On The Shelf – Koerner Wine Shiraz Mourvèdre

By The Lady

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We believe that summer is the perfect time to be lapping up some delicious wines … well, any time of the year is a good time. Who are we kidding? But seriously, summer Down Under is great as the evenings are warm, light, and lend themselves for sipping down a glass or two of vino to wash away the day. Our most recent venture is with local winemakers Koerner Wines.

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Koerner Wines is based in the Watervale area of the Clare Valley and run by SA brothers Damon and Jonathan Koerner. While they have both spent time gaining valuable experience around the nation and the globe, they both grew up in the Clare Valley and I suspect they have a nostalgic urge to keep it local. Thus, most of the grapes used in their wine comes from the local surrounds and from a vineyard owned by their own father! Koerner specialise in super-low production runs, think batches of only 10 cases, so when you come across one make sure you snap it up quick like we did. We managed to acquire a few of their delicious treats, and decided to start with the Shiraz Mourvèdre.

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The Shiraz Mourvèdre was a perfect blend of the rich Shiraz and the bold Mourvèdre. It had a bright colour, attractive colour that really caught the eye.  The wine also had the perfect amount of weight and oomph to it for a summer’s eve. You can definitely drink this now, there was almost a juicy freshness to it, but if cellaring is your thang then we could see this developing some deeper, richer and smoother flavour. Additionally, the spiciness and fruity aromas were rather prominent in this lovely beauty and translated into a delicious drop of wine with a nice balance between dark berries and spice. We also really love the design of their labels. Each bottle proudly dons the same filigree style grapevine in a rainbow of wine inspired colours. Let me tell you, I am certain their is a pot of gold at the end of the Koerner rainbow!

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On The Shelf – My Grandma Moved House And I Scored Some Booze

By The Lady

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A couple of months ago, my grandmother moved house and she kindly donated a lot of alcohol to me. She was in the tossing out mood when she threatened to pour all her booze down the sink. When she sensed that I was about to cry, she asked me “Oh, would you like to keep some darling?” to which I replied “You know it, G-Ma!”

 

To be honest, I grabbed as many bottles as I could. These are some of the ones that are remaining from the haul. I was able to score some bottles of wine but, naturally, they are all gone! Some of the reasons I decided upon choosing these particular liquors is because a) I hadn’t tried some of these liquors b) I loved the old school labels (I think some of these would be rather old!) and c) because I love to drink!

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These are the following bottles that still remain in my collection …

 

Buton Liquore Sambca

Helas Kalamata Ouzo

Campari

Smirnoff Vodka

Daringa Spiced Mead

Southern Comfort

Winston’s London Dry Gin

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Some of my favourite designs are the Campari, Smirnoff Vodka and the Southern Comfort because of their old fashioned labels. Particularly, I really like the pattern which is embossed onto the glass on the Smirnoff label. It is such a lovely extra touch that gives this bottle an extra charming edge. I have also noticed that on older bottles of booze, it is common to see a phrase saying something along the lines of “Bottled in Bond Under Commonwealth Control” which I think is a rather interesting flash back into the alcohol past here in Australia. I love that I was able to take these with their gorgeously designed labels. I almost wish the labels still had that vintage charm, but alas, all good things come to an end.

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Some of them I have used a lot and some I am yet to try but I am always pleased with free booze! Thanks Grandma! If anybody has any suggestions of how to drink these or which cocktails to make, hit us up on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest!

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Boozefood – Strawberry & Lime Rekorderlig Cupcakes

By The Lady

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So after The Gentleman made the Macadamia Beer Cake, I think I have developed an addiction to Boozefood! I get to consume baked goods AND alcohol at the same time?! This idea is both thrilling and a little worrying at the same time. Do I need to seek professional help? Not if I can become a functioning boozefoodaholic! Recently, I have also been reminiscing about the time my father made scones using blue lemonade he acquired on a holiday to Mount Gambier. This got me thinking about whether I could use alcohol in the same way i.e. to make light and fluffy cupcakes and at the same time incorporating the flavour of the alcohol.This led me to the idea of  … Rekorderlig cupcakes! The recipe I used for my Rekorderlig cupcakes was a modified version of a recipe I found on TinyTimTams. I made a few changes because I am both a) lazy and b) clumsy (I try so hard to be a fully functioning adult, but it never seems to work out for me). The recipe makes 24 cupcakes folks, so be prepared for a mountain of food!

