There’s something about the word symmetry at Underground Spirits at the moment. Not only has it rebranded its bottles to feature a stylised map of Canberra but everything about the business appears to be falling into line.
Now they’ve just collected some more, winning silver for gin and vodka, a silver in the vodka and tonic category, and a bronze in the gin and tonic category at the 2018 International Wine and Spirits Competition in London at the end of July.
Underground also received a double gold for its vodka, and a silver medal for its gin at the 2018 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, regarded as one of the most competitive and influential and competitions in the spirit world.
While the team loves the international recognition, Angstmann says they don’t want to lose sight of the fact that they’re a Canberra business.
“It’s who we are,” he says, proud of the fact that the business still runs out of an unassuming shed in Kambah.
“Our new brand will help launch and expand Underground Spirits globally, while firmly cementing our Canberra roots through the design and brand identity.
“It’s designed to reflect the Underground Spirits personality – unashamedly modern, innovative, unconventional and reflective of the Australian character.
“The stylised map is a direct reference to our provenance but also to our patented cryofiltering method. It’s a symbol of place and process.”
Always looking to push the boundaries Underground Spirits is launching a new product, a coffee vodka developed in conjunction with Bellerophon Coffee.
“Ross, Andy and I had always spoken about doing a coffee vodka but we really wanted to do something different,” Angstmann said.
“As soon as we met Alex Leech from Bellerophon we knew we had to collaborate to create something truly unique.
“We wanted to make a vodka for coffee purists, not as sweet as some of the products on the market. This was our aim because we thought given our vodkas purity we could achieve something really special. The end result is a wonderful marriage between two artisans, one making coffee and one making spirits, building complementary complexity and flavours together.”
Leech says the collaboration came quite naturally.
“We began exploring how our individual specialisations would blend, and it wasn’t long before the idea for this recipe came about,” Leech said.
“It only took a couple of attempts before we had what you see in the bottle today.
“The most apparent synergy between Underground Spirits and Bellerophon is the fine balance of art and science in both the coffee and distilling industries. We both walk this line constantly as a part of our core values.”
The coffee vodka is infused through Bellerophon’s cold-brewed coffee process, macerating it for 24 hours to extract the flavour of the coffee. The cold brew coffee is made using single origin sustainably farmed and produced coffee with both complexity and a subtle touch of sweetness on the palate, but with no added sugar, it is not a sweet product.
Leech says it’s best served simply with a good quality tonic and garnished with a slice of orange.