Group-friendly and low-alcohol: Home Grown is a different kind of bottled cocktail

Home Grown's Creamy Soda Highball, Ginger and Mango Spritz, and Strawberry and River Mint Spritz.
Home Grown's Creamy Soda Highball, Ginger and Mango Spritz, and Strawberry and River Mint Spritz. 

A group of Melbourne's most talented drinks wizards is bottling the Australian spirits boom with Home Grown, a range of large-format batched cocktails made entirely with local products.

Home Grown's current line-up stars Ned Whisky, Okar's Island bitter, Grainshaker vodka and Anther gin across two spritzes and a whisky highball that's reminiscent of cream soda.

The idea came from Worksmith's Michael Bascetta (also a co-owner of Bar Liberty and Capitano) and Roscoe Power, who wanted to offer the quality found in Australia's small-serve batched drinks but on a larger scale. Collaborating with Seb Reaburn (Anther Gin, Topshelf Spirits) and Fancy Free's Ryan Noreiks, they created the first release of Home Grown.

Home Grown cocktails are made by Worksmith, a Melbourne hospitality collective.
Home Grown cocktails are made by Worksmith, a Melbourne hospitality collective. 

The 750ml bottles are perfect for dinner parties or barbecues, while the 20-litre kegs fill a need for speed in large venues that are seeing greater interest in cocktails.

"Cocktail culture is taking off. But we're also facing the biggest labour shortage in hospitality in recent memory," says Bascetta. "A keg meets the demands of the amount of cocktails being sold but also the staffing pressures."

The drinks are also on the lower-alcohol end of the spectrum, with none over 10% ABV, a stark difference to the many batched martinis and negronis.

In Melbourne, Stomping Ground's beer halls and Pipi's Kiosk are ready to pour Home Grown post-lockdown, with more venues to come here and in Sydney. The 750ml bottles are already in select bottle shops.

$45 for 750ml, homegrowndrinks.com