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The Lovedale Smash: A Collaboration Between the Hunter’s Top Vineyard, Distillery and Hotel

Posted on: 21 February 2024

In a trinity of taste, QT Newcastle has collaborated with Mount Pleasant Vineyard and Earp Distilling Co., to present the 2024 Lovedale Smash, infusing the spirit of the Hunter into select bars in the Steel City.

Inspired by Australia’s greatest single vineyard of Sémillon, 100 kilograms of Mount Pleasant’s esteemed 2024 Sémillon harvest have been selected to bypass the fermentation process and hit the rock glass. Rooftop at QT’s Venue Manager, Dave Watkins, has developed a classically inspired, exclusive cocktail recipe combining Mount Pleasant’s freshly crushed Sémillon juice with Earp’s No. 8 Dry Gin for a balanced seasonal summer sipper, available until 12 March. Mount Pleasant’s General Manager and Chief Winemaker, Adrian Sparks, expressed his excitement for local partnership and future plans saying, “this collaboration is something that we can do to promote the Newcastle and Hunter region, and we’re already in conversation about recreating the ‘smash’ with red grape varieties”.

The 2024 Lovedale Smash celebrates local and pays homage to cocktail culture’s earliest days, with the ‘smash’ style cocktail dating back to Jerry Thomas’ 1862 book, ‘How to Mix Drinks’. Thomas’ recipe called for a simple concoction of spirit, sugar and grapes. Watkins called the decision to pair Earp Distilling Co.’s No. 8 Dry Gin a “no-brainer”. Produced and bottled locally Watkins praises the No. 8 Dry Gin as “well-rounded and refreshing from taste to tail”. Reaffirming the perfect pair in the Sémillon juice and No.8 Dry Gin, Earp Distillery’s Venue Manager, Mitch Luke says, “the sweetness and the slight acidity of the grape juice lends itself to the spicy undertone of the gin”, creating a harmonious blend of flavours in every sip.

The 2024 Lovedale Smash is available now for $14 at both QT Newcastle and Earp Distilling Co. until March 12 2024, with $4 from every sale donated directly to the Pokolbin Rural Fire Brigade.

-ENDS-

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