Now Serving – Sweet Tallulah

By The Gentleman

Sweet Tallulah

The Lady will attest that I have a bit of a soft spot for American style cooking, especially anything from the South. I just find something about pecan pies, cornbread, and slow cooked BBQ meats so comforting and delicious. So when I saw this cocktail, which is inspired by the Southern tradition of adding peanuts to Coca-Cola, I knew I just had to try it. Although we were a bit skeptical at first (nuts and soda well that’s just nuts) we present to you the Sweet Tallulah.

 

Sweet Tallulah

1 3/4 oz Bulleit Rye Whiskey

15 ml Tuaca

30 ml Homemade Peanut Orgeat

Fentimans Curiosity Cola

Ice

Peanuts

Sweet Tallulah

In a glass, combine whiskey, Tuaca and Orgeat over ice. The orgeat is quite syrupy so give it a good mix. Then top it with cola and garnish with a few peanuts and serve with a fun straw.

 

You can pick up almond orgeat from most good liquor stores, but the recipe calls for peanut orgeat which is a little harder to find. I followed the recipe from Garden & Gun and it was a relatively painless experience. I made half the amount because I wasn’t sure what else I might use the orgeat in before it goes bad. It made quite a thick syrup and I was quite pleased with the resulting flavour.

Orgeat

We were a bit skeptical of adding peanuts to cola, but that soon passed when we took our first sip. The drink has a delightful salty and sweet flavour because the peanut orgeat and cola get together and become best friends. It’s actually a damn fine flavour combination that is right on the money for current cocktail trends. Salt is fast becoming a go to for bartenders outside of a lick, sip, suck situation. We’re yet to really experiment with salt as a flavour and an enhancer of flavour, but this has us intrigued. I added the Tuaca to shake things up a little and the vanilla provides a nice smoothness. It doesn’t make the drink too boozy or overpower the whiskey. It’s still there, providing a nice kick and a touch of spicy and heat. If you don’t have Tuaca you could probably get the same flavour with a Vanilla Coke. Basically we thought we were drinking some sort of delicious peanut pie. We don’t even know if that’s a thing and we don’t care  because it was delicious. It’s nutty, smooth and salty/sweet, just like the best kind of pie.

Sweet Tallulah

Those Southerners may be a little bit crazy, dropping peanuts in their Coke, but that’s okay when the craziness pays off so well. We now feel the need to gather all of the nuts and add them to all of the sodas. Craziness is contagious and that’s okay with us.

 

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Now Serving – Swindler’s Sangria

By The Gentleman

Swindler's Sangria

It took me a while to convince The Lady to let me make this drink for her but I got there in the end. The Lady has enjoyed good wine for longer than I have and this basically goes against all her sensibilities as a wine drinker.

 

This drink is based off the Kalimotxo, which is a Spanish cocktail that is essentially red wine, typically a cheaper bottle or cask, mixed with Coca Cola. It’s a cheap drink that you can make a lot of, and it helps to make some rather moderate wine taste a bit better. The story goes that the original Kalimotxo was created when some wine had started to go off and developed a sour taste so cola was added to mask the flavour. I came across it in Paris after I met one of my brother’s friends who was from Argentina. She said the drink was also popular there, particularly in the Summer, but bartenders always gave her funny looks in Paris when she would order red wine and a cola and then pour in the cola while she was standing at the bar. I was still on my wine L plates at this stage, basically being force fed red wine because it’s Paris and that’s what you do in Paris, so I didn’t mind mixing things up while I still got accustomed to being a wine guy. We hear at the Cocktail Challenge like to jazz things up a bit, so we thought we’d make this drink a little more fancy with our favourite new wine. We decided to call it a Swindler’s Sangria because it is like a Sangria that a con man would try to sell you, a sneaky cheat version of the famous classic that’s just a bit different.

Swindler's Sangria

Kalimotxo

2 dashes Mister Bitters Pink Grapefruit Bitters

Red Wine (we used Hither & Yon Shiraz Cabernet)

Cola (we used Fentiman’s Curiosity Cola)

Lemon slice

Orange slice

 

In a high ball glass add a lot of ice and your dashes of bitters. Half fill the glass with red wine and then top with cola. Add your slices of fruit to the glass and you can squeeze some extra juice in there if you want it to be extra fruity (and why wouldn’t you darling?).

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The people at fine wineries may cringe at our use of an excellent wine in the Swindler’s Sangria, but we decided to take the stance that you shouldn’t make a drink with something you wouldn’t drink on its own and Hither & Yon is something we’d damn well drink on its own. Plus the Fentiman’s Cola has quite a strong and pronounced flavour so we needed a wine that was equal to the task.

