15 Australian-made drinks for Australia Day

What will you be drinking this Australia Day? Our national drink is allegedly Foster's Lager –we just haven't received that memo on our shores.

In fact it has been Victoria Bitter and XXXX that have held that mantle for some time now. Of course, all of the above beers have long been foreign-owned. And they are simple lagers too – not exactly a unique beer style in global terms.

If you are looking for a truly patriotic tipple on January 26, surely it starts with being Australian-owned, and possibly even family-owned. It must be made here and where possible, the ingredients should also be local.

Australian innovation

Perhaps it's a drink that showcases Australian innovation. Many of the new craft ciders are made exclusively using apple varieties developed in Australia. And locally-developed hop varieties are taking the brewing world by storm.

Bonus points are awarded if it is actually a beverage style considered unique in global terms. It's a little known fact that sparkling ale, a style continually produced by Coopers Brewery since 1862, is our only beer that fulfils this criteria. And in wine, there is nothing quite like Hunter Valley semillon, Rutherglen muscat or sparkling shiraz, anywhere else in the world. We have also made shiraz cabernet and cabernet shiraz blends our own.

In spirits, it is rum that arguably has the strongest links to our history since white settlement. In fact, it was our first currency. Our most famous rum brand has long been foreign owned, but a new rebellion is underway, driven by a rapidly expanding number of small craft distillers. They are also innovating with whiskies using Australian barley and gins using Australian botanicals.

These are some of the criteria that have been considered in formulating this list of dinky di Aussie drops. Have we missed any?

(As always, consume responsibly.)

Scroll through the gallery to see James Atkinson's pick of the Australia Day bunch. 

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