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By Sophie McComas, ContributorISSUE #037 PROUDLY FOR EVERYONE | Cocktails

The People Behind Our Sydney WorldPride Bottled Cocktails

In case you missed it (hey, maybe you’re just coming out of a coma), Sydney is about to welcome the global LGBTQIA+ community to Sydney for Mardi Gras/Sydney WorldPride 2023. To add to that, we’re also incredibly stoked to be the Official Gin Partner for the festivities from 17 February to 5 March.

As is tradition, each Sydney pride season, we’ve produced two Limited Edition Bottled Cocktails to sip during the season. This year we’ve pulled out all the stops, in line with the extension of Mardi Gras into Sydney WorldPride 2023.

This crop of cocktails is truly iconic and reflective of our beautiful city and it’s LGBTQIA+ community, including three folks from our own pride family including: drinks creative by Jay Dipalo from our production team along with our head of hospitality Harriet Leigh; and cheeky, eye-catching art labels created together with our WorldPride 2023 artist, Luke John Matthew Arnold.

Meet the two Bottled beauties in question: Harbour Cruisin’ and Peaches On Beaches. Then meet the two creatives behind them below, via our recent chat with them both.

Archie Rose chats to illustrator Luke Arnold

Hey Luke, where are you and what are you up to right now?

I’m in a hotel room drawing away on Gadigal land, Sydney and have also just finished facetiming my dog back at home, because yes… I am that person.

*For those of us who might not know your fab Instagram illustrations and statements, can you introduce yourself? *

I am an illustrator and visual artist based on Yuin Country in Braidwood. I like to work with text, camp motifs and pop colours to explore the good, the bad and the real shitty things in my life and the world around me. I roll from being a swearing mantra maker, to focusing on a more sustainable future for the planet, to oversharing about my mental health and life.

Can you talk us through the designs you did for Archie Rose’s two limited edition Sydney WorldPride Bottled Cocktails?

Both titles ‘Peaches on Beaches’ and ‘Harbour Cruisin’ were given to me and the innuendos and cheekiness were right up my alley. Cheekiness aside, I love the celebration of queer culture.

The design for ‘Peaches on Beaches’ is bouncing off the fruity ingredients as well as summery long hot beach days with ya mates, with sand in all the wrong places and if you’re lucky enough to be on a nude beach - paradise! ‘Harbour Cruisin’ I felt this lush, romantic vibe… Much like the colour of the cocktail. Enticing.

What inspired each design?

I approached both designs in the same way, I imagined I was designing old school theatre sets. The 2D layered approach. Wavy water at the forefront and work my way back to the radiating backgrounds. I wanted to ‘set the scene’ of the perfect place to have a sip. The colours and motifs were heavily inspired by the colours from the progressive pride flag, as well as the divine ingredients within each cocktail.

Was your creative process different for this project than your usual practice?

This process was definitely different, as I tend to not draw ‘scenes’, but more scattered motifs like confetti around a phrase. It was a really bloody fun tangent to explore and the freedom I was given by the team at Archie Rose really kept my confidence up as I tried a new style.

Do you have a favourite between the two cocktails?

Awww look, that’s really a tricky one but ‘Peaches on Beaches’ has been sipped a little bit more than ‘Harbour Cruisin’’ at the moment, but only a little bit more.

What does pride mean to you?

Pride means strength to me. Strength of self acceptance and love, and strength of the LGBTQI+ community. I feel pride grows with you. From coming out, it’s that little powerful light in you that gives you the strength to be who you are, to celebrate with the community who we are as a whole and our spectacular and at times bloody challenging history and journey.

Why do you think Sydney was a great choice for WorldPride?

Hello, it’s like queer central. We have such a diverse, empowering, love filled community here that deserves to be seen, joined and celebrated on such a global platform… I’m surprised it’s taken this long!

What are your must catch events this WorldPride?

