Now Serving – Pommie Pimm’s Jug

By The Lady

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Our final installment in the Pomegranate Trilogy is a twist on a British classic. We had some much fun with the Tangy Friday, and got a bit fancy with the What A Steal!, this time we wanted to go back to one of our favourites. Ages ago, we spoke about mixing up some delicious Pimm’s Cups, and at a recent party that we hosted, we thought the best way to wow our guests was to get our jugs (of Pimm’s) out. Not long after the party, we were gifted the bag ‘o’ pomegranates and knew that some were destined to be in our recently revived classic. We present to you our Pommie Pimm’s Jug!

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Pommie Pimm’s Jug (Makes four tall glasses):

1 orange cut into slices

1 lime cut into slices

1/2 a cucumber cut into slices

8 strawberries, sliced

Pomegranate Seeds from 1 pomegranate

60mL Vanilla Simple Syrup (from the What a Steal!)

120mL Pimm’s

90mL Kangaroo Island Spirits Old Tom Aged Gin

Juice of 1 Pomegranate

Lemonade to serve

Ice, to serve

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Add all the chopped fruit, chopped cucumber, and the pomegranate seeds, as well as the Pimm’s, the gin, the Vanilla Simple Syrup, and the pomegranate juice into large bowl to leave to infuse. Sit for about 10-15 minutes. Half fill a tall glass with the Pimm’s mixture and some ice. Top your glass with lemonade. Add a fancy straw, and umbrella, and you’ve got yo’self a tasty Pommie Pimm’s Jug!

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We’re pretty happy with our twist on one of our favourite classics. The pomegranates and vanilla syrup gave the drink a unique flavour perfect for surprising and impressing your friends. The Pommie Pimm’s Jug had a lovely cucumber scent as well as an intensely delightful fruity flavour. The pomegranate definitely added an extra layer of sweetness, tartness, and an overall tasty goodness! The Vanilla Syrup is a perfect addition and helps to balance out all the flavours from the fruit, cucumber, and liquor. We’re a big fan of fruit, so we suggest when you’re pouring these out, make sure to spoon lots of fruit into your glass.

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So next time you’re hosting a party and want to get your jugs out, keep it classy and make your guests the Pommie Pimm’s Jug!

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Now Serving – What A Steal!

By The Lady

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Following the delicious results of our first pomegranate cocktail, we take it up a notch with our next installment. In take two in our Pomegranate Trilogy, we wanted to spice things up a little …  and we really mean spice things up! Again, we were so lucky to have been given for FREE(!) a sizable bag ‘o’ pomegranates, it was such a steal! Given this, we think what better to use than Stolen Spiced Rum! We invite you to take a gander at our newest cocktail – What A Steal!

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A new favourite: Settler’s Gin

What A Steal:

30mL Stolen Spiced Rum

30mL Settlers Rare Dry Gin

30mL Pomegranate Juice

15mL Vanilla Simple Syrup

Half a punnet of raspberries

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Make your vanilla syrup by prepping a 1:1 simple syrup (equal parts water and caster sugar) then add some Bourbon Vanilla Powder. We made half a cup of vanilla syrup and used roughly a quarter of a teaspoon of powder because it is pretty strong stuff. Once your syrup is ready muddle your raspberries in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add your spiced rum, gin, pomegranate juice, and vanilla syrup. Shake it baby, shake it with ice. Strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with a few extra raspberries if you feel so inclined.

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We have to say, we are digging the vanilla and rum combo. It’s kind of like a fruity, non-chocolatey truffle … if that makes sense! The vanilla, rum, and pomegranate give the drink a gorgeous aroma that immerses you in a plethora of spices and vanilla goodness. This drink was not as tangy and tart as our first pomegranate drink, but it was still as tasty. I think the What A Steal is much more of a rich drink and has a beautiful depth to the flavours included. Interestingly, the cocktail was not as fruity as you might expect it to be but was still suitably fruit flavoured. Really, the drink was more musky and woody rather than overly fruity and had an intriguing spicy aftertaste.

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We hope that you give the What A Steal a try next time you get your hands on some pomegranates. We most certainly enjoyed shaking these beauties up … and drinking them too!

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Now Serving – Tangy Friday

By The Lady

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Just putting it out there … pomegranate is somewhat of a magical fruit. We were lucky enough to be given a large bag full of pomegranates from a friend who has a tree in her back yard. Because we’re all about dem flavours at Cocktail Challenge HQ, we simply couldn’t resist a bag ‘o’ tasty, magical fruit! As we had so so many pomegranates, we decided to make a handful of cocktails to inspire, delight, and amaze y’all. Or maybe it had something to do with us craving some cocktails …

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For Christmas, The Gentleman was kind enough to gift me some Settler’s Gin. This beautiful newcomer is a South Australian made gin (yeah boy!), so naturally we had to bust this bad boy open for a cocktail worthy of its gorgeous liquor. Also, we’re all about supporting local, especially if it means we get to drink gin. Here here!

