Shaun Byrne has been mixing drinks since he was legally allowed to do so and hasn’t really stopped since! After four years working in restaurants and bars in the UK, he returned to Australia to become part of the Gin Palace family in Melbourne. He remained there for eight years, during which time he, along with Gilles, started Maidenii. Shaun also completed a degree in entrepreneurship, launched his consulting company, Good Measure, and met his wife-to-be, Ellen. Post-Gin Palace, Shaun co-founded another company called Marionette, a liqueur brand that works directly with Australian farmers to produce cocktail staple liqueurs. What’s next on the cards for Shaun? Well, aside from Ellen saying ‘no more new businesses!’ you can be sure he’ll never be too far from the drinks industry, in one form or another.
With more than 30 years experience in the industry, Gilles Lapalus has wine flowing through his veins. The third generation of a wine-producing family hailing from the Cluny region of Burgundy, Gilles’ prestigious career has seen him work as a winemaker in the French regions of Burgundy, Languedoc, Medoc and Beaujolais, and further afield in Tuscany, Campania, Chile and finally Australia. Gilles was also part of the Institut Français du Gout, developing taste education in France. In 2001, Gilles moved to Australia to become the manager of biodynamic viticulture and winemaking at Sutton Grange Winery near Castlemaine, Victoria. He first started experimenting with botanicals in 2011 and, after meeting Shaun, co-founded Maidenii Vermouth. In 2015, Gilles launched his own wine company Maison LAPALUS, with wine consulting and production under the Bertrand Bespoke label and Maison LAPALUS label.
Shaun has an arsenal of Maidenii cocktails but his go-tos are a Spritz when it’s warm and Negroni when it's cold.
4 parts Maidenii Kina
1 part dry gin
1/2 part orange curaçao
2 parts soda
Build ingredients in order gently over ice in a wine glass and garnish with a lemon wedge.
1 part Maidenii Sweet Vermouth
1 part dry gin
1 part Campari
Build ingredients in order gently over ice in a rocks glass and garnish with an orange twist.
Being the purist that he is, Gilles is a staunch advocate for keeping things classic. Pour vermouth straight from the fridge into a large wine glass. Santé!