Anneliese is the talented general manager at award-winning Mexican restaurant, Hot Tamale on the scenic Darwin waterfront. While she is responsible for Australia’s largest collection of tequila, she also loves a good Australian spirit. Here she was challenged to make a signature cocktail with Larrikin Gin.
You have been challenged to make a cocktail with Larrikin Gin. Tell us about the liquid and the inspiration behind your creation.
Larrikin’s Sunburnt Country – Bush Tucker Gin was created using local botanicals themed around Bush Tucker. There are ten native botanicals in the gin. Growing up and living in the Northern Territory, I am very familiar with these flavours, so I wanted to create a cocktail that complements them but doesn’t overpower. I also wanted it to be what you would want to drink during the Australian summer, so something light and spritzy.
Tell us a little about yourself and how you got started in the industry.
I had been working at a cafe for three years when the owners decided to open a tequila bar/Mexican restaurant. It was due to open the year I turned 18, and they asked if I wanted to come across and learn more about management. Deciding to defer uni for a year, I took up the opportunity and never looked back. Learning everything about a restaurant, running it, and taking a focus on improving the bar were all exciting challenges. That’s why I am here today as GM of the same venue, trying to grow the bartending scene in Darwin.
If a customer was to step into your venue for this first time, what can they expect?
Hot Tamale is still foremost a restaurant, so a host would greet and assist the guest with what sort of evening they were after. If the guest wanted to sit at the bar, they would be looked after by some of the most passionate agave bartenders I know, who are always excited to talk agave to anyone who will listen.
If you weren’t bartending, what would you be doing?
Probably something involving sales and customer service. Maybe tourism.
If you could do one guest shift with anyone in the world, where would it be and who would it be with?
Julio Bermejo at Tommy’s. His hospitality skills are outstanding, and there is a back bar with some very cool agave.
Why should everyone experience Darwin at least once in their lives?
The lifestyle, it’s probably not something you’ll completely understand with a quick trip, but you will notice the absolute stark difference to any other capital city – more sun, more greenery, fresh air and wider open spaces. It is a city with so much potential.
BUSH TUCKER BOTANIC
45ml Larrikin Sunburnt Country – Bush Tucker Gin
100ml Rosella citric balanced wine
3g Cracked pepperberry
Method: Built on ice
Glassware: Stemless wine glass