Tangy Friday:

45mL Settler’s Gin

15mL Simple Syrup

30mL Pomegranate juice

30mL Lemon juice

Add all of your ingredients into a cocktail shaker with lots of ice ice baby. Shake it all up then strain it all out into a fancy pants chilled glass. Drink. Repeat. If you like, you can also place a few extra whole pomegranate seeds into the glass. This adds and extra tangy bite at the end of the drink!

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To make our pomegranate juice, we placed the pomegranate seeds into a blender and pulsed away. Then, we strained the juice to remove the pulp and voila! Pomegranate juice. Easy as pie!

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If you’re feeling the need for a cocktail to perk you up and keep you vibrant, the Tangy Friday is certainly the one. The drink was pretty gosh darn tasty with a bitey, tangy kick. Saaaaah tangy! As you can see, the colour of the pomegranate juice in this drink added a gorgeous, inviting appearance to the drink and was clearly destined to be added to a cocktail. We’re loving the hit of the pomegranate flavour in combination with the SA great Settler’s Gin too. Keeping it local, keeping it real at The Cocktail Challenge. Please note though that it is super easy to drink, so if you’re needing to operate heavy machinery, limit yourself (if you have the willpower).

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So, if you get your hands on some damn fine Settler’s Gin and some pomegranates at the same time, we highly recommend busting out your shaker and getting some Tangy Friday action!

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Out & About – Espresso Martini at Melt Pizzeria

By The Lady and The Gentleman

After sampling the latest Coffee Experiment from Loft Wine Bar we were reminded of an experience that we meant to write up but never got round to…until now. It was during the height of the crazy February-March Adelaide event season when we managed to nab the last counter spot at one of our favourite city locations, Melt Pizzeria. It had been a long and hectic day and aside from wanting some damn fine pizza The Lady had one other craving on her mind, the perfect Espresso Martini. Let us tell you dear readers that we came pretty close to finding it that day.

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Our bartender buzzed around like a mad thing and we only caught glimpses of what was going into this glorious creation. Vodka, a large shot of freshly made espresso, and magic. The first thing we noticed and admired was the heavenly, strong coffee aroma with something a little extra going on and the thick, inviting foam. Try as we might we can never quite get enough of that delicious foam that elevates an okay to cocktail to the spectacular. We had to bow down in appreciation of the epic foam on the Melt Espresso Martini, which made you just want to eat it up. We almost didn’t want to take a sip, it looked so damn good. Of course, we did, we’re only human after all.

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Taking that first amazing sip the hidden scent in the aroma was revealed, a delicious note of orange. It was almost like drinking the best damn alcoholic, coffee infused Jaffa cake dreamt up in an Adriano Zumbo fever dream. The bitterness of the coffee was balanced out by the light creaminess of the foam and the slight sweetness and acidity of the orange yet it still tasted strong enough to keep you perked up all night long. We’ve done our own experiments with coffee and orange and this just confirmed that these two flavours deserve to be up there with other great partnerships throughout history like Ben & Jerry, Hewlett & Packard, Mawson and all the other guys who went to Antarctica but no one ever remembers. We’d like to say more but our urge to devour this amazing glass of coffee goodness took over. What we’ll leave you with is a throwing down of the gauntlet and a promise. This is probably the best Espresso Martini we’ve ever had. Period. Therefore, the rest of the Adelaide bar scene has been put on notice because we’re coming and the bar has been set.

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Out & About – Loft Oyster & Wine Bar Autumn Menu Launch 2015

By The Lady and The Gentleman

With the changing of the weather from bright, sunny, and sometimes unbearably hot Summer days to the cooler, wetter, and darker Autumn, classy Gouger St watering hole Loft Oyster & Wine Bar have launched their Autumn Menu featuring seasonally inspired cocktails and food. As you already know we are big fans of what Loft Wine Bar do (you can see our prior thoughts here and here) and we were lucky enough to attend a delightful evening at the Loft where we were able to sample the newest creations on offer. The Loft’s close proximity to the Central Markets mean they are always aware of what’s fresh and in season and like their menu to reflect that. Needless to say we were quite impressed with what the Loft will be dishing out to its customers all through Autumn.

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Stop. Cobbler Time.

The whole evening had a fun and slightly theatrical air as our knowledgeable and charming host Eddie talked about the inspiration and history behind each of the new creations. We began with the Loft’s Autumn version of the Sherry Cobbler, a drink that was basically the ‘Look at my wealth’ meme of the 1800s. It has a lot of citrus and crushed ice two things that were pretty damn expensive at the time. The drink had vodka, apple liquor, cranberry, apple and ginger cider, and pomegranates. The Cobbler was tart and sour, amplified by the sherry, with a hint of maple sweetness. There was a lot of apple flavour throughout the drink, although we thought the first few sips tasted a bit cherry-y, which brought back all sorts of flashbacks to The Lady’s summer cherry binge. The drink was light with a dry finish and it is easy to see why this drink, despite being damn expensive back in the old days, would have been so popular.

