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Chocolate Orange Vodka Cocktail

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In the mood for dessert and something darker? Then you can't go past this cocktail inspired by Terry's Chocolate Orange. As far as dessert cocktails go, this isn't rich and dense, it's more bittersweet. Designed to be eaten with a triple chocolate cupcake that we baked on a last minute whim one evening. While waiting for the cake to bake, we rummaged around in our drinks cabinet to find something suitable to drink with it and came upon a Heavens Hell gold vodka that was at the back. An Australian vodka, the gold doesn't refer to the standard or quality - this vodka literally has 24 carat gold flakes in the bottle. Don't believe us? Check out this video 

To go with the decadence of the vodka, we used some clear creme de cacao and an orange curacao from Marionette alongside a ginger syrup from the Ginger People (you can get this from most specialist grocers). The Marionette curacao isn't overly sweet so if you're using another commercial brand that is a lot sweeter, you may want to play with the proportions here.

Ingredients

  • 60ml Heavens Hell gold vodka
  • 15ml clear creme de cacao
  • 30ml Marionette Liqueur orange curacao
  • 5ml The Ginger People ginger syrup

Shake all over ice and strain into chilled glass. Top with the crust of a triple chocolate cupcake that has been frosted with orange blossom icing.

Gin Soy Bloody Sheila Cocktail

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As far as cocktail ingredients go, soy sauce isn't the most common thing you reach for when making a drink. Yet that was what we found ourselves doing when meeting a challenge issued to us on Instagram. The aim? To make a drink with the first nearly empty item in our fridge/pantry. And that item happened to be a bottle of soy sauce. 

Savoury cocktails are not really our thing, but boy, it definitely will be now. If you're looking to add some umami in your drink, soy sauce has that in spades. So what to pair it with? On that, we looked for savoury and spice-driven ingredients, such as the Adelaide Hills Distillery Green Ant gin, distilled in collaboration with Something Wild Australia with the latter harvesting the ants that go into the distillation. The gin itself is quite savoury and spicy, with distinct coriander-ish notes coming through which we think is from a combination of the ants and strawberry gum used. It's not your conventional juniper-led gin and is definitely distinctly Australian through its use of the native botanicals such as finger lime, lemon myrtle, pepperberry, the said strawberry gum and boobiala, a native species of juniper. We were lucky enough to score some fresh strawberry gum from the guys at Something Wild, which on their recommendation, we steeped in some simple sugar syrup for a few hours to give the syrup that herbaceous flavour. 

Working with all those profiles, we decided to make a twist on a Bloody Mary, itself quite an umami-rich cocktail through the use of tomato juice. We pureed and strained about 4 roma tomatoes, which was more than enough to make 2 of these cocktails, but you could quite easily use store bought tomato juice. 

Ingredients

  • 45ml Adelaide Hills Distillery Green Ant Gin
  • 60ml fresh tomato juice
  • 15ml strawberry gum simple syrup
  • 10ml lemon juice
  • 5ml soy sauce
  • 2cm (approx) lemongrass

Muddle the lemongrass. Combine all the other ingredients and shake all over ice and pour into a tumbler with one large cube of ice.

Garnish with coriander, some cherry tomatoes and a lemongrass stick. (pro tip, you could hollow out the lemongrass and use it as a straw!)

Chocolate Butterscotch Espresso Martini

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  • Never mind Easter egg hunting - take a moment to sneak away and enjoy this decadent drink, best drunk out of a hollow Easter egg so you can take a sip and alternate it with a bite of chocolate at the same time. Outside of Easter, simply serve it in a martini glass and pair with dark chocolate for a luxe treat. We took our inspiration from the recipe from the Intoxicologist but tweaked it slightly to give it a more local twist by incorporating the Mr Black coffee amaro. Also combined this with the burnt toffee delight that is the Baker Williams butterscotch schnapps and the locally produced Ord River Rum rum, if you are using any other brand of schnapps or rum, you may want to tweak the proportions -  the Baker Williams schnapps in particular, is not quite as sugary sweet as some other brands.

Ingredients

  • 45ml Ord River Rum Premium rum
  • 30ml dark creme de cacao
  • 15ml Baker Williams butterscotch schnapps
  • 30ml Mr Black Spirits coffee amaro
  • 30ml cooled espresso (or Nespresso)

Shake all over ice and pour into a hollow chocolate egg. Squirt a generous dollop of cream and top with grated chocolate. 

Modern Cosmopolitan Cocktail

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Best known as the cocktail popularised by the hit series Sex and the City, the Cosmopolitan cocktail as we know it mixes vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice and lime. However, when researching the cocktail, it transpired that an earlier historical version of the drink from 1934 called for gin, Cointreau, lemon and raspberry juice. So here's a return to the old with this modern yet old school Cosmopolitan, which we think has a bit more depth to it owing to the gin. We chose to use Distillery Botanica gin, a local NSW gin that utilises native botanicals including the murraya flower, jasmine and orange blossom. Quite floral without being sickly sweet (think more jasmine than rose) it balances nicely against the citrus of the Melbourne made Curacao, which in itself is not as sweet as Cointreau might have been.

Ingredients

  • 60ml Distillery Botanica gin
  • 20ml Marionette orange curacao
  • 20ml lemon juice
  • 3 muddled raspberries

Muddle raspberries at shaker, add the other ingredients and shake over ice. Strain into chilled coupe glass and garnish with orange blossom fairy floss (you can get the Pashmak brand in certain Woolworths and other grocers) and trio of raspberries. If you omit the fairy floss and prefer your drink sweeter, muddle 6 raspberries instead of 3.