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

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Now Serving – Rye Strawberry Smash

By The Gentleman

 

Lately the supermarket has been overflowing with absolutely delicious strawberries. Every time The Lady and I go we come home with several punnets as they are just irresistible. Naturally we just had to use some of this amazing fruit in a cocktail. We opted for something simple yet full of flavour so the strawberries could really be the star of the show. Introducing the Rye Strawberry Smash.

Strawberry Smash

Rye Strawberry Smash

60ml Bulleit Rye Whiskey

60ml Lemon Juice

30ml Simple Syrup

2 1/2 Strawberries + 1 for garnish

Dash of Bittermens Burlesque Bitters

Rosemary

Black Peppercorns

Strawberry Smash

In the bottom of a cocktail shaker muddle the strawberries, rosemary, and peppercorns. You want the strawberries to release as much of their juices as possible so really mash them up good. Add in your rye, syrup, lemon juice and bitters. Shake it thoroughly so it all gets mixed together. Get some ice and put it in an old-fashioned glass then pour your deliciously boozy concoction in. Garnish with a strawberry on the side of the glass and a sprig of rosemary.

Strawberry Smash

Damn son this is a pretty drink. We wanted the strawberries to be the star of the show and they are, giving the drink a nice deep red colour, and the strawberry and rosemary garnish make it look extra inviting. It also has a delicious sweet strawberry aroma, which masks the fact that there are 2 shots of rye in there. Flavourwise the drink could definitely take more booze, as the rye provides a nice spiciness combined with the peppercorns that is not too overpowering, but towards the end you definitely start to realise this is a bit of a potent drink so add that extra shot at your own discretion. Drivers step away from the glass. Outside of the boozy spiciness you get a great mix of tart sweetness from the strawberries and sour lemon tang that is really refreshing and pairs together nicely. Also make sure you drop your strawberry garnish in so at the end you get to chow down on a rather tasty booze soaked strawberry, yum!

Strawberry Smash

Fruit seasons can be so fleeting that you really need to take advantage of them when you can, in any way you can. A simple cocktail of smashed fruit is the perfect way to do this and the Rye Strawberry Smash is the proof. A tasty drink that really shows off the great flavours of some delicious strawberries.

 

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Alaskan Rock Week – Now Serving – Hot Rock

By The Gentleman

 

We’re back as Alaskan Rock Week continues and The Lady and I shake up a cocktail to make you forget the winter blues. It’s the perfect mix of vibrant fruity freshness, Alaskan Rock Vodka, and warm chilli spice to responsibly chase the cold away. The recipe was inspired by an article on Bon Appetit that sent us to the drawing board and allowed us to come up with the Hot Rock.

Hot Rock

Hot Rock

2 Strawberries halved
1 1/2 tsp brown sugar
60ml pineapple juice
60ml Alaskan Rock Vodka
15ml homemade Jalapeño Syrup
2 dashes Bittermens Hellfire Habanero Shrub
Pineapple chunks for garnish
Strawberry for garnish

Hot Rock

Muddle strawberries in shaker with sugar. Add ice, pineapple juice, vodka, jalapeño syrup and Bittermens. Shake until combined and very cold. Strain into rocks glass. Prepare garnish by grilling or cooking  fruit in the pan with some brown sugar. Cook until they’re nice and brown then skewer the fruit to garnish.

Jalapeno Syrup

Jalapeño Syrup

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup water

1 fresh jalapeño pepper, washed and stemmed

Add the sugar and water into a pot. Slice jalapeño lengthwise and add into the pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer, and simmer for three minutes. Remove from heat let steep. I left my syrup for a good 40 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a bottle. This should make 250ml.

Hot Rock

Making the jalapeño syrup is not necessarily an essential step if you have ready access to canned or jarred chillies in syrup. You could just use the syrup from there and a lesser amount, about 1/2 a teaspoon, but I didn’t have any jars or cans. Plus,  I do enjoy a little experiment so making the syrup was something I was probably always going to do. The syrup had a really nice balance of sweetness from the brown sugar and heat from the chili. I was expecting it to be a lot hotter than it was after letting it steep for so long but instead it was a really smooth, mild heat that was quite pleasant. That mild heat was perfect for the Hot Rock. I was worried the heat might overpower the rest of the drink but instead it all came together rather nicely. The strawberries and pineapple juice provided enough sweetness and freshness to balance out the heat from the syrup and the shrub while the vodka provided the boozy background to the whole drink. Despite having two shots of vodka, the alcohol didn’t dominate or give off any weird flavours that might otherwise spoil the drink, it just provided that necessary extra kick. This is key as you wouldn’t want to ruin those lovely strawberry, pineapple and chilli flavours which worked so well together. At first you got the fruitiness and a bit of sweetness as well as the flavour of the chilli, not the spiciness but the actual taste of the pepper. It’s after that you get the spicy heat, which leaves a pleasant warmth in your mouth. The caramelised fruit top off the drink nicely, especially if you drop them in the drink at the start like I did. They soak up the flavours and make for a nice finishing bite at the end of the drink, an explosion of fruit juices, caramel and alcohol. Swoon.

Hot Rock

We’re halfway through Alaskan Rock Week but so far we’re enjoying every minute of it. Exploring and experimenting with interesting flavours is what the Cocktail Challenge is all about and sometimes we hit on the right mix to bring you a great drink like the Hot Rock.

Hot Rock

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Alaskan Rock Vodka

Disclaimer: The Cocktail Challenge was provided a free sample bottle of Alaskan Rock Vodka for this article. Although this post is sponsored all opinions are our own.