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Gin Fizz No. 53 with dill garnish

We then moved into an area of the cocktail menu we felt quite at home with, gin. Specifically, Loft prepared their Gin Fizz No. 53 (dubbed No. 53 because of all the herbs/Herbie the Love Bug). This was a bit different to other Gin Fizz’s we’ve had. We were served smaller versions of most of the drinks (otherwise it would have been a drunken gramming disaster) and the Gin Fizz’s didn’t seem to have a lot of egg white in there. Instead it was the herbs that were the star of the show. The drink had dill, mint, and thyme and it was the dill that really took over. It gave the drink a really savoury aroma and slightly savoury flavour, which was an interesting and unexpected turn. The use of dill in this drink brought The Lady back to her travels in Russia, where everything had lavish sprinklings of dill. The Gin Fizz No. 53 also used Prosecco instead of the traditional soda water and the Prosecco gave the drink quite a dry finish with a hint of alcohol.

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Tiki kitsch goodness!

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Zombie. Uuuuuunghh.

Things really started to heat up when we moved onto the Zombie. A mix of 4 or 5 different rums, including overproof rum, the Zombie is one of the quintessential Tiki cocktails. Legend has it Donn Beach created the drink to help a hung-over customer get through a business meeting, but instead turned the customer into a zombie for the next few days. Everyone got pretty excited when the Scorpion bowls (Tiki bowls for groups) and sparklers came out. All of a sudden there were a lot of people aiming to get the best photo of the flaming, sparkling Tiki ware and why not, the fire was impressive and added to the theatrics of the evening (but take care). The Zombie was definitely a crowd favourite. Balancing the different rums and fruit juice is a difficult prospect. Too much rum and it’s too strong and difficult to drink while too much fruit juice makes it too sweet and similarly unpleasant. Luckily the Zombies we had were well balanced. There was a nice sweet fruit flavour from the pineapple and passion fruit, but it didn’t fully mask the rum. There was definitely a nice kick to it that reminded you this drink is loaded and ready for bear.

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Mint Julep with some fancy pants ice

The Lady and I generally like all the cocktails we’ve tried Out & About, but there is one drink that had previously bucked that trend: the Mint Julep. A classic cocktail that is synonymous with Southern Gentleman enjoying the Kentucky Derby we ordered one, thinking we should get our head around the classics, and neither of us liked it. Since then the Mint Julep had been way down the bottom of the cocktail list, but the Loft’s Georgia Julep managed to change that. Sure it had a hell of a bourbon punch to it yet it wasn’t unpleasant. We’re pretty sure the bourbon was infused with mint, which probably gave it that something extra that changed our minds. The bourbon and mint just seemed to combine a lot better in this Julep without being too overpowering. The Georgia Julep was another drink that was up there as a favourite mainly because it managed to change our opinion of the Julep and let us feel like the fine Southern Gentlefolk we’ve always wanted to be.

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The Contender

Next up on the cocktail list was The Contender, a recipe borrowed and inspired by the incredible folk at Eau De Vie. In a typical Eau De Vie style, this cocktail was beautifully presented and tasted absolutely gorgeous! The drink was delightfully sweet and had a lingering smoky flavour from the toasted marshmallow garnish and residual smoking rosemary twig. Despite being a sweet drink, The Contender had a light and smooth texture, which was uniform with the consistency of a marshmallow. The addition of the mandarin was a surprising and enjoyable contribution to this modern classic.

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The Coffee Experiment

Finally, the The Coffee Experiment was a rich, luscious, and decadent cocktail to polish off the night. Loft’s revolving take on the ever-so-on-trend Espresso Martini, which has been ordered in some fashion 138,000 times over the last two years at Loft, used a dark rum rather than the traditional vodka standard. Loft have opted for this alteration as they believe it has a closer resemblance to the coffee flavours and characteristics than vodka. The Coffee Experiment was an excellent fusion of flavours and gave us an energetic kick at the end of our festivities. The coffee was strong, it went down smoothly, and had a bitter coffee finish with just some dark rum lurking around.  We believe this is possibly our favourite drink of the night, but we’ll be honest, they were all pretty darn delicious!

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Truffle Sui Mai

Overall, all the drinks looked and tasted incredible. They were all extraordinarily eye catching, with each cocktail having their own little personality. This was further enhanced by the little stories and background information from our wonderful host Eddie.

