This Vegemite-Toast-Flavored Liqueur Sounds Like a Dare

"If you like that savory flavor of yeast-extract spreads, you’ll really enjoy it."
May 2, 2019, 12:00pm
vegemite buttered toast archie rose liqueur
Image courtesy of Archie Rose

Game of Thrones, Peloton bikes, and Vegemite are things that people seem to always volunteer their feelings about, whether or not you asked, whether or not you care. So until gin distiller Archie Rose manages to bottle and sell an impossibly fit woman who yells at you to “sweat with swagger,” then you’ll probably hear people’s thoughts about their Vegemite-inspired booze, too.

Mashable reports that the Sydney-based distiller is about to release a limited-edition spirit that it says has the flavor of buttered toast and yeast extracts like Vegemite or Marmite. It has also been distilled with 55 pounds of churned butter and more than 30 pounds of sourdough bread. "It’s lots of fun," Dave Withers, a master distiller for Archie Rose, said in a statement. “It sits in this weird but interesting place. Trying to describe how it tastes is like trying to describe the color blue. If you like that savory flavor of yeast-extract spreads, you’ll really enjoy it."

Despite Australia’s almost century-long love affair with Vegemite, this seems to be the first time that it’s been honored with booze—at least officially. In 2015, the Australian government became convinced that people were buying multiple jars of the yeasty spread and using it to make their own moonshine; Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion described the salty spread as a "precursor to misery” for communities that already had high incidents of alcohol abuse. "I have seen first-hand the impact of home brewing which included using Vegemite as an ingredient and many community members have told me about the problems it's causing," he told MUNCHIES.

A MUNCHIES writer tried to make Vegemite moonshine at the time, despite the fact that both brewers and fermentation experts both said that it would be damn near impossible to turn the spread into alcohol.

“Broken down yeast cells contain the right goodies to be nutritious to yeast, so adding it to moonshine might enhance the process of live yeast turning sugar into alcohol," University of Queensland biotechnologist Dr Claudia Vickers said. "Anyway, I don't trust the story, I reckon someone is pulling the minister's leg on this one. My suspicion is that any drink involving Vegemite would taste bloody awful." (Despite her lack of confidence, MUNCHIES managed to turn it into a strong but “remarkably drinkable” brown beverage.)

A year later, researchers at the University of Queensland tried to brew their own Vegemite beer and, after a bit of trial-and-error, they were able to brew something that probably still tasted better than whatever’s in your brother-in-law’s Kegerator. “Our data showed that home-brewed Vegemite beer could be easily made from sugar, Vegemite, and yeast—but not from just Vegemite and sugar, or sugar and yeast," Dr. Ben Schulz said.

But if you’re into the idea of getting shitfaced on Vegemite, it’s probably best if you leave it up to the experts. Archie Rose’s Archie-Mite will be released on May 8 and will set you back 79 Australian dollars (USD $56) for a bottle. We’ll give you $5 if you swear not to tell anyone what you think about it.