Now Serving – Smokin’ Iced Tea

By The Gentleman

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Lord oh mercy it has not only been damn hot this summer, but humid. It feels more like the Deep South than South Australia right about now and while The Lady and I don’t like the heat at the best of times this humidity is something else. Luckily we had plenty of tea concentrate leftover from our So French 75 that we could make the perfect drink for these hot and humid conditions, a delicious and refreshing spiked ice tea! Introducing the Smokin’ Iced Tea.

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Smokin’ Iced Tea

45ml Stolen Spiced Rum

30ml French Earl Grey Tea Concentrate

Juice of Half a Lemon

Fever Tree Lemonade

Ice

Lemon peel or wedge to garnish

 

Add ice to your cocktail shaker and shake the rum, tea concentrate and lemon juice. Grab a highball glass, chuck in some ice and then pour in your boozy tea. Top with lemonade, garnish with a piece of lemon and serve with a straw.

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There’s nothing too fancy about this drink but boy did it hit the spot. It’s cool and refreshing with nice caramel and spice flavours from the rum, sweetness and herbal flavours from the tea, and a satisfyingly sharp tang from the lemon and lemonade. All of these different flavours given the drink an enticing aroma. You can play around with the measurements as well if your tastes lean more towards the rum, tea, or lemon. We think this mix provides the right balance though and we recommend Stolen Spiced Rum or something with similar coffee and tobacco flavours as it provides great flavour to the drink. Either way this is an easy drinking ice tea, almost a little too easy to drink. You’ll knock it back in no time and be wondering where the next is. It would be perfect mixed up in a big pitcher so you could just while away the afternoon, not doing anything but escaping the heat and humidity. Just make sure you’ve got plenty of ice, a comfortable chair, and a book to keep you company.

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Given we’re experiencing weather more common to the Deep South than South Australia lately it makes sense to imbibe in a bit of Southern hospitality. The Smokin’ Iced Tea is quick and easy to prepare, perfect for a hot and humid day where you don’t really want to do anything. Just sit back, relax and try not to overdo it ya hear.

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On The Shelf – Delinquente Wines Montepulciano

By The Lady

“Sometimes you’ve got to heed the call of the wild child within. Sometimes you’ve got to go home with a bunch of grapes who’re ugly as sin”

Girl, you know we went home with those “ugly as sin” grapes and showed them the time of their lives. By drinking them.
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We here at The Cocktail Challenge always like to keep our eyes peeled for dapper looking, locally made liquor. As soon as we saw the labels of Delinquente Wine Co., we knew that we needed to have some. We have been wanting to try this one out for AGES. Finally, we stumbled upon this beauty during a browsing sesh at East End Cellars and we felt like we’d hit the jackpot.
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Delinquente Wines are a local crew, sourcing their grapes in the Riverland and producing their wine here in South Australia. Not only do they kick ass already by being a small batch local wine producer, but they also ensure that their wines are vegan friendly. While The Gentleman is just about the opposite of a vegan, I myself dabble in the ways of veganity. Many people are not aware, but a great deal of liquor makes use of the ingredients that render their products as not suitable for vegans and vegetarians. Luckily, the vegos and vegans of the world can now get their draaank on with Delinquente Wine Co!

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The artwork for their labels and their website is created by local street artist Ankles. All of their current wines are presented in a very similar design style with each featuring their own heavily tattooed badass character to personify the wine. The Montepulciano features “The Bullet Dodger” character, with his heavily tattooed face, mullet hair and pouted lips. We love the little story Delinquente have printed on the back of the bottle to introduce us to “The Bullet Dodger”, it just gives the wine extra character and intrigue. Plus it’s quite hilarious as we all know exactly the type of person Delinquente are describing. Other bottles present an illustrated Pretty Boy and a stylised Screaming Betty.  I have seen Ankles work out and about in Adelaide and have loved the artist’s style for a long time. Really, it is no surprise that I am swooning over Delinquente Wine Co and their inked individuals.
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The wine itself is incredibly easy to drink and rather delicious. It has a rather light colour and a touch of translucency (is this a word? After polishing off the whole bottle it is definitely a word). The lighter plum colour was unexpected, but still a delightful looking glass o’ wine. The scent of The Bullet Dodger is full of fruity and berry scents with a creamy texture to boot! It is very light and we feel it would go perfectly with a number of meals, or also suitable on its own. It leaves this lovely spiciness on your tongue which would stand up perfectly on its own or compliment a meal rather well. They refer to the grapes they use as “ugly” but think this wine is anything but. The Bullet Dodger is a beautiful wine inside and out.
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We are thoroughly looking forward to continuing our Delinquente ways by trying some of their other tasty treats. We’ll keep you posted on which tattooed creatures we next meet!

