“In 2004 I was enjoying lunch with some friends at a restaurant in the tropical oasis of Tamborine Mountain, Queensland (the hinterland behind the Gold Coast) when this bubbly, feisty little man (who looked a bit like Santa) bounced up to my friend Gabi to say “G’day!” She introduced me to Michael Ward as ‘such a character’ and we hit it off immediately!
During the course of lunch Gabi said, “now that you’ve moved up here what are you going to do?” My options were wide open, and she told me that Michael and his wife Alla owned and operated the Tamborine Mountain Distillery. “You’re an artist,” she said, “why don’t you apply for a job hand- painting the bottles, maybe Alla could use some help as she does them all!”
I had never seen any of their hand-painted bottles so decided I wanted to show up with some evidence that I could paint. I wanted to keep it relevant, so after doodling a couple of paintings on a port and some wine bottles I headed up to the Distillery where I was greeted with great enthusiasm by Michael. When I asked if he and Alla were looking for any help painting their bottles, he showed me Alla’s beautiful Folk Artwork.
I produced the bottles I had painted, at which he announced, “Oh they are way to detailed for what we do, how long did one take you to do?” I didn’t know as these were the first bottles I had ever painted and I hadn’t really timed myself he said “Yes, but can you paint one in two minutes, that’s how long it takes Alla to do one, are you that good?” “yep” I said, “I’d just need to practise!”.
Well, I didn’t get the job hand painting bottles, but Michael did say he would keep me in mind if any fine detail artwork projects came up as they had a few new native Australian flavour liqueurs in the pipeline. I didn’t hold my breath.
Shortly after that my family moved to the UK to live, one morning I received a phone call from Oz (Michael) “Darling, I have been trying to track you down, Gabi said you’d left the country! Luckily, she gave me your number - we want to commission you to paint a label for us, can you do it?”
“Absobloodylutely!” I said, “you know how to make a girl’s day, what do you need?”
The Australian Herbal Liqueur was born and with much correspondence I had the privilege of painting the detailed Australian bushland artwork that you see on the product today.
My good fortune continued when they offered me the prestigious opportunity to design their label for the ‘first ever manufactured in Australia’ Absinthe. Under their direction the ‘Moulin Rooz’ brand was born (his little wordplay on Moulin Rouge). I continued to paint other botanical flowers and plants for their delicious liqueurs whilst having the best job in the world as one of the staff in their boutique shop and tasting room. Life just didn’t get better than that!
Things changed when I had to leave my fabulous lifestyle to help out my parents but I continued to paint pieces of artwork on occasion for the Distillery right up until Michael and Alla retired and sold their business it to Shumei and Gordon in October 2017.
I was invited to celebrate the Distillery’s 20-year anniversary, what a fabulous weekend, especially when Gordon and Shumei asked if I would be interested in painting a series of labels for their limited edition ‘Eau De Vie’ range under the Moulin Rooz brand! I have never been so excited in my life!
It is with pure pleasure that I continue to produce artwork at their request, I was so happy when I was asked if I would consider being the distillery’s resident artist, my ‘dream job’ as they say...when you do something you love, you never work a day in your life! Thank you, Tamborine Mountain Distillery, it is an honour to be part of your team.”
Today visitors can still see Anne’s original artworks on display at our Distillery Tasting Room at Tamborine Mountain. Anne has recently painted a whole new range of botanical labels for our new 700ml Professional series bottle labels which will be launched in the coming weeks.
This is the question most of you will start asking yourselves shortly, if you haven’t already...
Between the traditional stuffed turkey, glazed ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, and, of course, the endless range of delicious Christmas desserts, it can be hard to choose something that will be a little bit different, to make this Christmas especially memorable.
This year we thought we’d help you take all those beautiful classic dishes that have been passed down for generations, to new heights by adding a touch of a Liqueur or Spirit that will complement the flavours we all love and add some festive pizazz.
So, get ready to sample recipes that are sure to be in demand for years to come, ranging from delicious appetizers, to mouth-watering roasts, to decadent desserts.
Oysters with Limoncello Granita
Limoncello granita is a fun way to serve oysters this Christmas. Serve this condiment on a platter of freshly shucked oysters and let the magic of our zesty Limoncello happen!
Wild Citrus Vodka Cured Salmon
Home curing your salmon means you can add a festive twist to it with a bit of vodka! Get the freshest salmon from your local fisho and begin the recipe at least 2/3 days before serving.
Prawn Cocktails with Chilli Pepper Vodka dressing
This dish is our twist on an old classic recipe, making it a great start to a festive meal.
Watermelon balls infused with Lilly Pilly Gin
Who knew that watermelon infused in Lilly Pilly Gin could make for such a refreshing Christmas treat that is so easy to make?
Turkey with Orange and Macadamia Liqueur Stuffing
Take the traditional turkey to a whole new level by making this nutty stuﬃng. Add a Christmas hit of our Macadamia Liqueur to give a gentle, spicy sweetness to the stuffing. Delicious!
