Now Serving – Eau De Vie’s Bacon & Caramelised Apple

By The Gentleman

Bacon and Caramelised Apple Cocktail

We already told you earlier that Experimental Spirits Co were able to fund their awesome Bacon Bourbon through the crowdfunding platform Pozible. We got all over that opportunity to help out a great local craft producer, we like to see craft spirits do well, but we also can’t deny that we kind of did it just to get some sweet, sweet rewards. In this case it was our bottle of Bacon Bourbon AND the very cool Eau De Vie Cocktail Book. Eau De Vie sling some of the best cocktails around and while we haven’t been able to go there ourselves, we can live vicariously through this gorgeous book. It was also handy that a few extra bacon focused recipes had been written in the back, making the decision on what to try first that much easier. We decided on the Bacon & Caramelised Apple.

Eau De Vie Cocktail Book

Eau De Vie’s Bacon & Caramelised Apple

45ml Experimental Spirits Co Bacon Bourbon

45ml Caramelised Apple Juice

Bittermen’s Burlesque Bitters

Ice

Dehydrated Apple for Garnish

Eau De Vie Cocktail Book

Prep the caramelised apple juice by chopping up apples and placing them in a pan with brown sugar. Cook them in the brown sugar until the apples are soft then juice, adding all the caramelised liquid in the pan as well. I don’t have a juicer so I whizzed up the apples in  food processor with a little water and apple juice to get it going, then strain the apple pulp through a fine strainer to get the juice. With your caramelised apple juice prepared grab a glass, we used a large Brandy Balloon, and build the drink over lots of ice and stir. Garnish with a dehydrated apple slice.

Bacon and Caramelised Apple Cocktail

This is luckily one of the easier Eau De Vie cocktails to make, but that doesn’t mean it’s not full of loads of flavour. The drink pretty much looks like a big glass of delicious caramel. You kind of just want to jump right in there. It doesn’t just look like caramel, that juice gives the whole drink a delightful caramel flavour. It’s quite a buttery caramel, my drinking buddy likened it to a Werther’s Original and I’d have to agree. The big caramel flavours, with a hint of fruity apple, make it a real fall/winter sort of drink. Surprisingly the bacon wasn’t that prominent, but that doesn’t matter as this is just a really tasty beverage that goes down smooth and leaves a damn fine aftertaste.

Bacon and Caramelised Apple Cocktail

We are looking forward to making a whole bunch of cocktails from the Eau De Vie Cocktail Book and this was a good place to start. Nice and simple with lots of great flavour it will surely lull us into a false sense of security so we think we can tackle some of the crazier drinks on offer.

 

As always remember to like, share, and follow The Cocktail Challenge on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest.

Advertisements

Now Serving – Sweet Tallulah

By The Gentleman

Sweet Tallulah

The Lady will attest that I have a bit of a soft spot for American style cooking, especially anything from the South. I just find something about pecan pies, cornbread, and slow cooked BBQ meats so comforting and delicious. So when I saw this cocktail, which is inspired by the Southern tradition of adding peanuts to Coca-Cola, I knew I just had to try it. Although we were a bit skeptical at first (nuts and soda well that’s just nuts) we present to you the Sweet Tallulah.

 

Sweet Tallulah

1 3/4 oz Bulleit Rye Whiskey

15 ml Tuaca

30 ml Homemade Peanut Orgeat

Fentimans Curiosity Cola

Ice

Peanuts

Sweet Tallulah

In a glass, combine whiskey, Tuaca and Orgeat over ice. The orgeat is quite syrupy so give it a good mix. Then top it with cola and garnish with a few peanuts and serve with a fun straw.

 

You can pick up almond orgeat from most good liquor stores, but the recipe calls for peanut orgeat which is a little harder to find. I followed the recipe from Garden & Gun and it was a relatively painless experience. I made half the amount because I wasn’t sure what else I might use the orgeat in before it goes bad. It made quite a thick syrup and I was quite pleased with the resulting flavour.

