gain their character in 100% Australian ceramic barrels. Hogget Kitchen in Warragul acts the unofficial cellar door. Hogget Kitchen, 6 Farrington Close, Warragul, Victoria, 3820. (03) 5623 2211.

"I can't say which winery is my favourite because it's like picking between your kids. Pinor Noir and Chardonnay are the benchmark of Victoria wines. When people come to the restaurant they want to drink local so we'll get them involved in a Pinot from the Mornington Peninsula or the Yarra Valley. What's exciting is the number of small boutique producers that are using unconventional methods because it gives them a chance to be more adventurous,” Marzo said.


Starward Whisky, Port Melbourne
Created by David Vitale, Melbourne born and bred, Starward whisky reflects his home town – from its culture to it’s famed ‘four seasons in a day’ temperature swings. A modern Australian whisky, elementally matured for three “Melbourne years” in Australian wine barrels, Starward draws on the vibrancy of big bold reds like Shiraz and Cabernet, as well as delicate notes in Pinot and Rosé. Visit the Port Melbourne based distillery for tasting, a tour or whisky masterclass. 50 Bertie St, Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. (03) 9005 4420

"Starward is one of the most progressive distilleries in Australia and set the benchmark. Based in Port Melbourne, they're also the most local distillery. It's exciting because they want to express themselves and what an Australian whisky should be like," Marzo said.


St. Ronan’s, Healesville
Found on a small farm just outside the town of Healesville in the Yarra Valley, St. Ronan’s is focused on making ciders that are unique in Australia and produced from locally sourced fruit. Their flagship cider, the Methode Traditionelle, is produced using the same labour-intensive method used to produce Champagne and presented in a 750 ml bottle complete with cork and cage. The cellar door is hosted by Badger Creek Blueberry Farm and located in Healesville, just over an hour’s drive from Melbourne. Blueberry Farm, 11 Garnook Grove, Badger Creek, Victoria, 3777. (03) 5962 1601.

"Victoria grows 47% of apples and 80% of pears in Australia so we're living in an orchard. Harcourt has the original apple orchard planned shortly after the gold rush,” Marzo said:


La Sirène, Alphington
The inner-city Melbourne brewery create modern day artisanal farmhouse-style beers with character and identity, which quickly evolved into our life-long obsession. After beginning as gypsy brewers in the Victorian Highlands, the brewery shifted to their own Urban Farmhouse Brewery next door to the Darebin Creek & National Park. Blessed with naturally pure soft water, indigenous wild yeast within our brewery, including the national parkland surroundings and at the mercy of unpredictable Melbourne weather, La Sirène are 'Farmhouse Free Stylers'. They focus on producing New World Farmhouse beers in a House Style with finesse, texture and above all crisp drinkability in humble honour of these age-old styles. 2 Wingrove Street, Alphington, Victoria, 3078. +61 (0) 452 339 210

"La Sirène have a background in winemaking so they're approach to beers is incredible. They focus on wild fermentation so they're unconventional compared to what other breweries are doing. They produce very creative, versatile and aromatic beers with incredible structures, so their style of beer works well with food,” Marzo said:

Cocktail Ingredient:

Mandarin Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Mount Zero Olives
Mount Zero Mandarin Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil is produced in the Agrumato style of cold pressing halved mandarins and olives together which combines the fruity olive character with the zest of mandarin peel. The Mandarin Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil is distilled to create a liqueur and mixed with Champagne and green tea extract to create the popular Olive Oil Royale at Lûmé Restaurant. Mount Zero Olives, 3/2a Holmwood Road, Tottenham, Victoria, 3012. (03) 9315 1415;  Lûmé Restaurant, 226 Coventry Street, South Melbourne, Victoria, 3205. (03) 9690 0185.

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