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I used :

4 eggs

200 gm butter

2 1/2 cups caster sugar

3 cups self raising flour

300 mL Rekorderlig Strawberry & Lime Cider

250 gm cream cheese

250 gm icing sugar (I used icing sugar mixture, even though Tam says not to because I am a careless supermarket shopper and also because I am a baking rebel)

1 punnet strawberries

2 limes

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For the cupcakes

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius

Line 2 x 12 hole muffin trays with cupcake liners

Mix together with electric beaters your butter and sugar until combined.

Then, on a low speed, add eggs gradually until just combined.

With a spoon, add your cider and flour gradually (I mixed it all into the existing mixture in four lots)

Divide the mixture between the cupcake liners (Remember, it makes 24 so don’t go crazy with your first tin!)

Bake for 20 minutes (The original recipe says to bake for 15 minutes, but I found some of my cupcakes weren’t cooked entirely through at this point. You can always check by poking several of your cupcakes with a skewer. If there is still wet cupcake mixture on your skewer, they are still raw. If your skewer is clean when you take it out, they are cooked! Remember to check a few of your cupcakes because different ovens have hotter spots than others!)

Remove cupcakes from oven and cool on a cooling rack.

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For the icing
With an electric mixer, mix cream cheese until soft and add icing sugar gradually. Add lime juice and rind to your icing. Ensure you use an even amount of icing on each cupcake so you don’t run out or end up with an uneven distribution. Garnish your cupcakes with strawberries. I used halved strawberries but you could alternatively use slices or even fanned strawberries if you are super clever!

You may notice that the original recipe used twice the amount of cream cheese and icing sugar for the icing. The true reason why I halved the amount is because I dropped half of it on my kitchen floor (swearing ensued)! It all worked out okay though because I prefer cupcakes that aren’t smothered in icing, and the amount that I made was actually perfect for me. If you like lots of icing, make sure you aren’t as clumsy as me so you can use ALL the cream cheese you buy!

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The resulting cupcakes were very tasty and delicious! The use of the Rekorderlig does in fact make the cupcakes very light. The Rekorderlig gets it’s bubble on, go science, and everyone is better for it. They had a lovely strawberry scent and I think adding the lime rind was a nice touch to the icing. Even with the addition of the cider the cupcakes didn’t end up tasting that much sweeter, which meant you could gorge on one or two or four. Using this recipe meant that I had 24 cupcakes at my disposal and also half a bottle of left over Rekorderlig to drink while the cupcakes were in the oven! Who could ask for a better afternoon really?

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On The Shelf – Causes & Cures Semi Dry White Vermouth

By The Lady

 

Another recent addition to the shelf is a bottle of Causes & Cures Semi Dry White Vermouth created in Yarra Valley, Australia. (Hooray for the local lads and ladies!). This particular vermouth uses a selection of herbs such as orris root, wormwood, saffron, star anise and bay leaf to name a few. I would be interested to try it with some Gabriel Boudier Saffron Gin to highlight some of the saffron notes. The label describes a medieval treatise that recorded “beneficial and restorative powers of all known herbs and spices” which was also called ‘Causes & Cures’, hence where I am guessing their name comes from.

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Let’s be honest, as much as I pretend I’m not when I stroll through my local liquor store, I really am a sucker for stylish labels. And this Causes & Cures label is one dapper label. The heptagon framing the brand, name of the drink and logo is intersected by notations regarding its creation and ingredients. The selections of fonts is aesthetically pleasing and aids in making it a unique and interesting label. Additionally, I am interested to find out more about the creature featured within the brand’s logo and on the cap of the bottle. Curiouser and curiouser.

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Not really having had much vermouth previously, aside from in cocktails (aka a chilled mixture of deliciousness), I was curious as to the ways in which one might serve vermouth on its own. I somewhat followed the suggestion on the side of the bottle and was pleasantly surprised. I used :

30 mL Causes & Cures Semi Dry White Vermouth

Juice of about half an orange

An orange twist

Lots of ice

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The resulting drink was very smooth and rather tasty, if i don’t say so myself! I initially thought it may taste too strong by itself, but this vermouth has such a clean, crisp and refreshing flavour – just the right balance of strength and subtlety. The orange compliments this liquor extremely well, so thanks for the tip Causes & Cures! Being a small batch craft vermouth, supplies are limited so if you are eager I would suggest to snap up your own bottle quick smart.

 

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