Now Serving – Luscious Orange Martini

By The Gentleman

Dark Chocolate

We were pretty happy with our first impression of the Cocktail Kit subscription service. The recipe and spirits provided allowed us to make a damn fine Espresso Martini . Naturally though we wanted to do our own thang because what really excites us about the Cocktail Kit is it’s ability to open us up to some new techniques and spirits we might not have thought to try before. So we put on our creative hats (okay there is no hat, we just kind of went on a tangent while enjoying our Espresso Martini) and came up with something rather decadent, delicious and a little bit naughty, the Luscious Orange Martini.

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Luscious Orange Martini

30ml 666 Vodka

30ml Tia Maria

30ml dark chocolate orange syrup (we used Willie’s Cacao Luscious Orange)

10-15ml fresh orange juice (I kind of just gave half an orange a good squeeze, you don’t want too much juice)

Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters


Grated chocolate for garnish

Orange twist for garnish

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To make the chocolate orange syrup break up your chocolate, in this case the 50g block of Willie’s chocolate, and melt it over a double boiler, stirring constantly so it doesn’t burn. When it starts to melt add a few drops of chocolate bitters and a teaspoon of water at a time until you get a pourable, syrupy consistency.

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Grab a fancy coupe glass and chill it down with some ice. In your oh so grown up Boston Shaker pour in the vodka, Tia Maria, chocolate orange syrup, orange juice, and two dashes of bitters. Half fill with ice and then shake like the wind. When your hand starts to feel like it might be getting frostbite then you’re down. Ditch the ice from your glass, and add a dash of bitters to the glass. Now double strain the drink using the Hawthorn strainer and the tea strainer. Grate some more chocolate over the top (get some height so it looks you’re one of those fancy TV chefs) and cut a length of orange peel to twist and hook over the side of the glass.

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We’re going to make a big call here and say that this is up there as one of the Top 5 cocktails we’ve made here at The Cocktail Challenge. “What?! How could you make that statement?” I hear you say, well let me explain why this cocktail will rock your socks. We’re partial to a bite or two of chocolate…okay a block or two, but this isn’t about our mild chocolate addiction. It doesn’t matter if it’s the cheapest block in the store or something you feel you need to mortgage your house for we just need all the chocolate all the time. Willie’s is a nice chocolate that’s just starting to catch on in Australia and this drink tastes EXACTLY like the chocolate we used. It’s amazing and almost a little like black magic that we were scared…of it’s awesomeness. You get bitter dark chocolate, but the vodka and Tia Maria actually soften some of that really bitter chocolate and make it really smooth to drink. You then get this lovely orange after taste that’s not too overpowering and provides a nice fresh contrast to the chocolate. This is pretty much exactly how the chocolate tastes. The bitters also give it a bit of an aromatic kick that is always welcome. It’s a decadent drink yet it’s not sickly or too sweet. It’s rich and quite velvety with a gorgeous chocolate colour and we could easily spend an evening enjoying a few of these. Also the last mouthful is something to be savoured as the grated chocolate has melted and there’s some syrup that settles at the bottom, which makes for a thicker, even more intense final flourish to the drink.

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The Espresso Martini shook up our coffee routine and the Luscious Orange Martini can definitely shake up your dessert because sometimes it’s just as good to drink your dessert as it is to eat it.


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


Disclaimer: The Cocktail Challenge was provided a free “The Sampler” Cocktail Kit as well as a Bar Kit for this article. Although this post is sponsored all opinions are our own.


Now Serving – Cocktail Kit Espresso Martini

By The Lady


Gorgeous packaging from Cocktail Kit. Most definitely dapper design. Top marks for presentation!


We love making, buying and drinking cocktails, we’ll just put that out there. While we have built up a collection of equipment and ingredients, we understand that it must be hard for some people to get into cocktail making mode when they are lacking all the essential utensils and liquors. Instead of overwhelming yourselves with the thousands of different liquors you can buy or the millions of different recipes you might want to try, we suggest starting with something simpler that will provide you with all the right clues towards a fabulous first cocktail experience. We suggest that you check out Cocktail Kit, who deliver all the ingredients to your door and do everything but make it for you!


Cocktail Kit is a brand spanking new website run by local legend Steve of Steve The Bartender. Basically, the website is a subscription service which offers either monthly or one off subscriptions where you can have a mixture of liquors sent to you based upon a feature monthly cocktail. Additionally, if you have a few extra ingredients in your cupboard, the kind people at Cocktail Kit provide guidance for a few extra cocktail recipes based upon those sent out that month. You can also purchase the one off Bar Kit, which provides all the tools needed to turn you into a master mixologist. Not only that, but the subscription also offers you exclusive access their online portal where you will find instructional videos and hints on how to create the perfect cocktails! (The online area wasn’t open when we received our sample, but we’ll be back to check it out later.)


We think this is a great service as it helps make cocktail making more approachable and a whole lot easier for those who want to dabble in the bartender ways! It can always be tricky when you are looking at a cocktail recipe only to find that you must buy several ingredients, but Cocktail Kit provides all the ingredients you need to make each months feature cocktail. Hooray! Plus you can also choose between the Entertainer Kit, which comes with full-size bottles and will let you dazzle your friends, or the Sample Kit, which provides adorable little miniatures so you can try a bunch of cocktails on a budget.


With the ingredients and instructions sent to us by Cocktail Kit, this is how we made our Espresso Martini, which is the first kit from the Cocktail Kit …

Espresso Martini:

30mL 666 Pure Tasmanian Vodka (PS peeps … 666 have an awesome website! Turn the volume up)

30mL Tia Maria

30mL Little Drippa Cold Drip Coffee

Ice (for preparation)


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Place some ice cubes in your martini glass to chill. Also half fill your cocktail shaker with ice (we used the Boston shaker sent to us by Cocktail Kit and prayed the whole time that we had smacked it on correctly). Add all the ingredients into the cocktail shaker and shake what your mama gave you … oh and also shake the cocktail shaker too! Empty the ice from the cocktail glass and strain the tasty liquor into your glass. We garnished with a few coffee beans because we so fancy, but it would be just as delicious without.


Double straining like a mofo


Ta da! How easy is that! Hint : so freaking easy! The Espresso Martini was very tasty with the Tia Maria giving it a sweeter, smoother flavour, but it still has that coffee and vodka kick. It was very easy to drink, easy to prepare, and tasted damn good. What more could you ask for?


We highly recommend the Cocktail Kit subscription service. We think it is the perfect way to break into the world of cocktails and an ideal gift, especially with Christmas right around the corner (get in quick to place your order for the first kit). I think it makes it so easy and affordable to whip up quick and delicious cocktails without even having to leave the house for ingredients! It’s beautifully packaged and the recipe provided great results. Plus, it gave us an excuse to partake in a cheeky pre-lunch cocktail. Morning coffee anybody?


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


Disclaimer: The Cocktail Challenge was provided a free “The Sampler” Cocktail Kit as well as a Bar Kit for this article. Although this post is sponsored all opinions are our own.