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Monday 12 December 2022

Just peachy: unique new beverage ticks many hipster boxes

Three big trends in the drinks space right now are now/no alcohol beverages; small-batch production and the use of indigenous ingredients.

A new collaboration between indigenous bush foods specialist Kakadu Kitchen and Sydney's ALTD Spirits ticks all three of those hipster boxes.

The two have paired to create the first an-marabula native peach Bellini - a Kakadu interpretation of an Italian classic.

The new limited-edition non-alcoholic beverage is based on an-marabula, the Kakadu native peach and is being promoted as the first beverage to use an-marabula.

The native peaches were harvested by Kakadu Kitchen owner and Bininj man Ben Tyler and his extended family at their Murdudjurl community on Murumburr country in the heart of Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory.

The fruit has been combined with botanical extracts and a de-alcoholised Australian sparkling wine.

The debut run is limited to just 300 cases, with small quantities available at Kakadu’s two premier hotels -Cooinda Lodge and Mercure Kakadu Crocodile Hotel - as well as at specialist retailers including PNV Merchants in Newtown and Paddington (NSW) in Sydney, and online.

Kakadu Kitchen’s Ben Tyler said that while Kakadu plum had become known world-wide for its rich vitamin C content and health credentials, the an-marabula native peach - which is fuzzy, like a peach, but the size of a grape - had never been harvested for use in commercial products.

“Fortunately, the bush around our remote family community at Murdudjurl produces large quantities of an-marabula, so my mum and respected senior Murumburr Elder, Jessie Alderson, her great-grandson Ngarridj (Dave), and I were able to harvest a considerable quantity which I brought to Sydney for the production,” Tyler said.

“Tim Triggs from ALTD and I experimented with a range of recipes before coming up with the final version, and I really think it makes the most of the native ingredient, an-marabula.

"This was the first commercial production of Kakadu native peaches, so we had to work out the best way of using such an exotic bush food while creating a Bellini-style drink.

“Unlike most peaches, the an-marabula is not very fruity, rather it is earthy in taste with distinct botanical tones. Almost bittersweet.

“We created an extract from the Kakadu native peaches to capture the unique flavour and then combined it with peach and vanilla flavours to create a really distinctive, native and refreshing Bellini.

“It really is a ‘taste of Kakadu’ – wild, aromatic and a beautiful mouthfeel.

“Importantly, the production and ingredients are totally in line with our sustainable principles. That’s how my family have lived in Kakadu for generations, and I wanted to bring that heritage to this product.”

The pair is now working on the next drink in the line-up, a smoked bush white apple with native spices.

Cartons of 4 x 250ml cans are available from $25.00 from ALTD Spirits at

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