Clovendoe team members Carla DiFelice and Catie Fry hosting a master class at 45 East St.
Clovendoe team members Carla DiFelice and Catie Fry hosting a master class at 45 East St. Steve Marshall

It's vodka with a difference for spirit lovers

IT'S THE all-woman brewing company on everyone's lips.

Clovendoe, was launched last Friday and after two years in the making, the end result is vodka, really good vodka, but vodka with a difference.

The brand is the brainchild of Saleyards Distillery co-owner Catie Fry and burst onto the Central Queensland bar scene with help from local artists, merchants and mixologists.

The inspiration for Clovendoe's low-alcohol and no alcohol varieties came when Mrs Fry was pregnant with her first child and couldn't indulge her love of "full-bodied, sophisticated flavours".

"I was frustrated when I'd go to a restaurant or bars and the only thing on offer was Coke or mocktails, which are sugar laden," she said.

"I didn't feel sophisticated or special."


Clovendoe team members Carla Di Felice and Catie Fry hosting a master class at 45 East St.
Clovendoe team members Carla DiFelice and Catie Fry hosting a master class at 45 East St. Steve Marshall

She began to wonder why Rockhampton had no zero alcohol options for her favourite drink - vodka.

After extensive research on how to brew her own and with the inspiration of other international brands, she purchased a 201 copper pot still and spent two years perfecting her infusions.

Clovendoe Botanical Concentrate is a non-alcoholic or zero-proof vodka and Clovendoe Botanical Spiritus is a triple-distilled, low-alcohol (30 per cent alc/vol) vodka.

"Even my kids were drinking it (the zero-proof vodka)," Mrs Fry said.

It is perfectly safe for anyone under-age, breast-feeding, on a health kick, or lumped with designated driver duty.

"I've always been into herbalism and obviously we have 19 botanicals in our gin and I help distil and press all those," she said.

"By the time I was working on it, I was confident in what to marry with what botanical and the different notes.

"I had a fairly good grasp on taste and infusions."

After fine-tuning different flavours, she finally perfected three infusions, Seed, Sprout and Stem as part of her zero-proof Clovendoe Botanical Concentrate range.

To shake up the scene even further, a low-alcohol infusion was created for more "responsible" drinking.

Read: CQ distillery in high spirits after prestigious global win

"I decided to start putting it out there and people were loving it," Mrs Fry said.

Mrs Fry said her vodka may help people drink more responsibly.

"It's the whole drink consciously thing, and it's also for those breast feeding, with diabetes, or on a challenge at the gym.

"They are gluten, sugar and preservative free if you have them with soda water and because of all the complexities in the botanicals, you can play with oodles of mixes to bring out the flavours."

The brand was completely created and produced by CQ women.

The brand's mascot, a half plant, half goat woman was designed by local illustrator and performing artist, Kat Clark.

Local artists, Erin Dunne, Wilma La and Nellie Lovegrove designed the individual labels.


Carla Di Felice showing off Clovendoe's range of flavours.
Carla DiFelice showing off Clovendoe's range of flavours. Steve Marshall

"When I saw their artwork, they each reminded me of particular infusions," Mrs Fry said.

"I will then go and find more CQ artists and try and make a collective showcase of local women doing their thing. Girl power."

Mrs Fry distils the spirits and Saleyards merchant Carla DiFelice bottles and labels.

The botanicals are sourced from local orchards and permaculture farms and those that can't be sourced locally are being planted.

On Wednesday, Mrs Fry took her range to her first buyers, 45 East, and took the staff through a master class on how to perfect Clovendoe cocktails and mocktails.

There are currently plans to bring the range to Rockhampton's Dan Murphy's and to other local venues.

Find Out More

  • For every trio pack of Clovendoe Botanical Spiritus or Botanical Concentrate sold, a native tree will be planted in the Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Corridor in Western Australia. A Plant A Tree certificate will be provided with purchase.
  • Seed: Lavender, rosemary, lemon thyme, lemon myrtle, orange and lemon peel. Sprout: Rose, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom, liquorice root, star anise, pink peppercorn, grapefruit and lemon peel. Stem: Lemongrass, mint, makrut lime leaf, ginger, galangal & lime peel.