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On The Shelf – Lobo Norman – Cloudy Apple Brut Cider

By The Lady

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Recently, The Gentleman and I visited the Adelaide Farmers’ Market and splurged a little (read : a lot). For all you Adelaidians, I highly recommend checking these markets out. There are so many stalls with lots of different and delicious goodies to take home.

 

Firstly, we had some delicious breakfast from Abbots & Kinney including ice coffees and mind blowing pastries. All I can say is … oh my! Do yourself a favour and get some of these pastries in you. You really haven’t lived otherwise.

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After buying many delicious treats, we came across a stall for Lobo Cider, brewed right here in Lobethal, SA. Previously, we have had their cider and loved it. This time, there were new varieties that we had never seen in our favourite liquor stores or local bars. So, we’re feeling pretty special that we were able to pick up a few different bottles of cider that are super exclusive and a little bit special!

 

Our first cider we decided to sample was the Norman Cloudy Apple Cider. The Norman is a special little cider that Lobo make in small batches once a year. We were surprised at the deep, rich colour of the drink which looked almost the colour of some beers you might see. The cider was a lovely dry and crisp flavour and not overly sweet, which we appreciate! We think this would be great to drink while eating, but we’re biased really because we love eating. The scent is very subtle with a very clean taste to follow, despite the fact that this cider packs a bit of a wallop at 8.1%. Also, the drink has a lovely aftertaste and we can really see ourselves enjoying many of these in the upcoming summer.

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Also, I think it is necessary to address the dapper bike riding wolf Norman, who in my opinion, is probably the most stylish wolf known to man. The oversized bottle provides Lobo with a big canvas and they certainly haven’t wasted it. As some of you may already know, we are huge fans of great design, and we think that Lobo’s Norman is a fine example of dapper design on a liquor label. If a dapper bike riding wolf isn’t going to make you pick up a bottle of cider then we don’t know what will.

 

Overall, we are very happy with our sampling of Lobo’s Norman Cloudy Apple Cider. Not only is Norman a style god, the contents of his bottle have proven themselves to be a damn fine cider.

 

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On The Shelf – Some Young Punks Naked on Roller Skates

By The Gentleman

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This is a special entry from The Lady and I, we are finally getting around to talking about one of our favourite wineries, Some Young Punks. Some Young Punks are not only dishing out good looking and great tasting wines, but they are also a proud SA local winemaker.  They were pretty much the winery that introduced me to awesome label design, shaking up my view on an industry that I thought was characterised by traditional and plain labels.

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Some Young Punks was established in 2006. They are part of the new generation of young Australian winemakers who focus on small scale wine production that explores some interesting blends and styles of grape to bring something that mixes a little of the new with the old. The small scale nature makes the wines rather sought after, so make sure you snap up a bottle whenever you see it otherwise you might not be able to enjoy it another time. The Naked on Roller Skates is not the first bottle of Some Young Punks we’ve had, but it’s the bottle that happened to take our fancy at the moment. The wine is part of their Pulp Series of wines, which is inspired by the images associated with ‘low brow’ literature from the 20’s through to the 50’s. The images act as the sirens to draw people’s attention to the wines and help them stand out from the crowd. They certainly achieve that, catching the eye of The Lady and I. The Naked on Roller Skates is the perfect blend of cheekiness and class that the old pinup artist could capture so well. The image is bold and feisty and just looks gorgeous. It shows that sometimes low brow knows how to have a lot more fun than high brow and sometimes you just need to let your hair down and go with it.

