Now Serving – 12 Days of Butter

By The Gentleman

12 Days of Butter

Readers, are you aware of how hot it was in little old Adelaide, South Australia today? It was 32°C today or 89.6 Fahrenheit for our American friends. That is far to hot for all the delicious warming festive cocktails we’ve been seeing. Delicious hot-buttered rum or glorious spiced mulled wine makes our mouths water and nostrils flare in anticipation for drinking the flavour of Christmas…and then a single bead of sweat slides down our face as we think how hot and disgusting that is going to make us feel on a 32°C day! What are we to do!? Get a little weird that’s what. Take the hot, buttery, spiced goodness of many a good-looking festive drink and chill that sucker down. Introducing the 12 Days of Butter. Your arteries have been warned.

Those festive spices yo

Those festive spices yo

 

12 Days of Butter

30ml spiced butter syrup

30ml Bulleit Bourbon

45ml Le Birlou Apple and Chestnut Liqueur

Apple slice to garnish

Grated Nutmeg

Ice

 

Grab your cocktail shaker and pour in your syrup, bourbon and liqueur. Add ice. Put the lid on and shake. Now the butter syrup is going to solidify a little bit so you need to double strain this bad boy. Grab an old fashioned glass and stack two ice cubes on top of each other. Use the ice to hold your apple slice in place. Double strain into the prepared glass and grate nutmeg on top of the ice.

 

Spiced Butter Syrup for 2

50g unsalted butter

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup water

5 cloves

1 cinnamon stick

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp vanilla essence

Pinch of salt

 

In a saucepan melt butter over low-medium heat till it smells nutty and starts to turn slightly brown. Stir and keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. Add water, sugar, vanilla and spices. Leave on the heat until the sugar is melted and combined with the butter. Remove from the heat and leave the spices in there to infuse. This also allows the syrup to cool down. Leave to infuse for at least 15 minutes, but you can leave it longer if you like. Strain to remove spices.

12 Days of Butter

The 12 Days of Butter was exactly what we were looking for. The drink is still rich and full of all those delicious spice flavours. In particular the grating of nutmeg on top makes the drink smell and taste heavenly. It’s smooth and buttery, feeling nice on your tongue and going down really nicely with a noticeable and delightful punch of vanilla. Smooth butter and vanilla, that’s what we’re talking about people. Christmas is a time to indulge and it doesn’t get much more indulgent than drinking butter. The drink is rich with a sweet almost caramel flavour and just fills you with this very festive, European Christmas sensation. As The Lady said, it tastes like Harry Potter, something like the grown up, classy version of Butter Beer Harry would magic up when remembering the good old days of kicking Voldermort’s ass. It has all these festive, wintery notes yet it’s far more suited to the Australian climate. The Le Birlou is also a nice addition to the typical winter drink stable. Le Birlou has a smooth flavour that really compliments the butter. Plus chestnuts and apples seem pretty festive to us and we think you should add a bottle of this to your repertoire (in the Northern and Southern Hemisphere). There is also no unpleasant bourbon aftertaste, it just enhances the spices and lets the butter and Le Birlou take over. Although be warned, there is a bit of a kick here. Finally, if you can wait a little before you start drinking or savour it slowly because if you do that apple slice is not only going to provide a hint of apple sweetness to the aftertaste but it’s going to soak up those flavours and be the most delicious note to finish. A crisp bite of butter, spice, booze and apple. Now that’s Christmas.

12 Days of Butter

We were a little concerned this wouldn’t work the way we wanted it to, but any fears we had were squashed as soon as we took that first sip. It was everything we were looking for and more. A festive, flavour packed drink that took everything we loved about those warm Christmas drinks and made it so we could drink it in Australia without the fear of sweating up a storm.

12 Days of Butter

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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.

 

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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 – Sir Mörkalot’s Naughty Hot Chocolate

By The Gentleman

Hot Chocolate

After what felt like one of the coldest and wettest winters down under we are finally on our way to Spring. Just to spite everyone though, the weather has decided to remind us that it can still be damn cold and wet in September. While it may be rather miserable outside, The Lady and I realised it’s also the perfect opportunity to indulge in some boozy hot chocolate to celebrate the last of the wintery weather. We also really wanted to make something a little naughty with our recently acquired Mörk hot chocolate powder. So, without further ado we present to you Sir Mörkalot’s Naughty Hot Chocolate (I have no idea why it is called this, but The Lady was rather adamant this would be the name).

 

Sir Mörkalot’s Naughty Hot Chocolate

Naughty Whipped Cream

300ml Thickened Cream
1 teaspoon Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters
1 teaspoon Mörk Dark Chocolate and River Salt Cacao Powder

 

Make your cream first. In a jug beat your cream with an electric mixer. When it is almost whipped, add your chocolate bitters and cacao powder. Give it another quick whip so everything is mixed together. Put in the fridge until you’re ready. You’ll have some left over for more delicious treats the next day. You can now start making your ho cho!

Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate

2 tbs Mörk 65% Dark Chocolate and River Salt Powder

200 ml milk

1/2 tbs maple syrup

1/4 tbs brown sugar

Pinch of salt

60 ml Bulleit Bourbon

Marshmallows

Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters

 

In a small saucepan over a medium heat whisk together your chocolate powder, maple syrup, brown sugar, pinch of salt and 50ml of milk. When it becomes smooth and oh so velvety, add the rest of your milk. Whisk again and leave for about 4-5 minutes to heat through. The hot chocolate isn’t going to get scalding hot and nor do you want it to be. After your hot chocolate mix heats up add your bourbon. You only want to leave it on the heat for about a minute so everything gets nice and warm but the alcohol doesn’t cook out of the bourbon. Grab a mug and drizzle a few drops of chocolate bitters in the glass. Pour in your hot chocolate then top it with a good dollop of whipped cream. Top it off with a marshmallow that has been rolled in chocolate bitters. Marvel at your chocolatey creation and enjoy immediately!

Hot Chocolate

Sir Mörkalot’s Naughty Hot Chocolate has a whole lot flavour going on. The Lady and I have already indulged in quite a few Mörk hot chocolates on their own and they have a lovely rich chocolatey flavour. It’s not overly sweet or sickly compared to some other powders. This is perfect for this boozy hot chocolate as it means the brown sugar and maple syrup aren’t going to send you into some kind of sugar induced coma. Mörk’s gorgeous, deep dark chocolate flavour also means it can stand up to the two shots of bourbon. The Lady isn’t a fan of solo dark spirits and reckons some people may want to dial the booze back a bit as it can be quite strong but I found it to be a suitable amount. Sure, the first sip was a bit potent but for the majority of the drink it was a delightful blend of chocolate and bourbon with the bourbon giving the drink a subtle spiciness and warmth. The extra chocolatey whipped cream just heightens the chocolate and spicy flavours. We are definitely a fan of adding chocolate bitters to whipped cream and it gives an added creaminess and richness to the drink without diluting the chocolatey goodness. Seriously, this is definitely a chocolate lovers drink as it’s chocolate on chocolate. The marshmallow is a nice little presentation touch and the whole drink has a real dessert feel to it. Something indulgent and special to cap off a cold night out or a snuggled night in.

Hot Chocolate

Sir Mörkalot’s Naughty Hot Chocolate is our way of sending off winter and the last of the cold weather in boozy style. Spring is upon us and that means fresh, fruity and refreshing cocktails are the go but goddamn we’re going to miss the indulgent mug of chocolatey goodness that is the Sir Mörkalot’s Naughty Hot Chocolate. Till next time winter.

 

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Now Serving – Bourbon Chocolate Brownie Milkshake

By The Gentleman

Bourbon Milkshake

This cocktail almost crosses the boundary between Boozefood and Now Serving and represents a bit of a personal victory for us. When I first found the recipe that inspired this drink, The Lady was very reluctant. You almost couldn’t get more indulgent or bizarre. The Lady thought it was madness, adding a brownie to a milkshake, to which I responded “Madness?! This! Is! Cocktails!” Eventually my pester power won her over and the super indulgent Bourbon Brownie Chocolate Milkshake was born.

Bourbon Milkshake

Bourbon Brownie Chocolate Milkshake

90mL Bulleit Bourbon
1 ½ Chocolate Brownie Squares chopped plus 1 for garnish
3 scoops chocolate ice cream
1/4 cup milk
1/4 Bourbon Chocolate Sauce plus extra for garnish

Blend the ingredients together in a milkshake maker. Depending on how thick you like your milkshake, you can add extra milk or ice cream to get the desired consistency. You will also end up with small bits of brownie still in the drink – perfect! When it’s done, drip that chocolate sauce around the inside of a Mason Jar for extra chocolate goodness. Pour in the drink then skewer the remaining brownie to garnish.

You should know that in the photo I’ve actually used twice the amounts listed. I did this because the recipe I based this on and the photo I used showed the drink overflowing with these quantities. I thought this would be enough but when I poured the first batch in, it barely filled the jar. I don’t know what size jar was used in the photo but our drink looked pretty sad so we made another batch to top it up. I also decided to make my own chocolate sauce because we didn’t have any in the house plus that’s how I roll. Besides, making my own meant I could add extra bourbon, because you can never have too much bourbon.

 

Bourbon Chocolate Sauce from Craving Chronicles

2/3 cup thickened cream
2 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar
170gm milk chocolate, chopped (bittersweet might be better but this was all I had)
1 tablespoon Bulleit Bourbon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine cream and brown sugar until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture just starts to boil. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate,  stirring until it has melted and combines. Stir in your bourbon and vanilla. Taste and try not to eat it all at once.

