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Amanda Beck

Most women have a passion for cocktails, but few turn that passion into a career.  woman with drive spoke to one of the few Australian women in the alcohol industry, Fire Drum Vodka founder, Amanda Beck.


Amanda admitted to woman with drive that she loves vodka so much she would bathe in it if she could.  Her journey started when her partner at the time turned to Amanda and said, “Amanda, you drink so much vodka, why don’t you make the stuff?”


Few people would have the tenacity and drive to embark on a career that was completely unknown to them.  Yes, Amanda loved vodka, but distilling it herself was a whole new ball game.  At the time she was at university studying to become a psychologist.


It wasn’t a quick or easy journey by any means.  Amanda discovered a small but vibrant distilling industry in Tasmania and began her collaboration with Patrick Maguire at the award winning Tasmania Distillery in Hobart.  She wanted to produce a vodka that was different to all others on the market, but it took her almost six years to achieve it.


Most vodka is produced using column distillation, but Amanda preferred the old school, copper pot distillation for her vodka.  The process takes longer, is more of an art form, and it enables the flavours of the raw ingredients to permeate through the spirit to produce more expressive vodka.


Fire Drum is very different to other brands of vodka on the market.  Unlike most vodka (which are neutral), Fire Drum has a distinct aroma and taste.  There are vanilla characteristics, a hint of cacao, hazelnut, macadamia, some can even taste caramelised popcorn.


The woman with drive team tested a number of vodkas including: Stolichnaya, Absolut Elyx, Ketel One, Grey Goose and Fire Drum.  The very neutral vodkas were the Grey Goose and Ketel One.  Absolut Elyx had a slight citrus twist, and the Stolichnaya should perhaps be left for mixed drinks.


The first thing we loved about Fire Drum was the beautiful, rich aroma of cacao and vanilla.  The taste is smooth and flavoursome and perfect to drink straight.  It is also the perfect vodka for an espresso martini, as it will add a flavour and textural dimension to the cocktail.


Here is the perfect cocktail recipe for your Fire Drum vodka from Loop Roof Bar:


Loop Roof Bar’s Fire Drum Espresso Martini 


45ml Fire Drum

15ml Cherry Heering

15ml Creme de Cacao

30ml Little Drippa cocktail coffee

2 dashes Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters


Shake and double strain


Orange zest (then discard)

Coffee beans



Image credit: Dean Schmideg

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