Metaxa 12 stars launches in Australia with explorer Mike Horn

On Tuesday 13 June 2017, we embarked on an exploration of Metaxa 12 Stars (a Greek brandy-like spirit) with master distiller Constantine Raptis and South African explorer Mike Horn at View by Sydney at Walsh Bay.

Metaxa 12 Stars is an amber-coloured spirit made with grape distillates, muscat wines from the Greek Island of Samos and 12 blends Including May roses and Mediterranean botanicals. Every ingredient is completely natural and organic. On the nose, you can smell the dried figs, orange peel and aromatic herbs. On the palate, you can taste the chocolate, honey, figs, orange and licorice. And for the finish, you can taste a touch of spice and orange peel.

The House of Metaxa was founded in Piraeus in 1888 by Spyros Metaxa, the creator of the original Metaxa. The business expanded where in 1900, he started exporting to the United States. It became an instant success in the spirit market where he sold 36,000 cases in 1916. It has won several gold medals at international spirit competitions, the most prestigious was the Grand Prix in the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. It is now sold in more than 60 countries worldwide.

At the launch, we had a tasting lead by master distiller Constantine (Costas) Raptis. He is the fifth master distiller since its inception and is the person who guarantees the continuity of Metaxa. He selects the ingredients, ages and blends them to create the unique spirit of Metaxa. He created Metaxa 12 stars. At the event, he described how he sourced the best muscat wines from Samos. He blended and aged them. Then, when he felt they were right, he combined them with grape distillates that had been matured in Limousin oak casks of various degrees of toasting. He added the botanicals and, as a final touch, he added longer aged muscat wine blends and grape distillates.

We also saw a presentation by the ambassador for Metaxa 12 stars, South African explorer Mike Horn. Mike Horn became the first man to cross Antarctica solo only towed by skis in February 2017. He covered 5,100km in only 57 days! He is currently on the expedition Pole2Pole, a two-year circumnavigation of the globe via the two poles. He became famous in 2001 for completing an 18 month solo journey around the equator without any motorised transport. In 2004 he completed a 27 month solo circumnavigation of the Arctic Circle, and in 2006 (along with Norwegian explorer Børge Ousland) became the first men to travel without a dog or motorised transport to the North Pole during winter, in permanent darkness.

Mike Horn showed us some amazing photos of places that very few have seen. He told us of the dangers of exploring and how he overcomes them (including how he climbs mountains at very high altitudes without oxygen. He also told us about his personal love of Metaxa 12 stars and how he carries crates of it in his sailing boat. He even told us he has drunk it with ice from the ice age (which makes it taste very different).

Mike Horn asks drinkers to go on a journey and explorer Metaxa 12 stars. “METAXA 12 Stars is so unique that the principle of discovery is what matters. You sense it, you look at it, you listen to it. You don’t drink METAXA 12 Stars, you explore it!”

Metaxa 12 Stars is best drunk neat or with a single ice cube.

Metaxa 12 Star is now available at select Dan Murphy’s and independent liquor stores fo the RRP $70.

Discover more about Metaxa 12 stars at:




Jacob Cohen wins the Southern Comfort Travelling Tales Cocktail Competition

The soul of New Orleans was brought to Sydney on Tuesday night by Southern Comfort as NOLA hosted the National Finals of the 2017 Southern Comfort Travelling Tales Cocktail Competition.

NOLA Smokehouse and Bar in Barangaroo was a suitably fitting venue, with NOLA being an abbreviation of Southern Comfort’s birthplace, New Orleans.

South Trade International have recently added Southern Comfort to their impressive portfolio and are on a mission to bring some authenticity back to the brand. Prior to the takeover Southern Comfort didn’t actually contain any whiskey, and for this reason was discredited by many bartenders. South trade International have brought the spirit back to its roots and returned it to it’s rightful whiskey shelf, much to the delight of everyone in the room at NOLA.

Bartenders across the country entered the Southern Comfort Travelling Tales Cocktail Competition by submitting an original Southern Comfort-based cocktail inspired by an authentic story for their chance to be crowned Australia’s national champion.

Ten of Australia’s finest mixologists made it through their respective state finals, two from each state. On the night of the final, each finalist presented their cocktail by creating it live in front of a panel of judges, whilst describing the story that inspired it.

The top ten finalists were:

  1. Wen Yu Wang, Bro Fist (NOLA smokehouse & bar, NSW)
  2. Emma Burns, The Shoreditch Sazzy (The Clock Hotel, NSW)
  3. Jacob Cohen, The Bootlegger (Three Wolves, QLD)
  4. Ryan Lane, Lalaurie Zoom (The Gresham, QLD)
  5. Gregory Perrot, Southern Comfort Hot Toddy(Skycity Casino, NT)
  6. Dan Wall, Saving Grace (Nola, SA)
  7. Genevieve Maladay, Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop (Garden State Hotel, VIC)
  8. Hayley Dixon, Battle & Hum (Lily Blacks, VIC)
  9. Peter Van Zeller, Blazing Heron (Daddy Long Legs, WA)
  10. James Mason, Berry Herbed (Ku De Ta, WA)

The winning cocktail was The Bootlegger created by Jacob Cohen from Three Wolves in Queensland. His cocktail was made with 60ml Southern Comfort, 25ml NOLA rebirth pale ale/aperol/honey reduction, 20ml lemon juice, one barspoon of saline solution. He will receive an all-expenses paid trip to New Orleans including tickets to ‘Tales of the Cocktail’ and an honorary bartending spot at one of the city’s top bars.

There were three refreshing cocktails created for those who came to see the Southern Comfort Travelling Tales Cocktail Competition final: Southern Hurricane (made with Southern Comfort, fresh lemon juice, orange juice, pineapple juice and a splash of grenadine), Southern Lousiana Lemonade (made with Southern Comfort, triple sec, sour mix, a dash of bitters and topped with lemonade), and Southern Comfort Old Fashioned (made with Southern Comfort, soda water and bitters).

The delicious canapes on offer were oysters rocks and pacific, wood fired capsicum tartlet, hiramasa kingfish pastrami, blackened voodoo wings, tuna sashimi lightly torched, seared scallops, chargrilled lamb ribs, buttermilk fried chicken bites, smoked garlic potato croquettes and a selection of sliders.

For more information of Southern Comfort travelling tales cocktail competition visit:

Post was written by Abigail Andrews.

Sydney Event Blogger was an invited guest