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The wine itself is a blend of Shiraz (85%) and Mataro (15%) from McLaren Vale. It has a really deep purple colour to it and strong dark fruity flavours on the nose. The dark fruit flavours continue throughout the wine, you can really pick up deep red and black berry fruits like plum and cherry. The fruits didn’t make the wine too sweet though. I’ve probably had the bottle for about a year, on top of being a 2010 vintage, and the wine has really mellowed out. It’s got a very smooth texture and almost savoury sort of flavour to it. You also get slight hints of liquorice and a really pleasant lingering spiciness. We couldn’t quite put our finger on what, just a general nice spice, which provided a very pleasant aftertaste. The wine also wasn’t too heavy. As you can see The Lady and I indulged in some rather big glasses, but despite the bold, dense flavours the wine itself was not so intense that you felt like you needed to have a nap afterwards. This is something that is always a bonus when you’re trying to feel like a mature, adult human being who drinks wine.

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The wine inside definitely lives up to the label as it’s quite a bold, intense wine yet there’s that surprising smoothness to the finish. We really couldn’t get over the smoothness despite those big flavours. It’s definitely the sign of a high quality wine. Naked on Roller Skates may be the first Some Young Punks wine we have featured on the blog, but it certainly won’t be the last.

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Out & About – Street ADL

By The Lady

Recently, The Gentleman and I visited the reasonably new kid on the Rundle Street block – Street ADL. This fine establishment is where we were able to sample a duo of gin based drinks recommended by the bartender. The Gentleman ordered the Native Currant Bramble and I opted what the bartender referred to as a “Proper” Gin & Tonic. Being a HUGE gin lover, this prospect excited me a little more than I would usually publicly acknowledge. While we didn’t eat a full meal, we did order a serve of tasty fries which really hit the spot!

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After informing the bartender of my love of gin, he informed me that in his opinion, the “Proper” Gin & Tonic that he was going to prepare for me would include Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Dry Gin, Fever Tree Soda Water and El Guapo Tonic Syrup. Of course, I accepted. The resulting drink was very refreshing and went down far too easily I must say! Due to the El Guapo Syrup being used, the drink had a slight golden hue. I felt that pairing the El Guapo Tonic Syrup with the Monkey 47 Gin was a perfect combination that enhanced the botanical flavours in the gin. Also, the “Proper” Gin & Tonic had a lovely citrus scent, so it really was an enjoyable flavour sensation. I might have even paid the $48 that I misheard the bartender quote me!

"Proper" Gin & Tonic (L) & Native Currant Bramble (R)

“Proper” Gin & Tonic (L) & Native Currant Bramble (R)

The Native Currant Bramble, which The Gentleman sampled, was beautifully presented and a gorgeous magenta colour. The drink included gin (a crowd favourite), lemon juice, native currants as well as some Gabriel Boudier Crème de Cassis. Using native Australian ingredients is Street ADL’s jam and it makes for a nice change in the local cocktail scene. The drink was very similar to boysenberry ice-cream, so clearly, a very enjoyable experience! Also, it had a nice tangy taste, which was very well balanced with all the other flavours in the drink.

East End Style at Street ADL. Photo credit Street ADL website http://streetadl.com

East End Style at Street ADL. Photo credit Street ADL website http://streetadl.com

Street ADL definitely fits in very well in the East End of Adelaide with its very cool vibe and impressive drinks list. The interior of the bar includes interesting black and white murals painted on the walls as well as large share tables and knowledgeable staff to boot! We both look forward to revisiting Street ADL for another gin filled afternoon or evening in the near future! They have recently started doing Gin Bench Sundays and The Gentleman and I definitely approve of this development because there isn’t a better pairing than gin and Sundays (well gin and any day is good really).

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On The Shelf – Clare Valley Brewing ‘Miss Molly’ Grape Cider

By The Lady

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So, The Gentleman and I were strolling through one of my favourite liquor stores Parade Cellars in Norwood when we stumbled upon a beautiful woman. Naturally, I turned to The Gentleman and said “I need this woman in my life!” So, we picked up this beautiful, lovely looking sailor girl off the shelf and took her home. The woman in question is actually Miss Molly – the pinup girl character featured on the label of Clare Valley Brewing Company’s Miss Molly Grape Cider.