Roasted Turkey Breast with Apple Schnapps, pork and Pistachio Stuffing
This Stuffing is simply delicious - another treat to serve with your turkey this Christmas. Pistachios are complemented by the sweetness of apple, and our touch of Apple Schnapps enhances all the flavours in this stuffing – superb!
Bells of Saint Clements Liqueur glazed Christmas ham
Ham is a traditional part of the Christmas feast, so we decided to use our very first Liqueur, Bells of Saint Clements Liqueur to add a beautiful citrus flavour to our glaze. A touch of Christmas pizazz!
Lemon Myrtle Vodka Baked Salmon
A hot Christmas Day often means we crave something fresher for lunch rather than the traditional roasted main dishes. This Salmon recipe is the perfect alternative. The Lemon Myrtle Vodka intensifies all the citrus flavours and gives the flesh a beautiful texture. The perfect hot Christmas Day main!
Christmas Pudding with Festive Fruit Cocktail Liqueur
Christmas pudding enriched with our Festive Fruit Cocktail Liqueur, served with a rich custard is one of the traditional desserts, and really says, “Merry Christmas!”
Christmas Mince Pies with Spiced Gold Rum
Keep the tradition of serving mince pies during the Festive Season alive with our festive fruit pies that have been reinvented with our Spiced Gold Rum.
Pavlova with Passionfruit Liqueur Coulis
Pavlova is one of the Aussie favourites when it comes to Christmas desserts. Toppings can vary, although we really like the idea of red fruits with a coulis of Passionfruit Liqueur as a tipsy topping!
Christmas Tiramisu with Apricot Brandy Liqueur
We love tiramisu, and we found that this classic Italian dessert is another favourite for Christmas Day celebrations, particularly in hot weather. A touch of our Apricot Brandy Liqueur adds a delightfully festive note to the conclusion of a fabulous meal!
Our Grand Opening was a great success with over 200 people turning up for an evening of cocktails, food and celebration. We had specially made some Liqueurs infused cupcakes to welcome our guests and this was a huge success, in fact they miraculously disappeared as quickly as the caterers had positioned them for the attending press to film! How could anyone resist a Strawberry Daiquiri cupcake or a Passionfruit Margarita cupcake or a gluten free Chocolate and Salty Caramel one, infused with a smooth Salty Caramel liqueur?
A beautiful local band played music in the background and we started off offering cocktails designed for the occasion made only with our award-winning drinks and keeping the Australian natives’ plants theme.
We choose to mix Lychee and Elderflower Liqueur with Lilly Pilly Gin, lychee syrup and lime juice in a highball glass on ice garnished with edible flower and a lychee on a skewer. This cocktail was a real hit and our cocktail mixologist Ty, could hardly keep up with the demand.
The other cocktail was a mix of our first ever liqueur BOSC (Bells of St. Clements) which is a blend of lemon, lime and grapefruit liqueur with our Wild Citrus Vodka and Cranberry juice, served up in a Martini glass. The fun of that one was the flamed orange peel trick;
Our last one was a warm flavours cocktails perfect for our cold winter night up here. We decided to mix our Gold Rum with Macadamia and Chai Liqueur on ice in an old-fashioned glass and garnish it with an Orange slice and roasted macadamia nuts.
This cocktail introduction is also the start of one of our future projects which is to offer fresh cocktails to our customers at our Tasting Room. So, stay tuned!
At this time of the evening, the room was fully packed and well fed with some spectacular finger foods and canapes.
We had the pleasure of having the Honourable Jon Krause, our local MP, to officially open the new Tasting Room, after the thank you speeches from the Distillery owners Shumei and Gordon. And of course, the unveiling of our new brass plaque couldn’t be without our traditional Vodka toast and what a sight to hear some two hundred people shouting "Nasdrovia" together and then shoting a glass of Lemon Myrtle Vodka.
We then finished off the fun evening with a mystery tasting game, presenting small glasses of different liqueurs on large platter to our guests for them to choose. All those colours and smells were fascinating our guests who played the game happily.
This was a really great and memorable event and we thank you all for coming and sharing a bit of our exciting journey together!
For those who couldn’t make it, well .. you can always come for a tasting and get to look at our new place whenever you are next up on holidays or just passing through.
Our Davidson Plums have just been hand delivered by lovely Donna and her father Hec. They have been supplying the distillery for the past 10 years and it’s beautiful seeing their love for this indigenous tree and the fruit it bears.
Hec Smith started to plant trees on his property “Amana Park” at Cudgen in the early 1970’s. In 1980 as part of a tree planting project he planted a rainforest plot. In this group of trees was one Davidson’s Plum tree.
After many years this tree fruited and Hec propagated seedlings that he planted out in orchard style with Queensland maples providing the canopy covering. He now has planted some 350 trees that all originate from that one tree in 1980, which is still producing well.
This variety of Davidson’s Plum occurs only in riverine rainforest of the Tweed and Brunswick valleys of the Far North Coast of NSW. The small pink flowers cluster around the trunk followed by the juicy fruit that ripen to a deep purple in the months of December to February. They contain two unusual flat fibrous seeds and has a wonderfully sharp and tart plum flavour. Our Wild Forest Plum is now in production using our latest batch of Davidson’s Plum.