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Back Bar Spirits and Fancy Cocktails Are No Longer Exclusive to Bars

Perhaps inspired by re-runs of Masterchef, many people nowadays think they’re their own favourite bartender at home. As a result, the online sales of premium spirits still continues to grow in Australia. People’s willingness to try something new while sitting at home during statewide lockdowns have created a trend seeing regular orders of premium Whisky or Tequila exceeding $350+ per purchase on average.

The Amber Beverages portfolio contains some global icon back bar brands, such as Rooster Rojo TequilaStolichnaya vodka, The Dalmore Scotch whisky and Goslings rum, just to name a few. In addition to these, there is an extensive range of essential and cult-status brands like Antica Formula vermouth, Fernet Branca bitters and Crystal Head vodka. Broadening out the portfolio are many truly unique spirits, like the Mediterranean inspired Gin Mare and the category bending Westward American Single Malt whiskey, amongst others. And rounding it out are the irrepressible aperitifs, Italicus and Pampelle Ruby L’Apero, each providing a low ABV alternative for use in the unstoppable trend of the Spritz cocktail.

These days it’s essential to have products for Espresso Martini and Spritz cocktails. Amber Beverages covers all the bases here, with the sufficiently sweet and saline Stolichnaya Salted Karamel vodka, the dark and delicious Café Borghetti coffee liqueur and the Melbourne born local favourite, Little Drippa cocktail coffee, to make a delicious twist on the classic.

The cult-status of Crystal Head vodka was immediately established upon its launch in 2008. Founded by celebrity Dan Akroyd in collaboration with the artist and designer behind the bottle, it immediately became a sought after bottle and to re-use it as a sculpture or vase. Soon to launch in Australia is the Crystal Head Onyx in a black skull bottle and made from an unusual raw material source for vodka – blue agave.

Alongside this is the highly regarded Casamigos tequila, co-founded in 2013 by actor George Clooney and his desire to create a tequila that was good enough to enjoy at home with his friends, which is the inspiration behind the brand name. It earned them a cool 700 million dollars when snapped by drinks giant Diageo in 2017!

Amber Beverages Australia has grown to become one of Australia’s leading spirits distribution businesses, established in 2004 by original founder, Patrick Borg.

He recognised the worldwide trend towards premium spirits and liqueurs early on, and created Think Spirits to provide access to many of these special and unique spirits and liqueurs that are loved by on-premise bartenders and consumers alike.

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In 2018, Amber Beverages Group acquired the Australian distribution rights of this much loved portfolio and injected their international clout to further drive growth in the on-premise, retail and the emerging on-line and alternative channels like Drinks Network.

Drinks Network founder, Hayden Wood recognised, “Products like Antica Formula that were previously reserved mostly for cocktail bars are now being requested by customers who are looking for the premium offering at home”. He has identified the opportunity in this changing trend when he says, “It’s quite the leap to go from a $17 bottle of vermouth to a $69 bottle, but the trend developed by the home cocktail revolution thanks to COVID has seen many changes in trends”.

Amber Beverages have listed a wide range of products with Drinks Network, which are competitively priced with that of Dan Murphy’s online, while also delivering sales from Amazon, eBay and Google Shopping, bringing this fine and unique portfolio to a new market of convenience shoppers who like things delivered to their door!


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The Backstory on Drinks Network

Hayden Wood | Drinks Network Founder & Managing Director

New Liquor Marketplace Finds New Ways to Help Brands Navigate eCommerce

In 2020, Drinks Network Managing Director Hayden Wood (Author: The Liquid Kitchen, Good Wine, Bad Language Great Vineyards book series) realised the potential of utilising the educational content as a base to drive online liquor sales.

“On the eve of the 2020 COVID lockdown, we decided to flip Drinks Network and all its assets into one sexy online marketplace – utilising super powerful digital tech. We conducted extensive research and learned from the fashion industry, such as ‘The Iconic’, that the liquor industry has a long way to go to engage on a more personal level digitally – so we’re leading that charge helping shoppers learn more, buy smarter.” said Hayden.

“Our team believes strongly that there is a largely untapped market of shoppers wanting value-added, or good times as we call it, and engage through story-selling, rather than lowest price wins,” Hayden concluded.

In addition to their own audience, Drinks Network offers serviced marketplace solutions for multi-channels. This includes product listing management and sales fulfillment across platforms like Amazon, eBay, and Google Shopping. Collectively a brand can reach 3.5 million Aussie shoppers each week with all sales showing in one Drinks Network dashboard.

Drinks Network was awarded the Minimal Viable Product (MVP) Grant in 2021 from the New South Wales Treasury Department, which has allowed the business to invest in advanced technology to increase Drinks Network platform performance.

For more information about Drinks Network Services, or to become a vendor visit:

Hayden Wood

Hayden Wood

Not your average bartender, author, visionary and tech start-up founder. Favorite drink – Champagne

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