Bourbon Sauce 2 Bourbon Sauce

You can use it immediately or transfer it to a heat safe, airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to a week. It will thicken a bit in the fridge so when you go to use it either get it out well before or heat in a microwave safe container on defrost for 10-20 seconds or warm slowly on the stove top.

Bourbon Milkshake

The Chocolate Bourbon Sauce has a delightful boozy flavour as you only stir the bourbon in so it doesn’t cook away but instead, mixes with the chocolate and becomes so smooth. It’s very hard not to eat all the sauce before you even get to making the drink! The drink itself is an overload of flavour in the best possible way. Three shots is maybe a touch too much, depending on your relationship with bourbon, but The Lady and I are on good terms for now so we found it quite enjoyable. The bourbon gives the drink a real spiciness which shines through the whole drink. The chocolate flavour is really subtle which was unexpected given how much ice cream and sauce it had. The real star though, is the brownie. It doesn’t quite break down completely, so you’ll get little bits of brownie in each mouthful AND I totally recommend dunking the brownie garnish in the drink. It stays fairly solid yet soaks up all the boozy flavours. Biting into it at the end is amazing, an explosion of bourbon spice mixing with the chocolate of the brownie. Heaven.

Bourbon Milkshake

If you’re thinking of mixing up the Bourbon Chocolate Brownie Milkshake (and why wouldn’t you be) you might want to clear your schedule. It’s decadent, indulgent and extremely bad for you in the best possible way and will leave you in a state where you’re in capable of doing anything else but lie down on the couch feeling rather satisfied with yourself.

 

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Now Serving – Bengali Strepsil

By The Gentleman

 

So the other day I was watching an episode of Jamie and Jimmy’s Food Fight Club and they kept going on about how beer cocktails are the big thing in drinking at the moment. It was also an episode where Jamie and Jimmy said huckle-my-buff so many times it became a form of torture and I wanted to huckle Jamie’s buff to make him stop, but it did get me thinking that I hadn’t had a beer cocktail yet.

 

I skipped through my books to see if I could find any interesting beer cocktail recipes, but nothing took my fancy. There were either a version of ‘shot and a brew’ or something akin to a shandy. Not that there’s anything wrong with those combinations, I’ll probably try them later, but I was feeling a little more adventurous. I eventually searched online and adapted the Weissen Sour from here. It was an interesting drink that grew on you over time.

 

Bengali Strepsil

1 1/2 oz Maker’s Mark bourbon

3/4 oz lemon juice

1 tsp lime marmalade

2 dashes Bitter Tears Lucille Blood Orange bitters

2 oz Sixpoint Brewery Bengali Tiger IPA

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Combine ingredients in shaker over ice. Gently shake together. Pour over fresh ice in glass. Top with remaining Bengali Tiger and an extra squeeze of lemon juice.

 

Now you are probably wondering why I called it the Bengali Strepsil. Well, the drink had a very intense bitter and hoppy flavour at first from the beer (you can see my views on the Bengali Tiger IPA here). As the flavour progressed you picked up on the lemon juice, the citrus from the beer and the ginger from the bitters. What you were left with was a flavour and sensation reminiscent of sucking on a strepsil throat reliever, but in a good way. The Lady commented that they reminded her of these particular Danish strepsils that were ginger flavoured. In the same way that a Strepsil works, your mouth felt very cleansed afterwards with a very pleasant aftertaste and a hint of numbness. The drink also had a very pretty light orange colour to it, I assume from the beer that I used which had more of a hazy orange colour. Pleasing to look at and, eventually, pleasing to sip.

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The recipe itself could use a little work. It probably wasn’t quite as balanced as it should be but it didn’t taste like rocket fuel and that’s always a plus in my book. I didn’t think the marmalade added anything, mainly because the ice kept it solid. Maybe warming it up could help. Adding in the extra beer and squeeze of lemon was a personal flavour thing as it was pretty damn intense without them. If you’re a bourbon drinker you may not want to add the extra beer and lemon in. The IPA was also quite a heavy, strongly flavoured beer on its own so I’d like to come back to it and try out a few different types of beer to see how the flavour changes and a few different bitters too. I would also like to try it without adding the beer to the shaker. That way you could get the bourbon, juice and bitters more incorporated and then top it with the beer.

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Overall, drinking the Bengali Strepsil was somewhat reminiscent of Dylan Moran’s stand-up where he talks about drinking wine. You start of thinking ‘God that’s strong!’ but then overtime the flavour grows on you, becoming more pleasant and familiar and easier to drink. Who knows, I may even whip one up next time I’ve got a sore throat to see if it does the job. It’s certainly a more attractive proposition to drink an alcoholic strepsil than to suck on one.

 

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