Orgeat

We were a bit skeptical of adding peanuts to cola, but that soon passed when we took our first sip. The drink has a delightful salty and sweet flavour because the peanut orgeat and cola get together and become best friends. It’s actually a damn fine flavour combination that is right on the money for current cocktail trends. Salt is fast becoming a go to for bartenders outside of a lick, sip, suck situation. We’re yet to really experiment with salt as a flavour and an enhancer of flavour, but this has us intrigued. I added the Tuaca to shake things up a little and the vanilla provides a nice smoothness. It doesn’t make the drink too boozy or overpower the whiskey. It’s still there, providing a nice kick and a touch of spicy and heat. If you don’t have Tuaca you could probably get the same flavour with a Vanilla Coke. Basically we thought we were drinking some sort of delicious peanut pie. We don’t even know if that’s a thing and we don’t care  because it was delicious. It’s nutty, smooth and salty/sweet, just like the best kind of pie.

Sweet Tallulah

Those Southerners may be a little bit crazy, dropping peanuts in their Coke, but that’s okay when the craziness pays off so well. We now feel the need to gather all of the nuts and add them to all of the sodas. Craziness is contagious and that’s okay with us.

 

As always remember to like, share, and follow The Cocktail Challenge on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest.

Now Serving – Mr Black’s Experimental Brew

By The Gentleman

Mr Black's Experimental Brew

So we planned on publishing this post later in the week, but my drinking friend, drafted in because of The Lady rocking the vego life, got a little too excited and revealed it on Instagram so we had to speed things up a bit. We don’t blame him though because this is one damn fine drink made with some damn good Australian spirits. Get ready for breakfast and start the day the right way with Mr Black’s Experimental Brew, the breakfast cocktail of non-vego champions.

Mr Black's Experimental Brew

Mr Black’s Experimental Brew 

30ml Experimental Spirits Co. Bacon Bourbon

30 ml Mr Black Spirits Coffee Liqueur

10ml Maple Syrup

Dash of Bittermens Hellfire Habanero Shrub

Large Ice Cube

Coffee Bacon for garnish

 

In an Old Fashioned glass, or a brandy balloon if you are unprepared like us, mix your bitters, maple syrup, bourbon and coffee liqueur. Give it a good mix so the maple syrup is well mixed in and less syrupy. Add your big ice cube and garnish with the coffee bacon.

Coffee Bacon

To make the coffee bacon you need to whip up a quick little coffee marinade. For three pieces of bacon I combined coffee (3 tsp), brown sugar (3 tsp), a good squeeze of maple syrup, smoked paprika (1/2 tsp) and some water. Mix it together till the coffee and sugar have dissolved then pour it over your bacon. Leave it to marinate for at least an hour, but the longer the better. Preheat your oven to 190 C and cook for roughly 15 minutes. You want the bacon to be nice and crisp.

Bacon Bourbon

This drink showcases two new Australian spirits that are rocking the market right now thanks to people like you. Both drinks were funded using the Australian crowd-funding site Pozible, so we had a little Pozible party in the glass. We’ve already played around with Mr Black’s coffee spirit to some delicious ends, but I was very excited to try out the Bacon Bourbon from Experimental Spirits Co, a venture started by some of the talented folks at Melbourne and Sydney’s Eau De Vie Cocktail Bar. While The Lady sadly can’t partake I am secretly pleased as that just means there is more for me!

Mr Black's Experimental Brew

The drink is a play on an Old Fashioned with a breakfast twist. I love nothing more than starting the day with good coffee and crispy bacon. You know things are going well when you have these two things in your life. I’m also a convert to having something a little sweet with bacon, and maple syrup is the classic choice for a reason, although you can’t go past a bit of hot sauce. The cocktail transfers these flavours into the glass. The bacon bourbon is so smooth. We sipped a bit on its own and it’s just really mellow without a crazy alcohol taste. That worked nicely in the Coffee and Bacon. It didn’t overpower the coffee or the shrub. The shrub is alive and kicking, providing some nice heat to the finish, while the coffee liqueur buzzes strongly with its rich flavour. I think the sensation of the drink feeling really smooth comes from it’s slightly syrupy consistency. It just fills your tastebuds with smooth, syrupy goodness. What really tops it off though is the coffee bacon. Biting into that crisp, blackened piece of bacon is heaven. The coffee darkens and burns slightly and when that is mixed with the smoked paprika you get a delicious smoky flavour with a touch of sugary sweetness. Wash that down with a sip of Mr Black’s Experimental Brew and you’ve got a smoky, coffee, bacon mouthful that satisfies all your breakfast cravings at once. Damn son.

Mr Black's Experimental Brew

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It also makes a damn fine cocktail. So remember to start your day the right way and get some breakfast in yo glass with Mr Black’s Experimental Brew.