Awwww it’s gotta be the exhibitions Karla Dickens’, ‘Embracing Shadows’ and Paul Yore’s ‘Word Made Flesh’ for sure!

Archie Rose chats to Jay Dipalo from the Archie Rose Production Team

*Can you talk us through the two limited edition Sydney WorldPride Bottled Cocktails? What inspired them? *

Archie Rose Distilling Co is a proud supporter of the Sydney Mardis Gras, and this years’ Sydney WorldPride 2023! We inspired the overarching themes of the drinks based on a “rainbow of fruits”.

Harbour Cruisin’ embodies the attributes of “cooler tones of the rainbow” with fruits and botanicals such as Raspberries, Blackberries, Pink Peppercorn, and Native Waxflower.

[Peaches On Beaches]((https://archierose.com.au/shop/product/peaches-on-beaches-mardi-gras-bottled-cocktail/) incorporates the “warmer half of the rainbow” with Peaches, Mango, Elderflower; and a touch of salinity to capture a glorious day at the beach.

What’s behind the cocktail names?

Our WorldPride 2023 Bottled Cocktails are our little ode to Sydney’s coastal heart. Her beaches, and wondrous harbour!

In a manner not to beat around the bush [so to speak]; Harbour Cruisin’ and Peaches On Beaches are our tongue-in-cheek way of incorporating elements of a lovely queer city!

Why these cocktails in particular for WorldPride? How do you think they represent Sydney to the world?

Vibrant names and greater taste to them. These Bottled Cocktails not only provide classic Australian humour of the name but showcase native ingredients with Waxflower, Lemon Myrtle and Australian Peach!

How do you envisage these Bottled Cocktails being enjoyed?

Both of these fantastic beverages are best served over ice and topped with soda. For Peaches On Beaches you can substitute the soda for some juicy lemonade and garnish with a lemon or sprig of elderflower. Harbour Cruisin’ the soda brings out its vibrancy perfectly. Garnish with a berry skewer. To truly bring some fun in the sun, both of these refreshing drinks can even be given an adult slushie twist by serving them frozen!

How is cocktail creation different between bottled cocktails and freshly made at the bar?

The essence of cocktail making is essentially the same throughout the industry. Taking fantastic ingredients and transforming them into a wonderful beverage, for you to enjoy…

Our Bottled Cocktails, however, must also be shelf stable. We achieve this through our use of an in-house recipe of citric acid blend. Emulating fresh citrus, as you would have in a bar.

*Do you have a favourite between the two cocktails? *

Like many great things, it is hard to decide between these two fantastic drinks. If I am in the mood for some fun in the sun, and to feel a little more fruity; Peaches on Beaches calls out. Conversely, when it's time for some mellow comfort, Harbour Cruisin’ has my back!

What does pride mean to you?

As a gay man living in Sydney, it is so vital for WorldPride to showcase how we can be ourselves, proud and loving. Whilst we can always have more to achieve in terms of supporting a global LGBTQIA+ Community, it starts with pride in ourselves and to our fellow queer siblings.

Pride helps us to retain our strength, so that we should not back down. We are deserving as anyone and everyone!

*Why do you think Sydney was a great choice for WorldPride? *

Sydney has a rich LGBTQIA+ history starting with the first pride back in 1978, a protest to contribute to international recognition for queer celebration. These brave and vibrant individuals help lay the groundwork for the acceptance and prosperity of our amazing community. Helping to justly enable Sydney to become one of the leading Queer Capitals globally!

Sydney will ALWAYS have its LGBTQIA+ community, and it's amazing that we get to celebrate it!

What are your must catch events this WorldPride?

Mardis Gras Film Festival for sure! I cannot wait to see the amazing works of the Queer Film Industry.

You will also catch me at the Oxford Street Sydney Mardis Gras Parade! Amazing to have it back where it began. As well as the iconic march over the Sydney Harbour Bridge, which I will be completing with my amazing supportive family!