As promised in my earlier post about Eat.Drink.Westfield – I thought I would do a wrap-up review of the weekend. Unfortunately, life had a way of getting in the way, so I only really got to check out two events over the course of the weekend, but they were both a lot of fun and very informative too.
Saturday night a couple of girlfriends and I attended the Cocktail Making Session hosted by The Palms Bar and Grill (we followed that up with dinner and drinks – stay tuned for the review on that!) – this was a super fun event where we learnt the tricks of the trade and got to sample the various cocktails that were made during the session.
It started off with us sampling Frangelico, St Germain, and Absinthe (one of the skills in knowing how to make a good cocktail is to know how everything tastes, so that you can start getting creative with ideas in how to mix it – for example, Frangelico is often used with desserts).
We were taken through the various recipes for cocktails we’d be making on the night. First up was the Strawberry Royale Mojito – mojito’s are a favourite with many people, but what makes this one a “Royale” is that champagne is used instead of soda water to top it up.
We were then taken through the ingredients and method involved in making a Cherry Ripe Martini – another seriously tasty cocktail – and where we were taught all about the importance of ‘presentation’ when making cocktails.
As you can see from the picture below – both drinks were a hit with the girls (everyone else seemed to be enjoying them too).
We were all treated to tappas throughout the session (and plenty of H2O) – another important lesson learnt on the night was the importance of Responsible Service of Alcohol, ensuring that patrons were not intoxicated. We were well looked after for the whole duration of the session and I was impressed that our water glasses were often refilled without anyone needing to ask for more (something I applaud as I have been to events where drinks were included in your ticket price – and whilst that’s great, I hate having to hunt down water and having my wine glass etc refilled without asking or before the glass is even empty – it makes it very hard to watch how much you have had to drink over the course of the night – think Melbourne Cup events and the like).
A rather fun drink we got to see how to make on the night was a cocktail that goes by the name of “Blue Desire” – part of the ‘fun’ being in how it is presented and garnished – it’s sure to be a great hit for Hen’s Night Parties (speaking of which… a little birdie has told me that The Palms may soon be offering up Cocktail Making Sessions like the one we attended as an option for groups and parties – Christmas isn’t too far away, so you might want to consider The Palms for your office or work party!)
This next drink is a personal favourite of mine from the session – and I have the pleasure of making it the feature drink in the post here – providing you with the Recipe, courtesy of The Palms.
Dark Chocolate Toblerone
*30ml Mozart Dark Chocolate Liqueur
*60ml Cream (full)
*Loosely shake the ingredients and empty into a small glass
Glass – Small whiskey glass
Garnish – Toblerone disk with a straw through it
As you can see from the picture below, I wasn’t the only one who enjoyed it! Yet another hit among everyone who had attended the session.
I’d like to say thank you to Richard and the team for such a fun and informative event – everyone seemed to have been enjoying themselves, including the other attendees and being able to sample the various cocktails and learn some of the tricks of the trade made for quite an enjoyable night!
To find out more about The Palms Bar and Grill, you can check out their website here – they’ve just recently launched a new menu too!
The second event I attended was on Sunday for a Cider/Craft Beer/Gin Masterclass hosted by Corbett & Claude and presented by The Hills Distillery (made up of The Hills Cider Company, Mismatch Brewery and Adelaide Hills Distillery which also included a collab from Something Wild Beverages with their Green Ant Gin).
I met up with Samuel James Shelton who is the Queensland Agent for The Hills, who was also presenting the free taste testing and masterclass session. He represents the above companies who all produce small batches and have decided to team up and work together.
First I was introduced to The Hills Cider Company, sampling two of their ciders.
The Hills Cider Company is 100% fresh and hand crafted. There is no concentrate, sugar or H2O added. It’s also gluten-free and vegan friendly. They also support local farmers – the apple cider for example uses 100% Australian apples.
I had tasted two different varieties of the cider – one that was on tap, the other from the bottle – I definitely preferred it from the bottle (just had a fresher, crisper taste to it).
The ciders come in the following varities: Apple, their “hybrid” Apple & Ginger and their award winning Pear Cider. They’ve just introduced cans now too, so it’ll make it easier for you to transport your favourite cider for your favourite outdoor activities like picnics, BBQ’s, fishing, festivals (and all other cider friendly events).
Mismatch Brewing is a ‘mismatch(ed)’ bunch of industry professionals and beverage specialist who have joined forces to launch a brewing company in South Australia. Despite the difference in personalities and backgrounds their values when distilled is all about the product. They relish transparency – from what ingredients they use to where they brew their beers.
They currently believe that utilising excess space in other breweries will help grow the holistic craft segment by supporting those that have made the investment. They come from the fundamental belief that the most important issue dominating craft beer today is to make consistent products that should be made for enjoyment. Cheers to drinking better beer.
The first beer I tasted was the Extra Pale Ale (to the right in the picture). Their XPA is a strong pale ale, with the booze at the higher side of a pale ale, but lower end of an IPA. In their brewers mind, this is an ode to English ESB, but released in a US style with more booze and lots more hops.
I didn’t mind it too much, but I did find it a tad strong for a Pale Ale (which is in a way what they were aiming for with this beer).
I then tried the Session Ale (on the left in the picture). This beer was created with one intention – to have a full flavoured beer without the booze. Session Ale is a refreshing summer ale with a big tropical fruit nose and a firm moreish bitterness. In typical Mismatch fashion they didn’t want this to be a mid but somewhere in between.
This was definitely a favourite for me out of the two – I really enjoyed the flavour and loved how dark it looked as well. I’ll definitely be hunting this down in the future. I loved that it was a lighter beer, but full on in the flavour department.
Produced in small batches utilising grape spirit, the 78 Degrees Gin is vapour distilled using Adelaide Hills Distillery’s unique column and basket distillation method, to retain delicate flavours and aromas.
A complex and savoury Gin distilled from a grape base and vapour infused with 12 botanicals, selected specifically for their purity and quality. Pungently aromatic and displaying resinous, citrus and floral notes with underlying spice.
This was a really nice flavoured Gin, the different flavours mingle on the tongue well and would make a great base for a variety of cocktails. The Gin got its name due to it never being heated above 78.1 degrees!
Whilst I really loved the 78 Degrees Gin, I was somewhat intrigued by Something Wild Beverages “Australian Green Ant Gin”. The Green Ants are hand harvested in the Northern Territory by the Motlop Family of the Larrakia people. Traditionally flavoured by Indigenous societies for their medicinal benefits and protein content, green ants display vibrant flavours of lime and coriander. You can’t get any more Australian made than by incorporating traditional bush tucker into your drink!
I really enjoyed this Gin – it was full of flavour and yet clean (I secretly hoped I’d get one of the green ants in my taster cup – I am a foodie after all and love trying new things 😉 ) You’ll want to keep your eye out for these guys. They are working under a collaboration deal with Adelaide Hills Distillery and have been sprouting up in more places across the country.
All in all – I had a fantastic time learning about all of these small batch brewers, and learning about their products. Sam was a fountain of knowledge, knowing each brand inside and out. I’m looking forward to learning more about the products they sell.
I really enjoyed the Free Food Festival over the weekend. Whilst I didn’t get to check out all the places I wanted to see, I’ll definitely plan better for the next one!
If you happen to be going to Garden City this Saturday, why not check out the FREE Tasting at 8 Street’s ‘Teppanyaki Lovers’ between 11am-2pm