Shaun Byrne has been mixing drinks since he was legally allowed to - and has never really stopped. After spending four years working in restaurants and bars in Europe, he returned to Australia to become part of Melbourne's revered Gin Palace family. During that time he teamed up with winemaker Gilles Lapalus to start a business producing what has become the best regarded vermouth in Australia. As well, he joined coauthor Nick in a company called Marionette, and together they work directly with Australian farmers to make cocktail staple liquors. Nick Tesar is a world-class competition bartender with an impressive resume of Melbourne it-list restaurants to his name. These days you can find Nick manning Fitzroy's Bar Liberty, but it was during his previous role at Bar Lume in the acclaimed Lume restaurant where his enthusiasm for liqueurs took flight. There, they focused on getting the most out of incredible Australian produce, thinking laterally to extract flavour using the best equipment available. He wants to encourage readers to think like this, whatever produce or equipment they have on hand.