Mr Black's Experimental Brew

As always remember to like, share, and follow The Cocktail Challenge on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest.

On the Shelf – Lobo Cyser

By The Gentleman

 

By now it is pretty obvious that we pretty much cleaned out the Lobo Cider display at the Adelaide Farmer’s Market. They just had so many interesting and tasty things on offer that we could not resist. Lucky for you we have left the best for last, the very unusual Lobo Cyser.

Lobo Cyser

Cyser, if you didn’t know (and boy we did not know), is the traditional name for mead that has been made with apple juice and fermented honey. The Lobo Cyser is made with apple juice, quince juice and fermented honey from their neighbours honey bees and it’s also blended with some herbs and spices. It’s safe to say that this is the first Cyser we have tasted and it’s not something we would normally drink, but we just could not get over the label.

Lobo Cyser

We love that Lobo are quite dedicated to their wolf-men packaging, but the Cyser represents quite a departure from the Norman Cloudy Apple and Dry Pear Ciders. These guys were dapper, sophisticated wolves about town. The Cyser wolf, instead, is some tripped out version of the wolf from Little Red Riding Hood. Oh Cyser wolf, you so crazy. He’s a little bit dapper, but like someone who’s got addicted and is just trying to keep it together. Those bees make some powerful stuff. We love the way he’s salivating over the honey bee hive looking for that next hit of sweet, sweet honey gold.

Lobo Cyser

A sweet, sweet honey hit it has. Damn son. This thing is basically a dessert wine for cider, or cyser. You need to have committed to not eating any more food before cracking it open because it will need all of your attention. That honey sweetness demands that you sit down and sip it as the sweetness level has been taken to the very edge. The sourness of the apple and quince do enough to stop it going over the edge. I think the sweetness also hides the fact that this is quite potent little beverage, weighing in at 10.4%, although is that high or low for fermented apple & honey mead? We don’t even know, but for something that comes in this small a bottle it seems high, but the sweetness masks any overly boozy flavour. Underneath the sweet and sour we can definitely detect some of the mystery herbs and spices, possibly cinnamon, but we would probably need to have a few more to really work it out (it’s a hard life we know).

Lobo Cyser

Well that’s the end of our Lobo Cider and Cyser adventure. Those crazy wolves at Lobo certainly know what they are doing, crafting some good looking and fine tasting beverages and hey, now we can say we’ve tasted fermented apple and honey mead, can you?

Lobo Cyser

As always remember to like, share, and follow The Cocktail Challenge on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest.

On The Shelf – Lobo Dry Pear Cider

By The Gentleman

Lobo Cloudy Pear

While we were quite enamored with Norman, the dapper Cloudy Apple Cider wolf, he was not the only one to catch our eye at the Adelaide Farmer’s Market as we were also introduced to the Lobo Dry Pear Cider.

 

Norman was quite a fun dapper wolf with his bike and glasses, but the wolf on the Dry Pear looks all business. He’s dressed for success in his fine suit and he’s got that confident, almost cocky look to match. That’s necessary because you need that confidence and assurance to go a long with Lobo’s slogan ‘Evolving Tradition’ on the Dry Pear Cider.

Lobo Cloudy Pear

The Dry Pear Cider is another of Lobo’s small batch ciders and is made with Lemon Bergamot pears that are a specialist variety from South Australia (that’s right we’re special). It was another quite dark cider, but it’s not as dark as the Lobo Cloudy Apple Cider. That thing was like the mist from Stephen King’s The Mist, whereas this is more like a regular light morning mist. There’s definitely dryness to the cider, but it’s not overwhelmingly dry. It’s still got a quite crisp, refreshing flavour with enough bubbles going on that it gives you that ‘take your breath away’ sensation. There’s more of an aroma in the Dry Pear than the Cloudy Apple, a bit sour and floral, and flavourwise there was a touch more sweetness to it bordering on sour. The pear, the star of the show, is surprisingly subtle and the cider is a bit lighter as it only comes in at 5.6%. Usually The Lady and I don’t go for pear cider, but this was something we definitely liked.

Lobo Cloudy Pear

The Dry Pear, like the Cloudy Apple, is really nothing like the commercial stuff you find on the market these days, which isn’t all that surprising when you consider these are special small batch ciders that are evolving tradition. The Dry Pear means business with a very interesting flavour that has a lot of depth and a dapper suited wolf to match.