Swindler's Sangria

I think the best thing to say about the Swindler’s Sangria is that I got The Lady to drink it and she didn’t hate it! In fact she quite enjoyed it, much to her surprise. Success! The drink has a real Sangria sort of quality to it, hence the Swindler’s Sangria. You get this really lovely boozy fruit aroma that is just damn enticing. The Lady’s biggest concern was the cola and it just taking over everything but luckily it doesn’t. You can definitely adjust the ratio of red wine to cola but at 50/50 you get slightly toned down flavours of both the red wine and cola that allows them to blend together quite nicely. The flavours are definitely reminiscent of Sangria but it’s not as tart or as strong as the flavours haven’t had time to soak in. Basically if you’ve got a hankering for some Sangria right now (!) then this is the drink for you. In just a few ticks you can be sipping a delightful blend of fruits, red wine and subtle sweetness from the cola while imagining you’re in Spain soaking up the sun.

Swindler's Sangria

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Disclaimer: The Cocktail Challenge was provided a free sample bottle of Hither & Yon 2013 Shiraz Cabernet for a previous article. Although that post was sponsored all opinions are our own.

Now Serving – Glorious Gin and Tonic

By The Gentleman

 

You may recall a little while ago we added the Breuckelen Distilling Glorious Gin to our On The Shelf category. At that stage we hadn’t yet had the chance to crack open the bottle and sample what the Brooklyn based distillery had to offer. Well, we’ve rightly rectified that and indulged in a few Glorious Gin and Tonics.

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30ml Breuckelen Distilling Glorious Gin

90-100ml Fentiman’s Tonic Water

Slice of Grapefruit

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In the Breuckelen Distilling On the Shelf article I highlighted that the gin is made with grapefruit and I’d like to make a Glorious gin and tonic with grapefruit in it. It was a good thing that I got one as it really went well with the gin. I had to cut a few slices of grapefruit before I got a good piece and I squeezed the juice from those few slices into the gin as well. I think those few drops of juice helped the flavour. It was just a really well balanced gin and tonic. The Fentiman’s Tonic Water is great, it has a very nice smell from all the botanicals used, and seemed to compliment the gin. The drink wasn’t sweet but it wasn’t overly bitter either which most gin and tonics at a bar tend to be.

glorious5

It is safe to say that the Breuckelen Distilling Glorious Gin tastes as good as it looks. The use of a grapefruit slice instead of a lime is key here I think as it suits the gin and I was pretty pleased with my first experience with the Fentiman’s Tonic Water. A simple but delicious mix you should all try.

 

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Now Serving – Orange, Lemon and Coriander Infused Gin

By The Gentleman

 

The Lady can attest that I am a bit of a tinkerer. I like to experiment and try new things especially when it comes to the kitchen. Naturally I also like to tinker with my drinks, hell that’s what this whole site is kind of about anyway. I’ve recently started to look at infusing spirits at home and it has been a fun and tasty experiment. One infusion that I want to share with you is my recent Orange, Lemon and Coriander Infused Gin. For the infusion I used:

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300ml Gordon’s London Dry Gin

Peel of 1 lemon

Peel of 1/2 and orange

1 tsp coriander seeds

 

Peel the fruit. Place peel and coriander in a sealable jar (I used a Ball Mason Jar) then top with gin. Leave for 3 days, checking once a day to see the progress of the flavours and giving the bottle a shake as well. When ready strain out peel and seeds and pour gin into clean bottle.

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I used Gordon’s because The Lady had a bottle hanging around she didn’t want to use anymore. The flavour combination was based on researching Gordon’s London Dry Gin and discovering that the gin already utilises orange peel, lemon peel and coriander seeds in the distillation process. I thought using those ingredients would just enhance the flavours already found in the gin and let everything blend well together. I also only used 300ml just in case the flavours didn’t mix well together and there goes all my infusing gin. A lot of recipes I’ve found call for a whole bottle of gin or whatever meaning the infusion can become an expensive process if your flavours don’t get a long.

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Throughout the process I checked on the infusion. At first the coriander seeds were quite powerful, obviously giving off their flavour first. I wondered whether they were going to be too intense as when I opened the jar you got hit with this spicy almost peppery smell. Over the next few days though the citrus peels gave off their flavour and toned down the spicy flavour I was getting early on. When it was ready I made myself a gin and tonic (using Fentiman’s Tonic Water) to test it out. The gin had a very citrusy flavour that paired really well with the Fentiman’s. It was very smooth to drink with a pleasant citrus smell and slight yellow tinge. I’d definitely say this infusion was a success and I look forward to making my next experiment.

 

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