Now Serving – Hibiscus Tonic

By The Gentleman

Hibiscus Tonic

For my birthday I received many great gifts, including a bottle of Melbourne Gin Co gin and a jar of Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup. It is quite evident that my love of cocktails is well known by The Lady and my friends. Both of these fine items have been sitting on my shelf for a while now and I thought it was time they met in a delicious Hibiscus Tonic.

Hibiscus Tonic

Hibiscus Tonic

45 ml Melbourne Gin Co Gin

15 ml Wild Hibiscus Syrup

1 Wild Hibiscus Flower

Fever-Tree Indian Tonic Water

Ice

 

Place ice in a tumbler then add gin and hibiscus syrup. Top with tonic water and then place Hibiscus Flower on top. Enjoy!

Hibiscus Tonic

The drink is definitely not your average Gin and Tonic. There is a lot more sweetness here even though I bumped up the gin to try and balance it out (and received an enjoyable buzz as a result). The Lady described it as a classy lolly and the sweetness does linger as a pleasant aftertaste. The Hibiscus Flower replaces the lime or cucumber in the drink and brings its own fruitiness. The Hibiscus Flower has a raspberry and rhubarb flavour, but it’s not jammy or overbearing. Instead it’s got more of a tangy flavour that combines with a more subtle bitterness from the tonic water. The gin, luckily, isn’t completely lost in the Hibiscus. The strong citrus flavour of Melbourne Gin Co’s gin is still there in the aroma and cutting through the sweetness. Make sure you use a bold, flavoursome gin in this bad boy. The drink also looks gorgeous, a very pretty sparkling pink and you’re left with an edible Hibiscus Flower. It has a bit of a weird texture, but the flavour was quite pleasant with the raspberry flavour being particularly noticeable.

Hibiscus Tonic

It may be a little too sweet to be classed as a classic G&T, but that’s okay as the Hibiscus Tonic has it’s own sweet, fruity flavour that makes it rather enjoyable in its own right and a perfect drink for the warmer months ahead.

 

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Now Serving – Mr Black’s Invigorating Tonics

By The Gentleman

 

Because we’re such nice people and because you, our adoring audience, deserve it The Lady and I are bringing you not one but TWO drinks today. I know, I know we’re pretty awesome and modest people. We were just so impressed with Mr Black’s Coffee Liqueur that we had to share with you two tasty experiments.

Mr Black

Mr Black, located in Erina, New South Wales, started the recent trend in crowd funding Australian spirits on local site Pozible. They were successful and were able to bring their cold-drip coffee liqueur to the masses, which is great for us because it’s delicious. The guys at Mr Black went through over 340 iterations to find the right balance of coffee flavour that wasn’t too sweet and loaded with overbearing vanilla and caramel flavours. Mr Black comes in what at first looks like a rather nice but plain bottle. It’s very nicely shaped and the double walling of the glass shows off the deep blackish/brown of the liqueur. The real treat though, and what makes Mr Black stand out, is the artwork by Dale Bigeni. Not only is the artwork very cool, a rather dapper and impressive looking owl, but the way the art is integrated into the design of the bottle is also very impressive. The owl is done in black line-work on the inside of the back of the bottle. As you progress through the bottle the owl is slowly revealed. It’s just a very cool and different way to design a bottle that we are definitely a fan of. Plus it encourages you to get through the bottle quicker to reveal the artwork, so well played their Mr Black.

Mr Black

Mr Black have a bunch of classic cocktails that have been given the coffee treatment listed on their site. They all looked and sounded great yet we noticed something was missing, a Mr Black take on the classic tonic based libations. With some quality tonic in tow and a bit of imagination we rectified that and we think our Invigorating Tonic’s are up to the high standards of Mr Black.

Mr Black

Mr Black’s Invigorating Tonic #1

45ml Mr Black Coffee Liqueur

2 dashes Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters

Fever Tree Tonic Water

3 Coffee Ice Cubes

Lemon twist

Coffee grounds

Mr Black

To make the coffee ice cubes brew your coffee as usual then freeze. Put the ice cubes in the glass, add a dash of bitters and top with tonic water. Add the Mr Black, lemon twist, second dash of bitters and coffee grounds.

Mr Black

The first tonic was super decadent. Combining the coffee liqueur with the coffee ice cubes gives it a deep, rich coffee colour, aroma and, most importantly, flavour. The two coffee flavours combine as the ice cubes melt rather quickly and together they are very strong and tasty, but not too overpowering as the lemon twist gives it just enough tart sweetness to make it very drinkable. The tonic also doesn’t impart too much flavour to make the drink overly bitter. It’s also quite a fun drink as the tonic water generates a lot of froth and foam when its added to the coffee ice cubes and bitters. A small amount of this foam remains when you’re drinking the drink, which makes it very reminiscent of an espresso coffee.  The richness of the drink, and I assume the foam, also contribute to a very thick, but nice mouthfeel. Even though it’s a cold drink it feels more suited to a winter’s day, something to finish your evening with. The second tonic, on the other hand, is very much the reverse but equally as good.

Mr Black

Mr Black’s Invigorating Tonic #2

45ml Mr Black Coffee Liqueur

2 dashes  Bittermen’s Hellfire Habanero Shrub

Fentiman’s Tonic Water

Ice cubes

Lemon slice

Coffee grounds

Mr Black

Put the ice cubes in the glass. Add one dash of the shrub and top with tonic water. Add the Mr Black, lemon slice, second dash of shrub and coffee grounds.

Mr Black

The first tonic may have been a decadent winter drink, but the second tonic is a much fresher and brighter drink that’s definitely suited to a hot summer’s day. It’s lighter in colour and the tonic didn’t generate that intense foam, which gives it a lot lighter feel on your tongue. The coffee flavour, which dominated the first tonic, becomes more of the background flavour as the lemon and shrub come to the front as the initial flavours. The habanero shrub gives the drink this really nice spicy heat. People might think it’s weird to add chilli heat to coffee, but man does it work here. It just gives the drink that something different that’s a little bit special. The lemon again provides the sweetness and the coffee, mixed with the more herbal Fentiman’s tonic, gives the drink a slight herbal bitterness to finish. You really get a multitude of different flavours here, going from spicy, to sweet, to a pleasant bitter end which leaves you feeling mighty refreshed.

Mr Black 9

Mr Black’s Invigorating Tonic #1

Mr Black 3

Mr Black’s Invigorating Tonic #2

Normally The Lady and I like to keep our tonic with our gin. We really love a good gin and tonic. That being said, a Mr Black and tonic is damn fine thing. These are just two experiments with this tasty coffee liqueur that show off the wide variety of applications for this very nice liqueur and we can see many more delicious variations in the future.

 

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Out & About – Gin and Tonics @ Udaberri

By The Gentleman

 

Sadly The Lady and I had to say goodbye to a friend who is going away on a Uni placement the other week, but on the bright side the going away event was held at Leigh Street’s hole in the wall bar Udaberri. Since opening in 2012 Udaberri has been a popular spot in Adelaide, making the most of a small space with an interesting fit out and offering a wide selection of bar food, wine and spirits with an emphasis on Spanish bar culture. The Lady and I were hapy to knockback a few gin and tonics while catching up with friends.

 

Udaberri Bar Photo From Udaberri’s Facebook

The bar itself is a long skinny bar with a small upstairs area that looks over the bar below. The long bar dominates the space, which is all brick, wood and exposed ceiling beams with moody lighting. It’s a very cool looking place with a good atmosphere now that the hubbub has died down. It doesn’t take much for the bar to fill up, making it hard to move around. Luckily it was the middle of the week and there was a very relaxed vibe with only a few other people there.

Udaberri Upstairs Photo From Udaberri’s Facebook

 

The Lady and I had been to Udaberri before, soon after it opened, but never really thought of it as a bit of a gin den. On this visit, as we perused the menu, we were both shocked to see a whole page dedicated to gin and tonics showcasing a wide variety of gins, tonic waters and flavour combinations. Between us we tried an Aviation Gin, Martin Miller’s Gin, The Botanist and a Brokers.

 

The Botanist was made with marmalade, dried apple and Fever Tree Tonic Water. We noticed that most of the gin and tonics were prepared not with fresh fruit but with dried fruit. I’m not quite sure why this would be the case but it seems to be a trend catching on. It could be to do with getting rid of the water so it’s not diluted as much and instead jut leaves you with the essential flavours of the fruit. Either way they seemed to work quite nicely. The Botanist was so smooth, fresh and a touch sweet with no trace of bitterness at all. I didn’t really notice the marmalade, you couldn’t really see it in the glass anywhere yet it may have been what accounted for the hint of sweetness.

uda

Botanist Gin and Tonic

 

The Brokers gin and tonic was meant to be served with dried lemon and orange but I’m pretty sure the bartender actually used dried orange and fresh lime topped with Schweppes Tonic Water. I was pretty happy to come across Brokers gin here because I love the bottle with it’s little English Bowler Hat. The combination itself was far more bitter than the Botanist gin and tonic. It was still very nice, sometimes you don’t want an overly sweet gin and tonic and instead want something with a bit of a kick, but on the night the Botanist combination was my preference as I just really liked the freshness and the blend of flavours.

 

The Magic Getting Ready To Happen

The Magic Getting Ready To Happen

The Lady had the the Aviation gin and tonic, which was made with dried orange, cardamon pods and Schweppes Tonic Water, and the Martin Millers, which was served with dehydrated apple, fresh cucumber and Fever Tree Tonic Water. She described the drinks pretty much the way I did (I knew there was a reason we got along). The Aviation gin and tonic was smooth, fresh and presented nicely with the orange and cardamon pods. The Martin Millers wasn’t bad by any means, but was a similar combination to the Brokers gin and tonic, more dry and bitter. Again nothing wrong there, but it was a smooth kind of night (The Lady and I are too awkward to be smooth any other way than in our drinks, so we’ll take it when we can get it).

 

Aviation Gin and Tonic

Aviation Gin and Tonic

It was a sad night, saying goodbye to friends for any length of time is always difficult, but Udaberri’s stylish surrounds and tasty gin and tonics meant we could at least be sad in a happy place. The Lady and I will definitely be returning under a happier pretext, and there’s none happier than trying more of their gin and tonic menu.

 

Martin Miller's Gin and Tonic (L) and Broker's Gin and Tonic (R)

Martin Miller’s Gin and Tonic (L) and Broker’s Gin and Tonic (R)

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