Now Serving – Fire Fueled Cider

By The Gentleman

Fire Fueled Cider

We’re all about finding and using locally made spirits here at the Cocktail Challenge. You already know of our love affair with Australia’s award-winning gin and our continued education in the wide world of craft vodka. Over the next few posts we’ll be showing you our latest find, Fire Drum Vodka. We spent all weekend playing with fire and mixing up some fresh drinks with this fine Tasmanian vodka. Our first drink is the Fire Fueled Cider, which pairs craft vodka with craft cider…we are so crafty.

Fire Fueled Cider

Fire Fueled Cider

45ml Fire Drum Vodka
B Cider Company Two Pink Ladies Cloudy Apple Cider
Juice of a Lime
2 dashes Bittermen’s Burlesque Bitters
Apple for garnish

Fire Drum Vodka

Fill your cocktail shaker with ice and then pour in your vodka, lime and one dash of bitters. Shake hard for about 20 seconds. Grab a champagne flute and pour into the glass.  Add the second dash of bitters and then top with the cider. Garnish with an apple slice.

Fire Fueled Cider

Fire Drum Vodka is made from 100% Tasmanian barley and Tasmanian mountain water. There is quite a pronounced barley and malt aroma, hinting at it’s full bodied but slightly sweet flavour. We really think the malty flavour of the Fire Drum Vodka paired well with the spiciness of the bitters. The drink had a nice peppery spice aftertaste as well as a subtle pepper and apple aroma. You got quite a nice tingle on your lips. The B Cider Cloudy Apple Cider proved a great addition to the spicy bitters and malty vodka. B Cider Company are a small South Australian cider maker who make good cider with cute and quirky labels. It had a more subtle apple flavour than we expected but it had a delicious richness that paired well with the malty flavour of the vodka. The cider also provided a little bit of fizz, giving the drink a nice texture, and wasn’t as sharp or sweet as other ciders. Also you definitely need to dip your apple wedge in and enjoy the boozy flavour soaking through the apple, delicious. We also have to warn you that this drink is alcohol mixed with alcohol and it’ll send some heat through you. Tread carefully friends.

Fire Fueled Cider

For our first go-around with Fire Drum Vodka we were suitably impressed. It had a nice aroma and rich malty flavour that made a damn fine cocktail. We can’t wait to show you what else we whipped up with this bad boy, but for now sit back and enjoy some Fire Fueled Cider!

Fire Fueled Cider

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


Out & About – Thrift Shop Bar

By The Lady


Image courtesy of Thrift Shop Bar Facebook page.

For a long, long time now, we have been meaning to check out Thrift Shop Bar. This little gem boasts an impressive range of 100% Australian Spirits, as well as locally produced wine and beer. We heard that all the cool kids were going there, so as we are clearly (oh so) cool, we felt it our duty to partake in a slice of the Thrift Shop Bar pie! To our delight, there was a wine tasting on that evening by one of our new favourites Delinquente Wine Co., so we both agreed that it was the perfect opportunity to head on down.


Image courtesy of Thrift Shop Bar Facebook page.

The bar has a unique and refreshing vibe about it. The furniture is foraged from local op-shops. One feature wall is plastered with what looks like old sheet music and the light shades are pre-loved vintage dresses. My particular favourite touch from the bar was the old school glassware. It really reminded me of my grandpa and his home bar he used to love. He would have loved sipping on a whiskey or two at Thrift Shop Bar, that I am sure of!


Image courtesy of Thrift Shop Bar Facebook page.

Throughout the evening, we had several drinks, all of which were equally as delightful. Firstly, we started off with a tasting from Delinquente Wine Co. We started with the Screaming Betty Vermentino, which had a lovely refreshing flavour perfect for hot, Australian summer days. We then sampled the Pretty Boy Nero D’avola Rosato which was described as “a rosé for those who don’t drink rosé”. We can’t agree any more with this sentiment. The Pretty Boy is a perfect gateway wine to the world of rosé if one were so inclined to follow that path in life. Finally, we sampled Roxanne the Razor Nero D’avola & Montepulciano. Personally, I would have to say this was my favourite out of the bunch. It is incredibly easy to drink and would go well with a variety of meals yet it would also be perfect by itself. As you all know already, we loved The Bullet Dodger Montepulciano when we tried it a few weeks back, so it’s really no surprise that we are digging the other flavours that DWC have on offer.


Gingerbread Black Russian (L), Popcorn Sour (R)

Then, we were drawn to the vast cocktail menu. As it is scarily close to Christmas, I opted for the Gingerbread Black Russian. Oh my, this was tasty. The drink had a perfect blend of spiciness and richness. It really did taste light naughty, alcoholic gingerbread men too! The Gentleman opted for the Popcorn Sour which was oh so buttery. The drink had a lovely creaminess also, and tasted particularly like a lemon meringue pie with a hint of sour citrus. We are now 100% convinced that we must invest in a bottle of 666 Autumn Butter Vodka that was used to create this delightful cocktail. Really, what is not to love about the marriage of butter and vodka? We here at Cocktail Challenge HQ are clearly prepping our stomachs for food galore on the 25th as we are continually drawn to foodie cocktails. Delicious! Whilst drinking these cocktails, the bartender who made them came and sat down next to us and spoke about how he had created the two cocktails we had selected. He was very informative by explaining the creation process and it added that extra personal touch to Thrift Shop Bar.


Storm In A Teapot

Then, we decided to share a “Pot Tail” .i.e a cocktail inside a teapot. Yes people, shit just got real. We decided to go for the Storm in a Teapot, because it sounded delightful and we loved the name. Again, a lovely spiciness and rich flavour engulfed us in a refreshing and festive manner. We could really tell that the ginger beer was homemade, with lovely natural and zesty notes. The spiced rum was a perfect addition to this pot tail! Ho ho ho indeed! The Storm In A Teapot was beautifully presented, being served in an elegant gold teapot with cute little teacups to boot that made you look damn fancy while you were drinking it.


Finally, we polished off the evening with two different glasses of Delinquente Wine – the Pretty Boy Nero D’avola Rosato and the Roxanne the Razor NDM.  Also, we were never without free popcorn and we think we may have consumed our body weight in popcorn that evening!


Pretty Boy Nero D’avola Rosato (L) Roxanne the Razor NDM (R)

Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our Thrift Shop Bar experience. We are always happy to drink in a gorgeous setting, especially when the establishment is as enthusiastic about Australian liquor as we are. Onya Thrift Shop!


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