How to Make Australian Native Tinctures and Use Them in Cocktails

Next in our tincture series, we show you how to use three Australian native botanicals to make Wattleseed, Lemon Myrtle & Pepperberry Tinctures.

Australian Native Tinctures

In recent years, Australian native botanicals have made their way into distilled spirits such as Australian gin, botanical vodka, as well as vermouth, liqueurs and mixers, adding a unique Australian flavour to cocktails and mixed drinks. It’s not uncommon to find the earthiness of aniseed myrtle, the citrus and tart notes of finger limes, or the grassy and salty notes of sea parsley incorporated in a drink that could well be Australia’s bush in a glass.

The tinctures shown above (L-R: Wattleseed, Lemon Myrtle & Pepperberry) add nuttiness, citrus and spice respectively to a cocktail. They can be used in a variety of ways, floated on top of the cocktail, incorporated into the drink or used as an aromatic cocktail spray.

For more information about tinctures, refer to the Essential Guide to Tinctures and How to Use Them in Cocktails.

How to Make Australian Native Tinctures

Equipment You Need

  • small glass jar with lid
  • small glass bottle with a dropper
  • cheesecloth
  • fine strainer
  • individual ingredients below:
    • high proof alcohol (see below)
    • native botanical ingredient (see below)

Wattleseed Tincture

Wattleseed is known to come from 120 species of Australian Acacia traditionally used as food by Aboriginal Australians. It has a unique nutty, subtle chocolate and fresh roasted coffee aromas and flavour which makes it popular in cooking. Wattleseed is also used as a botanical in some Australian spirits such as gin and botanical vodka.

Ingredients

  • 100 ml vodka (> 50% ABV), or high proof neutral grain spirit
  • 7g whole roasted wattleseed, coarsely cracked

Method

Use a mortar and pestle to coarsely crack the wattleseed. In a small glass jar, combine the alcohol with the wattleseed, cover with the lid and give it a gentle shake. Leave in a cool, dark place for approximately 3 to 5 days, gently shaking the jar daily.

Once the flavour is to your liking, strain using a fine mesh strainer lined with a cheesecloth. Transfer the tincture to a glass bottle with a dropper. Label the bottle and keep in a cool, dark place until ready to use.

Suggestions: Use wattleseed tincture to add nuttiness and flavour to an Espresso Martini. It goes well in some Tiki drinks as well as dark rum cocktails.

Lemon Myrtle Tincture

The lemon myrtle is a native Australian tree with leaves that have a citrusy flavour that’s a cross between lemon, lime and lemongrass. It has several applications in cooking and is a popular botanical in many Australian gins.

A drop or two of lemon myrtle tincture enhances the citrus notes of a drink. It has a slightly creamy note with a hint of eucalyptus.

Ingredients

  • 100 ml vodka (> 50% ABV), or high proof neutral grain spirit
  • 6 dried lemon myrtle leaves, broken into pieces

Method

In a small glass jar, combine the alcohol with the pieces of dried lemon myrtle leaves, cover with the lid and give it a gentle shake. Leave in a cool, dark place for approximately 3 to 5 days, gently shaking the jar daily.

Once the flavour is to your liking, strain using a fine mesh strainer lined with a cheesecloth. Transfer the tincture to a glass bottle with a dropper. Label the bottle and keep in a cool, dark place until ready to use.

Suggestions: Use lemon myrtle tincture to enhance the citrus notes of a drink. The flavour goes well in gin cocktails, rum-based drinks and can be used as an aromatic spray on the cocktail glass or a napkin for a sensory experience.

Pepperberry Tincture

The pepperberry is a native Australian bush food also know as Mountain Pepperberry, Tasmanian Pepperberry and Australian Native Pepperberry. The plant (Tasmannia Lanceolata) grows berries that are black in colour and deemed to be 10x hotter than ordinary pepper with long and lingering heat.

Ingredients

  • 100 ml vodka (> 50% ABV), or high proof neutral grain spirit
  • 7g whole pepperberries, coarsely cracked

Method

Use a mortar and pestle to coarsely crack the pepperberries. In a small glass jar, combine the alcohol with the cracked pepperberries, cover with the lid and give it a gentle shake. Leave in a cool, dark place for approximately 3 to 5 days, gently shaking the jar daily.

Once the flavour is to your liking, strain twice using a fine mesh strainer lined with a cheesecloth. Transfer the tincture to a glass bottle with a dropper. Label the bottle and keep in a cool, dark place.

Suggestions: Use pepperberry tincture to spice up a Bloody Mary or a Red Snapper, to add a bite to a dirty Martini, in a Gibson and in savoury cocktails.

Photo by Cocktails & Bars – © Copyright: All rights reserved.

How to Make Australian Native Tinctures and Use Them in Cocktails was last modified: August 15th, 2017 by Corinne Mossati
Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of Cocktails & Bars and popular online magazine Gourmantic. She is named in the Australian Bartender Magazine Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, is a member of The World’s 50 Best Bars Academy who judges the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions. Read the full bio here.