I like to think that I am pretty lucky in the people that I call my clients. I know a lot of people with an incredible amount of talent, and one of those is Charlie Ainsbury. Charlie with his business partner Luke run one of the best bars in Sydney, This Must Be The Place, named Timeouts Best New Bar of the Year in 2016. Being that they are both absolutely top-shelf bartenders, they have this tendency to win awards – and there isn’t a bigger cocktail award in Australia than the World Class Cocktail Competition, which Charlie won in 2014 and again in 2016. Pretty incredible huh.
I was invited by BLANK Agency, the marketing gurus for This Must Be The Place, to help design the packaging for a product that was part of the submission for this years World Class Cocktail Competition – a ready-to-pour cocktail that could be sold off the shelf. Charlie created an amazing cocktail inspired by the passion of Don Julio Gonzalez, the maker of Don Julio Tequila, which extends the cocktail flavours and experience into the meal, blurring the boundaries between wine and cocktail. Infused with vanilla, cardamon, chardonnay and star anise, this cocktail is the perfect accompaniment to food and brings out the best in a range of flavours.
For the bottle design, we utilised watercolours to abstractly show the range and levels in the cocktail, from strong and rich to light and fruity.
The label was designed to compete with a range of wines in the category, particularly those which are biodynamic and boutique. Wine labels are typically beautiful, with a focus on art and design elements like illustration and watercolours, and so to appeal to a similar target market and belong as a part of the category, similar inspirations were used.
To accompany the cocktail, we created a booklet that was designed to educate the customers, being that this product is a completely new concept and quite innovative. This would be hung on the bottle and is full of ingredient illustrations, tasting notes and serving instructions, to make sure that each bottle of Domaine Julio is served in the way it was intended, to best appreciate the flavours.
I love working with anyone who loves what they do, and the team at This Must Be The Place are exactly that. Here’s hoping that this beautiful cocktail is available on shelf sometime in the near future – but in the meantime, I guess I will just have to settle for having a tipple or two at the bar.