Out & About – Loft Oyster & Wine Bar Take Two

By The Gentleman and The Lady

Bangkok Breakfast (L) and The Orange Daisy (R)

Bangkok Breakfast (L) and The Orange Daisy (R)

Sometimes when you’ve struck a good thing it’s best not to mess with it. The last time we went to Gouger Street’s Loft Oyster & Wine Bar we had just finished an intense period of university study. You know that time of year when every deadline feels like it’s on the same day and you find yourself forgetting what sunlight or normal sleeping patterns are like as you madly rush to get everything done. Yeah, good times. Well, that wonderful time of yeah came again, but we’re through to the other side now and everything is coming up Milhouse! So, in the mood to celebrate, we decided to head back to Gouger Street and sample some more delicious cocktails from the Loft.

White Rabbit (Top) and Cold Drip Negroni (Bottom)

White Rabbit (Top) and Cold Drip Negroni (Bottom)

While we were at the Loft to celebrate it was also a bit of a last hurrah for the current cocktail menu. The Loft has a classic cocktail menu and a rotating menu of new specialties and we tip our hat to the Loft Twitter handler for giving us the heads up on the upcoming menu change so we could sneak in a taste before it changes. From the specialties we tried the White Rabbit, the Cold Drip Negroni, and the Bangkok Breakfast and we also went for the classic Orange Daisy.

White Rabbit

White Rabbit

As soon as The Lady saw the White Rabbit she knew I was going to order it. It was a mix of brown butter washed dark rum, smoked maple syrup, orange and lemon juice. Brown butter and smoky maple syrup? Sign me up! The drink was surprisingly very citrus forward at first. You got a lot of orange aroma and sweet fruit flavour. About halfway through the drink though you get hit with the smoky maple flavour and aroma. It was a really delicious transition of flavours that was topped off with a smooth spiciness from the butter washed rum and a definite lingering citrus tang. An intriguing and easy to drink cocktail.

Cold Drip Negroni

Cold Drip Negroni

As much as I was tempted by the White Rabbit I also had a strong suspicion The Lady would choose the latest Coffee Experiment, the Cold Drip Negroni. Gin and coffee are two of The Lady’s favourite things and she rarely misses an opportunity to combine the two. Throw in some Campari and sweet vermouth and you’ve got a really good time. The coffee and Campari pair excellently to provide a delightful bitterness and who can resist the heavenly aroma of coffee tinged with citrusy orange. Plus, we were rather impressed by the massive hunk of ice used to chill the drink (yes when you drink a lot of cocktails ice size becomes an important thing). It was both practical, keeping the drink cool but not diluted, and looked rather nice, sticking out the top of the glass. One for all the coffee lovers.

Cold Drip Negroni

Cold Drip Negroni

The other two cocktails caught our eye not only because they sounded amazing, but because they offered both a regular and a small size. It’s not that we didn’t think we could drink a whole other cocktail (trust us, we most certainly could), we just appreciated the option of a slightly cheaper option. We’re more than happy to pay what a good cocktail is worth. We’re also poor students so the option to try something that sounds so nice for a bit cheaper price is definitely quite attractive to us. The Bangkok Breakfast was served in a cute little milk bottle with a straw. It mixed citrus vodka, breakfast tea, lime, ginger, and lemongrass. The drink wasn’t as citrusy as we thought it would be. Instead the ginger was really dominate and had a really pleasant spiciness that left a nice tingly sensation on your tongue. To us it screamed hot summer’s day as it was refreshing and easy to drink. The Orange Daisy was also quite a good accompaniment to the Bangkok Breakfast. It was similarly refreshing and tasted kind of like an alcoholic soft drink. The orange and cardamom cordial was not too syrupy or too sweet. It was delightfully balanced and again we loved the citrus flavours, mixed something a little bit different. Without even realising we went through a bit of a citrus cocktail tasting, but we’re okay with that when the results are so good.

Bangkok Breakfast

Bangkok Breakfast

This was our second visit to the Loft after struggling through study hell and we’re starting to feel like this is the start of a great tradition. As long as they keep making cocktails as good as these those long nights of study may just be worth it. Good cocktails are always the best motivation.

Orange Daisy

Orange Daisy

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

Advertisements

Out & About – Chihuahua Bar Take Two

By The Gentleman and The Lady

You have probably noticed by now that we like to go out to bars, but we don’t do reviews per se. Instead we just recommend and comment on the things we drink. That means we can quite easily visit the places we like several times and try different things (poor us) and tell you about it. It’s for this reason that we decided to revisit Peel Street’s resident Mexican hole in the wall Chihuahua Bar to sample some more fine Mexican Cocktails.

Image courtesy of the Chihuahua Bar Facebook page

If you didn’t read about our first visit you can check it out here. Basically we are quite big fans of the fun, kitschy decor and that hasn’t changed second time around. This visit we decided on something a little less crazy than the fresh fruit bombs, although it was hard not to get one because they were so good last time! We opted for a pretty classic tequila cocktail, the Paloma, and a Mexican twist on a favourite of ours, the Negroni, which was called a Rosita. Both of the drinks used Jose Cuervo Tradicional tequila and were pretty damn delicious, and eye-catching, in their own way.