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Neither of us had ever had a grape cider, so we were curious as to how it would taste. Miss Molly had a very light colour, similar to a white wine. I suppose this is not surprising as it is, in fact, also made with grapes! It is almost like the love child of cider and moscato, so we felt like it would be great for somebody who wanted to start transitioning from cider into wine. Miss Molly was not as sweet as some ciders, a pleasant surprise which resulted in all the fruity flavours being illuminated and enhanced. Miss Molly would be great for an afternoon when you have a hankering for a light drink rather than something rather strong or boozy (an adult kind of pick-me-up!). Alternatively, if you prefer lighter, less alcoholic tasting drinks, Miss Molly would be the drink for you! In the future, perhaps when the weather gets warmer, we would love to use some Miss Molly Grape Cider in some sort of Sangria or another Sunday afternoon-type cocktail.

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The label design is simply gorgeous in addition to Miss Molly  being a rather enticing mascot for Clare Valley Brewing Company  while she stares at you, inviting you to have a taste. I love the colour combination of black, white, cream accompanied by the striking red sunset in the background behind Miss Molly as well as her deep red lips. The bottle cap was also a dandy design addition, with their brewery name being shaped into the silhouette of a charging bull. We here at The Cocktail Challenge adore refreshing, thoughtful and creative label design, so we’re looking forward to checking out some of the Clare Valley Brewing Company’s other drinks  which possess similarly dapper labels including their Red Ale, the Bulls Eye Australian Pale Ale, and the King Kong Stout.  All in all, Miss Molly was a lovely Sunday afternoon drink which The Gentleman and I look forward to sampling more of in the future!

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Out & About – Tasting Australia Town Square

By The Gentleman

 

Adelaide is one of those all or nothing cities. There’s either little happening or a lot. The other weekend was one of those where there was a lot.

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The Lady and I ventured out to the Bowerbird Design Market on the Saturday thinking our day would only consist of delicious pastries, good coffee and lots of shopping. While it was all of those things, as Bowerbird is a great local event highlighting the work of designers from all over Australia, it soon turned into a boozy day as we realised the Tasting Australia Town Square was open in Victoria Square.  The Town Square featured some of South Australia’s best local food regions including the Barossa, Riverland, Kangaroo Island and Clare Valley. With sampling glass in hand our already indulgent day soon included wine and many samples of the produce being made right here in South Australia.

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What really impressed The Lady and I was how passionate and chatty all the stall holders were. You could tell they really care about their products, but not only that, they were genuinely excited that other people are just as interested in their work as they are. The highlight was meeting a lovely lady from Shut The Gate Wines located in the Clare Valley. Aside from the fact that she had oodles of red wine for us to taste, always a bonus, she spent a lot of time talking to us about the brand. As you all know The Lady and I appreciate those brewers, distillers and winemakers who go the extra mile to position their brand as something different through their labels. Shut The Gate are definitely one of those brands. In particular she told us about the evolution of their labels, which were very cool, and started out as your typical writing on a white background but they soon realised they could standout more with some labels that matched the creativity of the wines. We especially liked the three labels that are based on fables about ‘shutting the gate’ and after listening to her for a while we promptly purchased a bottle of the Barbera and the Grenache. The Barbera was an especially meaty wine, tasting like the perfect accompaniment to a Sunday roast, and really quite unlike anything The Lady and I had tasted before.

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We also sampled and purchased some divine Cinnamon Honey from Williamstown (the last jar) and a very interesting and super tasty Appleberry Syrup from Port Willunga Fine Foods. The Appleberry Syrup is made from native Australian Muntries and has a very jammy flavour and consistency. The Lady and I are looking forward to using it in a few cocktails, including an upcoming tequila based cocktail.

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There was also plenty of food to eat and while we originally liked the look of some pizzas we ended up going for something fried and barbecued. The Lady had some pumpkin fritters and I had a beef brisket cibatta. I have a bit of a thing for brisket, bordering on obsession, and the sandwich did not disappoint. I even managed to get a few of the blackened end bits, meat heaven right there. The pumpkin fritters were crispy, deep-fried deliciousness and continue to show that if you deep-fry something it instantly tastes better. It’s a science fact people.

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For an impromptu end to the day the Tasting Australia Town Square couldn’t have been better. Great food, exceptional wines and passionate people talking about what they love. It was really a fabulous celebration of what South Australia has to offer with a great location in the heart of the city. The Lady and I will definitely be returning to this well run and fun event in the future.

 

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