On the grand scale of delicious bites to nibble on with your favourite drinks, jerky rates pretty highly. There is more to making a great beef jerky than you might think. We sat down with Elisa from Just Jerky to talk about one of our favourite bar snacks.

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Tell us how Just Jerky started. Why do people need to try this jerky?

We were on a snowboarding trip in Canada and were absolutely blown away with all the great authentic beef jerky over there! Apart from the epic snow and slopes, stopping at the top of the mountain with mates to share a pack of jerky was the highlight of the trip, so the first thing we did when we arrived back in Australia was buy a dehydrator and started recipe testing! Above all else, we think flavour is the most important thing about any food – that’s why we combined the best whole ingredients to create these unique flavours. You need to try Just Jerky so you can experience how much we care about creating the tastiest beef jerky around.

How are these made and what’s so special about this jerky? Did you have to do a lot of “taste testing” to perfect the flavours?
It’s such a simple process – slice, spice and dry. Taste testing is key to making sure you create the perfect jerky recipe. Also, your friends love you for constantly providing samples to taste!
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Are there any drinks you would match with the jerky?

Celebrate by chilling some beers, inviting some friends around and opening a heaps of packs of Just Jerky! We love to pair Original Jerky with a pale ale and Chilli with a lovely crisp riesling!

What tips would you give young food producers who want to start their own snack brand?
Try, try and then try again until you get your product as close to perfect as possible (and know that it will never be perfect right away)! All along, you have to make sure you are watching what consumers are doing and making sure they want to eat what you are creating – what your consumers want is always more important than what you want.
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How important is design when it comes to your packaging?

Well, after two complete Just Jerky rebrands in five years and soon to be an evolution of our current packaging, I can confidently say that it is one of the most important factors with any product. I mean, who hasn’t bought a beer or wine simply because they liked the label?!

Just Jerky original and chilli are delivered by Tipple in under 60 minutes to select postcodes. Check out our website for further details. 

Images via Just Jerky

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What Any Cocktail Enthusiast’s Garden Should Have

Step aside limp supermarket mint. Few things are more gratifying than picking and eating homegrown produce. What better way to raise your cocktail game than by incorporating your very own herbs? Even better, it’s a lot easier than you think. Some creative thinking and vertical planning can do a lot, even in a small backyard or balcony. Read on to learn some of the easiest and most efficient cocktail garnishes and ingredients that you can grow in your own backyard this spring.

Cocktail Herbs

Herbs are not only amazing additions to your cooking, but can take your mixology to the next level as well. The following herbs are easy to grow and offer a wealth of flavour and garnish opportunities. Most can also be propagated from cuttings (taken only responsibly and with consent from the plant’s owner, of course), for a complete DIY solution!

Rosemary smell and tastes great, and can often be a pleasantly surprising element in a cocktail. A rosemary twig offers a unique garnish and stirring stick in one, while the needles can be muddled on their own to give a stronger flavour impression, or even added to spirits as flavouring. Rosemary is hardy but slow-growing, so remember not to over-harvest when it’s small or in winter.

Mint is a cocktail no-brainer. It goes well in nearly every glass, so don’t be afraid to grow lots of it! That said, mint is a weed, so beware of letting it loose in your garden bed. Consider confining it to a ceramic or plastic pot it cannot Houdini out of. Or let it roam free if you’re an anarchist and really into mint, who are we to judge?

Too many home bartenders don’t know that thyme can add a little unexpected something-something to a cocktail. Believed to produce courage since ancient times, consider adding thyme to clear-spirited, fruity cocktails to add warmth and depth of flavour.

Edible flowers
You’ve done the rosemary and your mint is absolutely knocking it out of the park – now it’s time for something that will really stand out. For those special occasions, garnishing your cocktails with a couple of edible flowers is such a simple, yet underutilised trick. Not only do edible flowers smell and look great in the garden and in your glass, but they also attract, house, and nourish bees and other insects we rely on. Double win!

What’s a cocktail without some zesty citrus? We love squeezing some freshness into our drinks and using the peels as garnish, so having a lemon or lime tree is key to keeping up with demand.
Tip: We find that once ripe, our lemon tree produces more than we can use. To preserve them, we press them and freeze the juice in ice cube trays. Once set, plop the cubes in a box or a ziplock bag for later use in drinks or food.

A cosy lounging area

Spring is on our doorstep, and summer is not far behind. We think a cocktail enthusiast and entertainer needs to have a cosy outdoor area. What better place to enjoy your home-mixed, home-grown cocktails than the great outdoors? It doesn’t take much – a bench or two and a table, a few throw pillows and some plants. Our favourite hack for making a good backyard area great is a large, hardy rug as it offers that perfect indoor-outdoor feel. And remember – decent fairy lights make anything look pretty!

Don’t lose heart if it goes a little wrong

Gardening, like all worthwhile endeavours come with their own perils. There is such a thing as over-watering, and basil can catch aphids like a house on fire. Perhaps you’ll one day reconsider your anarchistic ways, but by then your free range mint has taken over the entire yard! Take it with ease, every hurdle is another chance to learn!

Have fun with it!

Gardening is addictive. You may soon find yourself chatting to your plants, or squeezing in a little backyard visit before work just to see that your cocktail herbs are doing well. If this is the case, there’s no reason not to lean into your new obsession. Gardening is good for your health, good for the environment, good for your wallet, and a great hobby!

Bartending Tricks That Will Definitely Impress Your Friends

Cocktail making can seem a little like magic until you learn the skills. Once you do, you discover that expert bartending is actually more like the work of an illusionist than a magician. We’ve got a few bartender-approved tricks that’ll make you the alcohol magician of your friend group