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Peking Duck Pancake

The food served throughout the night was equally as delicious. We would like to mention that the staff at Loft made up a special serving of food for The Lady in order to accommodate her vegetarian persuasion. They went out of their way to impress everybody on the table, and made sure everybody was looked after. Their premium quality food and drinks, as well as their high attention to detail, make Loft Oyster and Wine Bar a really special place well worth the visit.

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Deconstructed Cheesecake

It was great to meet other fellow bloggers and Instagramers too. We caught up with our friend Lee from Adelaide Food Central, we met Dee of dBites (to my excitement), and were introduced to the stunning photography of @duydash. There were many other lovely people at the event with which we were were lucky enough to share the evening with.

Overall, we were impressed yet again by our experience at Loft Oyster & Wine Bar. We highly recommend that y’all check out their Autumn menu. What’s not to love about sipping down some cocktails and nibbling on delicious treats?

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

Disclaimer: The Cocktail Challenge was invited by Loft Oyster & Wine Bar to their Autumn launch and were provided complimentary cocktails and food for this article. Although this post is sponsored all opinions are our own.

Now Serving – Milk Boss

By The Gentleman

Do you know what’s annoying? Milk. You think you’ve purchased a reasonable amount of milk, no giant 3L bottle for you, but even so you just can’t get through it before the ‘use by date’. We hate to waste food, but life (that old chestnut) has a habit of getting in the way of your milk drinking plans and screwing everything up! Next minute things are starting to smell a little bit funky and you’re trying to think back to the last time you poured milk on your cereal and whether that was before or after it went bad. This time though we were not going to be beaten by the use by date. We showed that milk who was boss by pouring it’s still-fresh ass into a cocktail shaker with some damn fine booze. And thus the Milk Boss was born.

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Milk Boss :

70ml Mr Black Iced Coffee 15ml

Stolen Spiced Rum

90ml Full Cream Milk

10ml Maple Syrup

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Fill a highball glass with ice. Pour 30ml of Mr Black and the maple syrup into the glass. Grab your cocktail shaker and add 30ml Mr Black, Spiced Rum and milk. Give it a hard shake then pour into glass. Top with remaining Mr Black. Serve with a straw. This is the sort of thing we’ve already made a lot of with Mr Black, but there’s a reason for that: it tastes so damn good! It’s easy to drink with a nice sweetness from the maple syrup. There’s a nice spicy smell, but not an overly spiced flavour. It’s more of a caramel combination from the spiced rum and maple syrup with just a subtle spiciness. Using the full cream milk also gives the drink a really creamy flavour. It tastes kind of like a decadent creamy coffee truffle. It’s just a little bit fancy really.

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Next time your milk is about to expire show it who’s boss by slamming it down with some sweet sweet alcohol. Go on, make yo’self a Milk Boss.

P.S the only good thing about nearly being out of Mr Black Coffee Liqueur is the badass artwork on the inside of the bottle is almost completely revealed. God it looks cool.

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Now Serving – Stolen Coffee

By The Gentleman

Stolen Coffee

Some mornings the only thing that lets you face the day is that cup of strong black coffee. Until you get that sweet, sweet black liquid gold the struggle is real. Then you actually start working and all the joy of that morning coffee is crushed, to be replaced by the longing for that end of day cocktail. This is clearly the reason why coffee and cocktails go so well together, combining two of the strongest motivators to get through the day, and why the Stolen Coffee needs to be added to your drinking repertoire (and possibly morning routine).

Stolen Coffee

Stolen Coffee

60ml Stolen Spiced Rum

30ml Fresh Orange Juice

30ml Cold Brew Coffee

15ml Mr Black Coffee Liqueur

Orange peel to garnish

 

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice stir the rum, juice, cold brew, and coffee liqueur with a bar spoon till it’s nice and cold. Strain it into ice filled tumblers and then garnish with a piece of orange peel.

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Hot damn this is a morning coffee with some kick and just a bit of a twist. Think the lingering bitterness of black coffee mixed with the sweetness of fresh orange juice and a rich, caramel-y, molasses rum. You’ll be reminded of breakfast as the coffee and orange notes in the aroma mix and contend with each other. It sounds a bit weird, it did to us at first, but it’s like pairing your two favourite morning beverages in one for twice the fun (and by two favourite morning beverages we mean coffee and juice not rum…although we are always open to new suggestions). You get the orange first and then you’re left with that strong, slightly bitter aftertaste. It’s an interesting and tasty combination. What really boosts this to the next level is the Stolen Rum. It is the perfect rum for this drink because it already has those coffee notes. The rum just blends into the coffee like they were meant to be together. The molasses of the rum also just smooths out some of the bitterness of the coffee and the acidity of the juice to balance things out and make it very easy to drink.

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We don’t necessarily condone morning drinking, but if we did then we would be all over Stolen Coffee as our morning recommendation and beverage of choice. Coffee, rum, and juice is some sort of holy trinity that we are all for.

Stolen Coffee

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