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Introducing the 2024 Lovedale Smash

What do you get when you bring together a winemaker, gin distiller and a hotelier? The 2024 Lovedale Smash, magic, mixed and muddles here in the heart of Steel City.

To celebrate the start of the 2024 Hunter vintage, 100 kilograms of Mount Pleasant Wine’s Sémillon harvest has skipped the fermentation process to be found in an exclusive cocktail at Rooftop at QT and Earp Distilling Co. Before we go on, a wee disclaimer that we’re not taking credit for the idea. The ‘smash’ style cocktail traces all the way back to cocktail culture’s earliest days in Jerry Thomas’ 1862 book ‘How to Mix Drinks’. Thomas’ recipe was straightforward; spirit, sugar and grapes – a presto! Sounds simple right? Well for Rooftop at QT’s Venue Manager, Dave Watkins, it entailed a little more groundwork than that.

Mount Pleasant Wines

The harvest of 2024 definitely kept us on our toes. With no set harvest date and the timing completely in Mother Nature’s hands, we had to play the waiting game. But while we awaited the arrival of the grapes, we set our sights on the perfect spirit. And for us, bringing on board Earp Distilling Co., a local distillery just a stone’s throw (or ferry ride) away from ours, was a no-brainer.

With a nod from Mitch Luke, Earp Distilling Co.’s Venue Manager, we crowned the No. 8 Dry Gin as the hero spirt. This spirit isn’t your average tipple, it’s vibrant, refreshing and well rounded, adding an extra layer of local.

2024 Lovedale Smash

During the cocktail’s inception back in December 2023, Chief Winemaker Adrian Sparks of Mount Pleasant Vineyard, found himself amidst a fire outbreak in the Hunter region. It felt only right to give back to our community through the 2024 Lovedale smash, with $4 from every sale being donated directly to the Pokolbin Rural Fire Brigade. 

Mitch Luke (Earp Distilling Co. Venue Manager), Michael Stamboulidis (QT Newcastle General Manager), Adrian Sparks (Mount Pleasant Wines Chief Wine Maker).

With the grapes skipping the fermentation process, our grape juice has a limited shelf life — so there’s just a few weeks to enjoy this exclusive summer sipper! So, grab your glass and savour every drop of the 2024 Lovedale Smash before it bids adieu on March 12th.


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