86 Co Spirits with Simon Ford

Bar flies can look forward to four new spirits soon to hit Sydney bars. The 86 Co spirits are the creations of global spirit industry experts, Simon Ford, Dushan Zaric, Jason Kosmas and Malte Barnekow who developed the range after consulting with bartenders about what they wanted the most out of spirits for their back bar.

Speaking at the soft launch into the Australian market, Simon Ford explains that the company was built from a bartender’s perspective. “We spoke to bartenders about what they wanted in spirits, gin, rum, tequila and vodka.” The spirits range shares common factors. They all have high viscosity and texture, are flavour-forward and on the higher end of ABV.

86Co Spirits with Simon Ford
86 Co Spirits

Tequila Cabeza

Tequila Cabeza hails from the highlands of Jalisco. The 43% ABV spirit is made from 100% estate owned agave from Arandas in Los Altos. The agave are picked when they reach 7-9 years old, are slow-cooked for 24 hours and fermented only during the winter months. The spirit is rested in stainless steel vats which bring out the yeast and fruit character.

On the nose, it has prominent agave and a grassy/earthy character. On the palate, it exhibits body and viscosity with an earthy and savoury flavour with a little jalapeño kick. It makes a fine sipping tequila as well as good in cocktails. Some may even say it tastes like a reposado but without the oak.

Fords Gin

Fords Gin from London (45% ABV) is described as “a jack of all trades” gin and has own New Brand of the Year at Tales of the Cocktail 2013. Made of 50% juniper, coriander seed, bitter orange, lemon, grapefruit peel, and sweet botanicals such as jasmine flower, angelica, cassia bark and orris root. The gin is surprisingly delicate on he nose with its juniper character but explodes on the palate with a flavour, smoothness and marked viscosity.

Cana Brava Rum

Cana Brava rum from Panama 43% ABV is a traditional carta blanca style of rum made in the 1920s style. The spirit is very dry, sugarcane forward, light on the nose with hints of Agricole rum. The spirit is distilled in a 1922 cooper still with rum veteran Don Pancho from Panama, once a master distiller of Havana Club and Cuban Minister of rum for 35 years. Not a sipping style of rum, the spirit is clean and light and goes well suits in cocktails.

Aylesbury Duck Vodka

“You’ve got Wild Turkey and Grey Goose Vodka, why not Aylesbury Duck Vodka?” Simon Ford says in jest. You’ve got to love a brand that pokes fun at itself on the label. Named after the most superior of birds, the 40% ABV spirit is made from white winter Wheat in Canada. Textural, creamy with a good body, it has no glycerols added. The flavour is clean with a spicy with a grainy character.

86Co Spirits with Simon Ford
Simon Ford in Sydney at Low 302 Bar

You can find these spirits at some of Sydney’s best bars including The Barber Shop, Eau de Vie Bar, Rockpool Bar & Grill, Vasco and Low 302.

Photography © by Gourmantic – Copyright: All rights reserved.


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About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.