Melbourne-based journalist Max Allen has been writing about drinks for more than 25 years.
Max Allen is the wine and drinks columnist for the Australian Financial Review, a longtime contributor to Gourmet Traveller Magazine and the Australian correspondent for jancisrobinson.com – as discussed with Jancis herself, when she joined us on the podcast back in Season Four.
I’ve long been a fan of Max’s writing so I was excited to learn about his latest book, Intoxicating: Ten Drinks That Shaped Australia.
Max joined me on the show to discuss this personal journey through Australia’s colourful and complex drinking history.
In the book, Max tastes the fermented sap of the Tasmanian cider gum, enjoyed by Indigenous people long before European invasion.
He sips ‘claret’ and ‘sherry’ in the cool stone cellars of the country’s oldest wineries, samples 150-year-old champagne rescued from a shipwreck and helps brew an iconic 1960s Australian lager.
He also shares recipes for historic cocktails to try at home (Blow My Skull, anyone?), introduces many of the characters from Australia’s boozy history and offers a glimpse of how our drinking culture might evolve in the future.