Small Mouth Week – Now Serving – Cold Hug

By The Lady

 

For our second date with Small Mouth Vodka this week during Small Mouth Week, the Gentleman and I decided to go for another coffee based cocktail – coffee and Small Mouth, sounds good to me! We based the recipe off of a local news site’s suggestion for winter warmer cocktails. We think cocktails are great any time of year to be honest, but the news is telling us to indulge, so I suppose we’ll have to.

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For our cocktail, we used:

40mL Cold Brew Coffee using Barossa Coffee Roasters Single Origin Brazillian (beans purchased from Sad:cafe)

15 mL Maple Syrup

50mL Small Mouth Vodka

Lemon Peel

 

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Shake up your vodka, coffee, maple syrup and some ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake it like a Polaroid picture. You know you want to! Strain out your cocktail sans ice into your fancy shmancy cocktail glass. Peel yourself some lemon peel in a long strip. Hold the peel over the glass and twist the peel before placing it over the edge of the glass or wherever you like in the glass. This helps to release some of the citrusy flavour. Or at least, we think it does!

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And tada! A coffee cocktail to keep you happy and keep you awake! The twist of lemon gives the drink a really lovely citrus scent and goes surprisingly well with the coffee. The drink tastes and smells like a coffee flavoured dessert, which I am always in favour of. We can understand why it was listed as a ‘winter warmer’, because it has a delightful warmth and cosiness to it, with a tingle going down your throat as you drink – like a hug for your taste buds! Perhaps things really are heating up for us on this second date? I think if you were to more vigorously shake the cocktail shaker (more so than we did) you would be able to get a foamy topping to the drink, but in this respect we will try again. Oh well, we’ll have to drink more. Oh no …

Small Mouth Vodka

We are loving what Small Mouth Vodka has to offer. It is a very tasty and versatile drink. We know it’s only the second date, but we think we might be falling in love. Is it too soon to say? We think not, because this one’s a beauty!

 

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Disclaimer: The Cocktail Challenge was provided a free sample bottle of Small Mouth Vodka for this article. Although this post is sponsored all opinions are our own.

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Now Serving – Campari and Corona

By The Gentleman

 

Right now it’s that time of year at Cocktail Challenge HQ, end of uni semester. That dreaded time of essay writing and exam prep that is a living hell before weeks of blissful holidays. The Lady has been madly finishing essays and I’ve been madly trying to stay out of her way, but still trying to keep her fed and liquored up (because we all know there’s nothing better for study than a few drinks right? Right??) The other night she was madly trying to finish one of her last essays so I decided to whip up this quick summery drink I saw on The Kitchn (one of our favourite sites) to help her beat the Winter and essay blues.

Campari and Corona

Campari and Corona

1 1/2 oz Campari

1/2 bottle Corona

Lemon zest

Ice

Fill glass with ice, add Campari. Pour in beer. Squeeze zest over glass then rim edge and drop lemon in the glass.

Campari and Corona

So the original recipe uses an IPA but all we had on hand were Corona’s, which are a pale lager. As you all know Corona’s are a pretty easy to drink beer with not a lot of bitterness and I think this actually worked out quite well with the Campari. Campari is soooo bitter. It’s crazy. Campari and tonic drinkers I salute you because that is dedication to your drinking right there. Here it gets toned down a lot and combining the Campari and Corona gives you this really nice smelling, bitter beer. The drink has a really fruity bitterness from the Campari but it is really easy to drink. It is that sort of bitterness which is still very refreshing. Over time the flavour of the grapefruit also becomes more prominent, opening your taste buds up to a next level experience. This is definitely a summer drink but it also brings a nice burst of colour and flavour to a miserable Winter night of stress and study.

Campari and Corona

So this was a quick little mix up that is super easy and super tasty. Lemon, Campari and beer is definitely a winning combination. It’s something you can mix up when you’re feeling fancy, but also feeling quite lazy (or stressed in this case). Plus there are lots of opportunities to explore different fruits and beers to see how the flavour changes. So go on and treat yourself to something a little fancy, you deserve it.

 

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Now Serving – Lemon Slipper

By The Gentleman

 

So this is a quick little experiment that went very quickly from ‘I don’t even know if this is a thing’ to ‘please sir can I have another’ quite rapidly. After getting the stylish Arthur Wines Glass Slipper and sampling it’s deliciousness I was looking for other ways The Lady and I could enjoy this great drink. I then came across the delightful sounding Golden Dream Cocktail and in a moment of mad science insanity wondered whether I could adapt it to use the Arthur Wines Glass Slipper. After shaking a few of these up, and tweaking the amounts a bit, it turns out you could!

Lemon Slipper

Lemon Slipper

45ml Arthur Wines Glass Slipper White Fortified Wine

30ml Tuaca

20ml cream

15ml lemon juice

 

Put all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake it till that cream gets all frothy and good then pour it into your fancy glass.

Lemon Slipper

This is the second version we tried. The first one used equal parts lemon, Tuaca and fortified wine but our fellow tasters thought it was an overload of lemony citrus. The Lady and I thought it was fine, a pleasant citrus kick, but because we live in a democracy we decided to change it to appease the people. This second try still has a strong citrus flavour but it’s not anywhere near as in your face. The above recipe also makes quite a small drink so you can easily up the amounts or just have multiple, that is a-okay with us.I’ll be honest and say that I’m surprised this tasted as good as it did. I’d never really had a cocktail made with cream and I’ve also not had a lot of experience with fortified wine, both on it’s own or in a cocktail. It was hard to know how well these flavours would play together but thankfully everyone got along nicely and The Lady and I were able to enjoy a rather gorgeous dessert cocktail. We reckon that if you are not a big milk or cream person though you may not find this as enjoyable as some. Sorry lactose friends.

Lemon Slipper

The cocktail had this divine citrus and vanilla fragrance. Drinking it you experienced this really nice creamy flavour and texture at first and then you were hit with the citrus. This is why we reduced the lemon juice but upped the fortified wine so the drink finished more smoothly, and boy was it smooth. It was probably smoother than the Old Spice guy and he’s pretty damn smooth (am I right? Ladies?). It was also super easy to drink. The fortified wine and Tuaca blended together exceptionally well and the lemon juice offsets any potential overload of sweetness. The Lady described the drink as being even more like lemon meringue pie than the Glass Slipper we tried just with some lemonade. It was like a lemon meringue pie that has heaps of meringue so it’s all creamy and smooth with just this bite of citrus. I am all for drinks tasting more like pie because pie is awesome.

Lemon Slipper

So The Lady and I aren’t sure whether this drink is a thing somewhere else already but if it isn’t then it definitely should be. Cream and cocktails, who would have thought but hot damn if this wasn’t one tasty little experiment. If Cinderella lost this slipper I don’t think a Prince Charming would be bringing it back to her, he’d keep this all to his own self. Also I’m really glad this worked out because I wasn’t looking forward to explaining to The Lady why we had less Glass Slipper and nothing to show for it if it was a failure. No one ever wants to waste good liquor and the Lemon Slipper is certainly no waste!

 

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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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Now Serving – Gin Fizz Cocktail

The Gin Fizz, also known as an Alabama Fizz, is a super simple yet very enjoyable cocktail. As the name suggests it is another gin based cocktail. I’m not even really a gin person, but it just seems that gin is everywhere around me at the moment telling me to drink it. And I’m okay with that.

The Gin Fizz also has the honor of being our first official drink from the Ultimate Bar Book. The book lists multiple variations to the drink, such is its position as a classic, but I opted for a fairly standard version.
Gin Fizz equipo
1 1/2 ounce gin (I used South Gin)
3/4 ounce lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
Ice
Lemonade

Combine the gin, lemon juice and sugar in a shaker. Shake vigorously and strain into a hi-ball glass with ice. Top with lemonade.

Traditionally, a Gin Fizz uses soda water but I didn’t have any so I improvised with lemonade. I’ll need to compare the two as I suspect the lemonade may make it a little sweeter than it normally would. I also used slightly less gin and lemon juice than the book’s recipe, but feel free to bump it up to 2 ounce of gin if you’re a big gin drinker.
Gin Fizz
Either way the drink is still great. It is very refreshing and if you like a bit of tang (side note: how great a word is tangy…tangy, tangy, tangy) to your beverage then this is the drink for you. It allows you to do that sour face lip smack as your tongue gets stuck to the roof of your mouth after every mouthful, amazing.

 

I’d be curious to try replacing the lemon with lime to see whether the flavour changes all that much or if its still just a glass full of tangy goodness.

 

Be warned though, it goes down very well making it a dangerous drink especially if you up it to 2 ounces of gin…1 Fizz, 2 Fizz, 3 Fizz, floor?

 

Anyway, its one drink down and 999+ to go!

 

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Now Serving – Bee’s Knees Cocktail

Okay so the first cocktail is an unofficial entry. It doesn’t appear in the Ultimate Bar Book, but I came across it whilst flicking through other books in the drinks section of my local bookstore. It was also the drink that spurred the idea, once I’d finished it, so there aren’t any pictures for this one.

A Bee’s Knees, apart from having an awesome name, is a gin-based cocktail that  dates back to Prohibition times. The drink combines gin with lemon and honey, apparently the original idea was to mask the flavor of bathtub gin through the use of these flavors.

1 1/2 ounces gin (I used London Dry No.3 Gin)

3/4 ounce lemon juice

1/2 ounce honey syrup

no-3-london-dry-gin

Combine the gin, lemon juice and honey syrup in a shaker (with strainer) with ice. Shake vigorously and pour into chilled cocktail glass.

My first attempt at a Bee’s Knees is not actually the recipe listed here. I used 2 ounces of gin and only half an ounce each of lemon juice and honey straight from the bottle. The resulting mixture was like a swift kick to the guts. Holy crap it had some kick. The lemon didn’t hang around long enough to mask the fact that there was a lot of gin and the honey just solidified due to the ice and didn’t really influence the drink at all. Needless to say, powering through it left me feeling mighty buzzed.

I did randomly find that taking a bite of dark chocolate beforehand, and having that chocolate bitterness left over, made for a pretty kickass flavor combination. Regardless of strength the Bee’s Knees was going down quickly after that. Lesson learned is chocolate makes everything better.

The second attempt is the one listed here and it was a much better mix. The sweetness of the honey actually worked surprisingly well. I’d never had a cocktail with honey in it before, but I’d be open to using it more often after this. Overall it ends up being a very smooth drink with some nice flavors that is very easy to make and is something that I would have again, many, many times.

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