Paloma

The Paloma

The Paloma mixes the tequila with lime and grapefruit soda, giving it a really nice pale pinky orange colour. The drink was surprisingly still and not as sweet as we were expecting. You hear soda and immediately think super sweet, but this had a really nice tangy, sourness to it and basically the grapefruit soda cuts the real booziness of the tequila so you can actually realise, “ha, this is what tequila tastes like”. The Rosita replaces the Negroni’s gin with tequila, but keeps the Antica Formula and Campari so it still has that amazing bright red colour. Being a Mexican twist on the Negroni it had its own flavour, with the tequila showing up nicely the same way a good gin does in a Negroni. The drink had a gorgeous aroma of oranges from the big orange peel that was just heavenly. There also seemed to be a touch less bitterness in the Rosita, compared to a traditional Negroni, but there’s still a great blend of flavours.

Rosita

Rosita – Chihuahua’s Mexican take on a Negroni

We reckon both of these drinks would be the perfect accompaniment to some Mexican food and and it was probably the only thing missing, some great food that we could wash down with the already fantastic cocktails. We are pretty sure we overhead that food may feature in the future and we hope that’s true. A Paloma, a Rosita, salty corn chips and some guacamole and you’ve got yourself a damn good time!

 

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

Out & About – Bank Street Social Take Two

By The Gentleman

Bank Street Social

After visiting new local bar Bank Street Social on International Rum Day we were invited back to sample some more of the bars delicious Australian gin. We also ventured back there as a bit of a collaboration with fellow blogger Lee from Adelaide Food Central, for a night of food and drinking blogging. Sometimes it’s good to be a blogger.

 

We revisited Bread & Bone for dinner and you can read Lee’s review of our experience at his website. The Lady enjoyed another of their fine Negronis and I tried the Feral Hop Hog IPA. The Hop Hog was very fruity and refreshing with little bitterness, a thoroughly drinkable and enjoyable beer.

 

You already know our feelings about Bank Street Social’s decor. We just love the old school, speakeasy style. Hot tip, if you want to really soak in the design of the bar and enjoy your drink while quietly relaxing in a booth then head their on Wednesday night. The bar was relatively quite and had a far more subdued atmosphere compared to the crazy, high-energy of a Saturday night. The relaxed atmosphere allowed us to really notice all the little details that help make the bar come alive, like the old photos near the entrance and the cabinet filled with various old bottles, clocks and books. Coming on a slower night also allowed us to talk to the bar staff who really know their stuff. We spoke to Cameron who was knowledgeable and passionate about the experience Bank Street Social is trying to offer. We had a good chat about the bar’s focus on Australian spirits and the difficult, but rewarding experience of introducing bar goers to the wonderful world of Australian spirits.

Botanic Australis Gin

The Lady and I didn’t need any encouragement to drink Australian and we had a hard time choosing a different Australian gin to try. We eventually settled on the Botanic Australis Gin from Queensland’s Mt Uncle Distillery. The gin is made with 14 native Australian botanicals including Lemon Scented Gum, River Mint, Wattle Seed, Lilly Pilly, Lemon Myrtle, native ginger and Finger Limes. The gin has a lot of flavours going on but it works so well. Smelling the gin in the bottle it had a really pleasant cinnamon aroma. Cameron prepared a simple gin and tonic with Schweppes Tonic Water and an orange twist. The orange added a pleasant citrus scent and a hint of sweetness to the drink. Paired with the tonic water the Botanic Australis is so lovely to drink. You get a whole bunch of different herbal flavours before a really pleasant mint and pepper finish that leaves your mouth feeling so fresh. We could definitely drink these all night.

Bank Street Social

We finished the evening with what is fast becoming a favourite drink of ours, an Australian Martini. There is such a growth in good quality Australian gin and vermouth that you would be foolish not to pair them together. This time our barman mixed the drink with West Winds Sabre Gin and Maidenii Dry Vermouth. To make it just that extra bit special, and to enhance the flavours present in the martini our bartender also roasted some rosemary over the top of the drink to release the flavours and aromas from the rosemary before dropping it in the glass. The martini was so smooth and easy to drink. It had warmth and intensity from the spirits but it wasn’t so strong that it was unpleasant. The combination of the rosemary with the gin and vermouth was very nice. It really enhanced the flavours and the aroma of the martini and took it to that next level. It’s becoming very hard for us to go past an Australian Martini when they keep being this good.

West Winds Gin

Bank Street Social certainly didn’t disappoint on our second visit. The relaxed atmosphere, knowledgeable staff and quality drinks made it the perfect way to power through hump day and celebrate the fact that the week was half over.

Australian Martini

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

Australian Martini

Disclaimer: The Cocktail Challenge was invited back to Bank Street Social and provided with complimentary gin and tonics for this article, but paid for the martinis. Although this post is sponsored all opinions are our own.