Sip into the spirit of the season with Familiar Spirits.
Sip into the spirit of the season with Familiar Spirits.
Ready to jingle and mingle? Tis the season… for Christmas cocktails!
Familiar Spirits, the wizards behind the spirits in Burleigh, are here to sleigh your holiday with a couple of seriously tasty Christmas concoctions.
Christmas Moscow Mule
A festive twist doing the tango with a classic Mule.
Add Pudding Gin, lime slice and a seeded cherry to a tall chilled glass filled with ice. Top with ginger beer and garnish with a cherry.
Raspberry Gin Sour
The perfect balance between sweet and sour with a focus on raspberries which are plentiful during summer.
Add the gin, raspberries, lemon juice and egg white to a cocktail shaker. Shake for 15 seconds without ice (this emulsifies the egg). Add ice to the shaker and shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with raspberries.
Recipes provided by Familiar Spirits
Meet the dynamic duo behind Familiar Spirits, delicious small batch spirits made in the heart of Burleigh Heads. Lana and Justin Bell are the creative minds and driving forces behind this one-of-a-kind venture. From crafting unique tasting experiences to curating an exquisite collection of artisanal spirits, Lana and Justin’s passion for their craft is infectious. We dive into Lana’s story, how she started Familiar Spirits and get the scoop on their latest venture.
How long have you been Gold Coast locals?
We’ve been on the Gold Coast for 3 years now. We moved to Miami from just over the border in Casuarina in 2020. We lived in Miami for a year while we built on our block of land in Bonogin.
What do you love the most about the Gold Coast?
The sense of community. We love knowing our local shop owners and everyone is so supportive of local business. On the Gold Coast you can enjoy the best of everything – with the beach, hinterland and shopping all within 30 minutes of each other.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
We’ve been married for 17 years and have four daughters, life is very busy and full right now. I studied graphic design straight out of school and have worked in various creative roles before settling on photography where I’ve been working for myself as a portrait photographer for the past 16 years. I’m now winding that back to focus on growing our distillery. I’m always striving to make everything in our lives beautiful so that spills over into interior decoration, entertaining and my garden. I’m particularly obsessed with growing roses, I have over 40 in the garden which means we have a constant supply of blooms.
Growing up in Byron Bay, Justin’s never been far from the Gold Coast. He’s the alchemist and our distiller while also working a full time job as a solutions architect. Justin is known by everyone for his cooking skills – especially on the BBQ and takes his food quite seriously 😉
Tell us about Familiar Spirits.
As passionate foodies and gardeners, we use home grown ingredients when possible to manufacture our spirits and liqueurs. Additionally, we engage local creatives such as photographers, graphic designers (the one and only Kiel Tillman), and ceramicists (handmade ceramic/reusable/refillable
Familiar Spirits is as much about the experience of mixing a cocktail for a friend to enjoy as it is about the taste and quality of the spirits themselves. We believe that the act of crafting a cocktail is an art form, and we want our customers to feel like skilled mixologists when they use our products. We’re dedicated to providing a complete experience, from the first sip to the last, and we hope to inspire our customers to explore their creativity and share their love of entertaining with others.
What inspired you to create Familiar Spirits?
A love of food and drink. We had always tossed around the idea about starting a cocktail bar. It slowly morphed into creating the spirits themselves and now that cocktail bar is also on the horizon, with our cellar door opening at the end of the year!
Familiar Spirits has a strong focus on providing craft spirits with character. Could you elaborate on how you curate a collection that stands out from the mainstream market?
It’s funny you say that because we’ve developed each spirit with a backstory of a rich aristocratic family and the characters within that family unit.
For example, ‘The Butler’s Gin’ is the gin we imagine they have their butler deliver to them on a silver platter at 5pm each evening. ‘The Lakehouse’ is the fabulous Cape Cod style home where they spend their summers.
Our next release will be a rum named after the aristocratic pirate who left his plantation to pillage on the high seas (keep your eyes peeled for that one in the next few months!)
Your commitment to sustainability and supporting local is commendable. How do you ensure that these values are integrated into your business practices and the spirits you offer?
First and foremost, we use as many local businesses as we possibly can in our production and end product.
For example, working with a local box manufacturer in Burleigh is so much easier than going via China – we can have items made up with hours notice, we’re supporting local manufacturing and we get to make friends with the business owners – what’s better than that?
We also love to collaborate with local creatives and help to grow our arts scene on the Gold Coast. We’re currently working with ceramicist Jo Norton to hand make porcelain bottles that can be refilled at our cellar door, reducing waste and making a simple bottle of liquor more beautiful!
Could you share a favourite cocktail using Familiar Spirits?
We created the Elderflower Martini, it’s a fresh cocktail that everyone loves – it’s easy to drink but also packs a punch.
Elderflower & Gin Martini
30ml The Butler’s Gin
15ml Elderflower Liqueur
15ml Lime Juice
15ml Simple syrup
Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Double strain into a chilled Nick & Nora glass. No garnish
Can you provide a sneak peek into any upcoming initiatives or expansions that your customers can anticipate?
We’re busy bees at the moment, having just onboarded with Dan Murphy’s and BWS locally, we are pushing the Still to the max every day.
Our brand new distillery space is being built right now in Burleigh and should be ready for handover in November.
As soon as we’re in, it’ll be all hands on deck to fit out the most beautiful tiny cocktail bar at the front of our premises and welcome the public to join us for drinks.
We have a lot of fun ideas in the works for food and drink events at the distillery – stay tuned in 2024 😉
What are your Gold Coast Favourites:
Favourite café: You’ll find us once or twice a week at Juniors Deli in Mudgeeraba. I live for their sandwiches, particularly the BLT.
