This post contains affiliate links - if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you. If you choose to buy through our links then THANK YOU - it helps us keep this site going. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. For more information, read our disclaimer here.
Sisters Sam and Chris started building Drifters End in 2019 and have been open since 17 June 2022. They found and purchased a site in Cambridge and built Drifters End distillery to their desired specifications. In contrast to most of their concrete-clad neighbours, they've built a distillery that is aesthetically pleasing as well as completely functional. They've established a garden out the side where they're growing botanicals for the gin - macadamia, lemon myrtle, herbs, citrus. There are four sloe bushes, and they're trying to grow wormwood (currently sourcing from Queensland). Their dream distillery is on a farm where Chris (a winemaker) can grow grapes.
Drifters End founders, Sam and Chris (sisters), purchased land in Cambridge in 2019 and commenced building their own distillery. To the right of the building is a small garden where they are hoping to grow their own citrus, macadamia, herbs, sloe berries, and wormwood. The large roof captures rain water, which is stored in the tanks left - the water is triple filtered (including carbon and UV filtration) before being added to Drifters End gins and whisky.
Entrance, tasting area and shop at Drifters End Distillery, where you can buy their spirits directly. We loved them all, though had a particular fondness for the Sloe Gin and the Absinthe.
Drifters End Australian Dry Gin is a harmonious blend of a generous list of the finest traditional gin botanicals infused with Australian native aromatics and pure Tasmanian rainwater. This is a very delicate gin and perfect served simply, over ice.
Drifters End Lemoginello (lemoncello) is made using locally sourced lemons infused in a specially created spicy gin base, resulting in a zesty and refreshing lemon liqueur that is more spirit forward/less sweet, making it Amanda's favourite lemoncello.
Drifters End Sloe Gin is made by steeping wild-grown sloe berries in their award-winning Australian Dry gin. This allows complex flavours and intense colour to sloe-ly develop over several months. Earthy, tangy sweetness, with hints of spice and citrus.
Drifters End Spiced Pumpkin Gin is inspired from the times Sam and Chris spent in America during autumn and winter. Made using Australian pumpkins and selected spices combined with traditional gin botanicals, Drifters End Pumpkin Spice Gin is a unique sipping gin that is perfect for the cooler months.
Drifters End Nebula Gin was developed to showcase the butterfly pea flower – a botanical that when used in gin allows for transformation from a deep violet to perfect pink when a tonic is added. Nebula gin is a delicious and a very cool colour - a perfect unusual gift for a gin lover.
This was Amanda's primary reason for visiting Drifters End - you rarely find locally made Absinthe in Australia! If you're an anise fan it is definitely worth visiting Drifters End just to try their wonderful Absinthe (though now that we've been, we'll go back for the gin too!).
Drifters End Distillation Process
Drifters End's beautiful 600-litre Copper Pot Still, "Annie", was manufactured in Tasmania by Peter Bailey (one of his last stills before he sold his business). Annie is named in honour of Chris and Sam's mum Anne.
The Drifters End distillery site is intended to be quite self-sustainable. Rainwater is collected off the roof and used in production (after being triple filtered, including carbon and UV filters) before being put into the bottle. They have a small garden where they're growing citrus, macadamia, lemon myrtle and Hawthorne/Sloes.
The Drifters End wash (unhopped beer) is produced by Last Rights Brewery (Sullivans Cove also use wash from Last Rights), though they're playing with the yeast type and maturing their spirit in mostly ex-wine casks, which should make for a distinct whisky.
Drifters End utilises neutral grape spirit from the mainland to make their gin and absinthe.
Drifters End's 600 L still and condenser were some of the last made by Peter Bailey, the Tasmanian boiler maker who made his first still for Lark Distillery (Lark's first still) and his last still for Killara Distillery. Drifters End use neutral wine spirit for their gin, and wash from Last Rights for their whisky.
Bottles of Drifters End Gins, from left to right: Dry Gin, Pink Gin, Nebula (butterfly pea flower) Gin, Spiced Pumpkin Gin, Lemoginello, and Sloe Gin.
Casks at Drifters End Distillery are mostly ex-wine casks (front row is pinot, shiraz french oak, american oak chardonnay, american oak bourbon). Their first whisky will be of age in 2024.
We recommend having your own vehicle, or hiring a private tour vehicle (or Uber) when visiting distilleries in this area. While there is public transport, getting between the distilleries requires quite a lot of walking. We booked our vehicle via DiscoverCars.com (affiliate link).
Drifters End Image Gallery
About the author
Amanda is an Australian-born photographer, digital nomad and whisky lover. Her passion for travel and whisky lead her to Islay, where she fell in love with an Ileach (an Islay native). Amanda and Roddy now share their Spirited Adventures.