Lobo Cloudy Pear

As always remember to like, share, and follow The Cocktail Challenge on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest.

On The Shelf – Lobo Norman – Cloudy Apple Brut Cider

By The Lady

Lobo Cloudy Apple 3

Recently, The Gentleman and I visited the Adelaide Farmers’ Market and splurged a little (read : a lot). For all you Adelaidians, I highly recommend checking these markets out. There are so many stalls with lots of different and delicious goodies to take home.

 

Firstly, we had some delicious breakfast from Abbots & Kinney including ice coffees and mind blowing pastries. All I can say is … oh my! Do yourself a favour and get some of these pastries in you. You really haven’t lived otherwise.

Lobo Cloudy Apple 5

After buying many delicious treats, we came across a stall for Lobo Cider, brewed right here in Lobethal, SA. Previously, we have had their cider and loved it. This time, there were new varieties that we had never seen in our favourite liquor stores or local bars. So, we’re feeling pretty special that we were able to pick up a few different bottles of cider that are super exclusive and a little bit special!

 

Our first cider we decided to sample was the Norman Cloudy Apple Cider. The Norman is a special little cider that Lobo make in small batches once a year. We were surprised at the deep, rich colour of the drink which looked almost the colour of some beers you might see. The cider was a lovely dry and crisp flavour and not overly sweet, which we appreciate! We think this would be great to drink while eating, but we’re biased really because we love eating. The scent is very subtle with a very clean taste to follow, despite the fact that this cider packs a bit of a wallop at 8.1%. Also, the drink has a lovely aftertaste and we can really see ourselves enjoying many of these in the upcoming summer.

Lobo Cloudy Apple 1

Also, I think it is necessary to address the dapper bike riding wolf Norman, who in my opinion, is probably the most stylish wolf known to man. The oversized bottle provides Lobo with a big canvas and they certainly haven’t wasted it. As some of you may already know, we are huge fans of great design, and we think that Lobo’s Norman is a fine example of dapper design on a liquor label. If a dapper bike riding wolf isn’t going to make you pick up a bottle of cider then we don’t know what will.

 

Overall, we are very happy with our sampling of Lobo’s Norman Cloudy Apple Cider. Not only is Norman a style god, the contents of his bottle have proven themselves to be a damn fine cider.

 

As always remember to like, share, and follow The Cocktail Challenge on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest.

Now Serving – Four Sailors

By The Lady

 

This weekend just gone, we were feeling a little adventurous! So, we decided to use our new favourite navy strength gin Four Pillars Gunpowder Proof Gin and incorporate it into a delicious cocktail. We wanted to stay in keeping with the nautical theme, so we decided to give our drink the navy/at sea/beachy touch and whip up something that will see off scurvy in style. So, we present to you the Four Sailors.

Four Sailors

Four Sailors :

60mL Four Pillars Gunpowder Proof Gin

200 ml Coconut Milk

2 Kiwi Fruit

1/2 lime (juice and rind)

1/2 teaspoon bourbon vanilla extract

A pinch of shredded coconut

 

Blitz the kiwi fruit and coconut milk in a blender. Add to your cocktail shaker with the gin, lime juice, vanilla and ice. Shake vigorously. To prepare your glass, rim with lime juice (you can just use the juiced lime half to run around the rim of the glass as there should be some moisture left in the glass). After you have done this, coat the rim of the glass where the lime juice is with coconut. Strain your cocktail into a cocktail glass then top with lime zest, coconut and wedge of kiwi fruit for decoration.

Four Sailors

You’ll really think summer is here when you start sipping on this lovely cocktail. It’s so fruity and fresh with a delightful creaminess. We really needed some coconut halves and little umbrellas to really do it justice. You can dial back the coconut milk a bit depending on your penchant for coconut. It does make it quite a filling drink, so don’t plan on having too many. Either way it is full of flavour. The lime juice provides a sweet/sour combination that hits you after the creaminess of the coconut. The coconut rim changes up the texture and gives you a bit of a toasted flavour and the Gunpowder Gin is perfect because it has that extra punch it doesn’t get lost in all the other flavours. It lurks in the background and provides a pleasant boozy hit to finish with.

Four Sailors

Whether you’re prepping for a long sea voyage or a long day relaxing by the pool the Four Sailors is sure to keep you happy, just keep an eye on the horizon for pirates.

Four Sailors

As always remember to like, share, and follow The Cocktail Challenge on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest.