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.


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.


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 – Lickerish Kitchen & Bar

By The Gentleman


It’s been a while since we’ve done an Out & About article here on The Cocktail Challenge. Luckily that is no longer the case as The Lady and I had the opportunity to finally visit Lickerish Kitchen & Bar, a Semaphore, South Australia based eatery. Lickerish is owned by John and Justine Hall. The couple were contestants on the popular Channel 7 TV show My Restaurant Rules and actually won the first series with their restaurant The Greedy Goose. Despite winning the show the restaurant was forced to close years later when they branched out to a burger place in Glenelg before Adelaide was well and truly hit by the burger craze.


Located upstairs on the beach-end of Semaphore Road the restaurant has a great location. We sat on the balcony and had nice views of the lit up street and the beach. The restaurant was well decorated, making good use of the upstairs space. We were greeted by Justine and easily got a table despite not making a booking, although booking is always preferable. We went there for dinner and ordered bread, which was an actual miniature loaf fresh from the oven instead of the usual few slices, while The Lady had the Kipfler Potato Pizza and I had the steak of the day. The pizza was deliciously salty and the steak cooked perfectly with crisply cooked chips while both dishes were well portioned and well priced. Justine our host and the other staff were friendly and attentive throughout the evening providing a very enjoyable dinning experience. Obviously we ordered drinks because that’s what we’re all about!


I had the Mojito, which from memory was made with Malibu rum, House Sugar, lime, mint and topped with soda water. The drink was okay but not the best Mojito I’ve had. It took us a while to work it out and eventually we decided that there was too much mint and not enough lime and sugar. You really only really tasted the lime in the last few mouthfuls, which tasted a lot fresher, and there was no real sweetness from the sugar. The mint was also chopped or shredded into small pieces and that may have done something to the flavour as I’ve usually had Mojito’s with the mint leaves left whole.


The Lady had the Lickerish Negroni, which was made with gin, Campari, sweet vermouth and blood orange. It was the first Negroni either of us had tasted before. I know I know it’s a classic but this is what The Cocktail Challenge is all about, getting us to try a broader range of libations. The Negroni was quite nice. It tasted sweet at first but then finished with a deliciousness bitterness. The bitterness wasn’t too overpowering though, it just left a very fresh taste on your tongue. It seemed to be quite a well balanced drink and both of us are now ready to try more Negronis at the bars around town to see who does it best. Both of the drinks were presented in wine glasses, which is a trend I’ve started to notice around town.


Dinner and drinks at Lickerish provided The Lady and I with a fun and very filling night out. Great food, an excellent first Negroni and some pleasant scenery mean we will most definitely be coming back. We both have our eye on that Saffron Gnocchi.


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