Favourite restaurant: It’s hard to beat pizzas from Franc Jnrs in Coolangatta.
Favourite bar: Ours of course!
Favourite beach: Early mornings at Currumbin Alley before the crowds is pretty spectacular.
How do you choose to spend your days off?
Given the chance, we’re at home gardening with the BBQ on and a cocktail not too far away. We recently built the dream house on an acre block so we have quite a bit to do!
Okay friends, we need to talk.
There are very few sleeps until Christmas day and yes, our hearts started pounding too. Firstly because it’s legit our favourite time of the year and secondly coz crap, we need to get our rears into gear and sort presents stat.
If you’re like us and running way behind in this department (every.darn.year), here’s a roundup of inspo to help you get a wriggle on.
Being the proud Gold Coasters that we are, each of our suggestions is based in our ‘hood, coz #supportlocal will forever be our favourite hashtag (and we do love a good hashtag, in case you hadn’t noticed).
Here we go….
Spirits and Beer
Get in the spirit this Christmas – quite literally! Who doesn’t love a tipple so a pressie from one of these local booze-bosses, you’ll be the golden child/friend/niece/nephew/co-worker…you get the gist.
If you’re searching for a gin on the northern GC, look no further than Biggera Waters’ White Oat Distillery. These gents sure know how to hand craft a cracking drop, like their London Dry Gin.
Turning to the central power players, Granddad Jack’s in Miami will sort you out with an extra special Christmas spirit in the form of Pavlova Gin and this is exactly how we like our dessert. Or hit up another newbie which has also been attracting attention for all the right reasons, Burleigh’s Familiar Spirits. We highly recommend their limited-edition Pudding Gin (you’re welcome).
For the beer enthusiasts, you just can’t beat Burleigh Brewing Co. (the Burleigh Twisted Palm Tropical Pale Ale is the shiz) or Lost Palms. Black Hops (and Black Hops II in Biggera Waters) never disappoint, nor does their Foreverland Grapefruit XPA. If an authentic Belgian brew or two is on someone’s wish list, it’s all about Ashmore’s Madlocke Beer Brewing Company.
Like booze, we all love threads so when in doubt, look to these local legends!
PJ’s are a go-to for a well-received Chrissie gift and Homebodii specialises in thoughtfully created, elegant sleepwear which, bonus, can be personalised.
Shop the comfiest and coolest loungewear for women and kiddos at Momi Babie (where everything is $20 or less right now), or head for Rhythm in Burleigh for the coastal surfy vibing missus or mister.
The lads at Alfred’s Apartment are providing our local men with an ever-growing range of curated fashion and accessories. And, on a totally unrelated note, you NEED to drop in and check out their coffee slushies stat. #thankuslater.
For the ultimate #supportlocal nod, you cannot go past The Undercurrent. Stocking men’s and women’s unique, high quality tees, singlets and caps designed exclusively by Gold Coast artists who share a passion for our city’s culture, it’s the perfect stocking filler.
We all love homewares (verified fact) and Kira and Kira in Miami stock the highest quality, timeless homewares, décor, artwork, and furniture. For beautiful wall art, wallpaper and planners, Mint Art Co have endless gorgeous options. For one-of-a-kind fine art pieces, prints and super cute repositionable decals we recommend The Confetti Collective.
For linen lovers (AKA e.v.e.r.y.o.n.e), I Love Linen has a long list of goodies for the bedroom, the kitchen, and beyond.
For the greenery enthusiast, pop into Greenfolk Botany Shop in Burleigh for plants, cacti, succulents, pots, home and garden wares.
Now these guys aren’t strictly Gold Coaster’s (hailing from just over the border) but we reckon Clubbies Prints Gold Coast surf series are so spesh they need to be included #soznotsoz.
Simple Sunday Designs is your go-to for linen beach bags and yes, this.is.a.thing! Every Gold Coaster appreciates a lush, premium quality beach or bath towel, just like those at Mayde Towels and no-one does environmentally-friendly natural skincare like Sabbia Co.
Uggs are the quintessential Aussie must-have and the genuine, original version are crafted right here on the GC at Ugg Australian Made. Our tip: personalise your Ugg for a truly unforgettable gift! Small-batch, ethically crafted gold and silver jewellery from Merchants of the Sun is a great stocking filler, as is luxury hand-made artisan chocolate from Little Cocoa.
If you still haven’t found what you’re looking for, settle petal because The Village Markets always deliver amazing, well, everything. Lifestlye boutique Halo & Grace, in Mermaid Beach, is chock full of a beautifully curated mix of goodies.
And, last but not least, if you’ve yet to discover The Kindred Trader in Burleigh, now is your perfect opportunity. Housing an abundance of Australian and international brands their goodies aim to bring light, colour and joy to your home and life. Be warned, you may *accidentally* leave with a few goodies for yourself as well as your loved one!
Words by Bianca Trathen.
The Grinch is a fictional character created by Dr. Seuss. He is best known as the main character of the 1957 children’s book How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Grinch is depicted as a green, pot-bellied, furry, pear-shaped, snub-nosed creature with a cat-like face and cynical personality.
The Grinch cocktail is Cauldron Distillery’s take on a bit of Christmas fun; it’s green, spicy and will give you a Christmas kick.
1. In the bottom of a cocktail shaker (or using a blender), muddle the cucumber slices until liquid
2. Half-fill the shaker with ice and add the rest of the ingredients.
3. Place the top on the cocktail shaker and shake well until well combined.
4. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with a candy cane hanging over the side of the glass.
Recipe provided by Cauldron Distillery.