Any writer worth their salt would be stupid not to throw in a cliché like “Shaken, not stirred” when talking about the Collins Bar Stirred night at the Hilton Adelaide. It’s important to point out this infamous catch phrase that resonates with you because it acts like a metaphor for the focal point of the new range of cocktails that have just been launched; “the flavours that resonate.”
Our first cocktail was a beauty, and I mean that figuratively and literally. The Black Forest is a house infused cherry liqueur with crème de cacao, brandy and a double cream float garnished with chocolate flakes and diced glacier cherries. Collins describes it as a silky smooth dessert for the sweet tooth. I describe it as Christmas at my grandparent’s house served to me in liquid alcoholic cake form, double the cream, double the deliciousness and a tonne of flavour.
The Noble Experience probably got its name from being QUITE an experience to drink. Wirth Tanqueray 10 gin and Lillet vermouth with a hint of grapefruit bitters stirred down to the right dilution and desired temperature, this drink came served on a little slate platter, a test tube of gin and two shot glasses – one for your olives and the other for your olive juice to salt the heck out of that gin. Tonight was the night I realised I’ll never be James Bond when my martini was 90% olive juice.
Part of the fun with cocktails is experiencing an often showy and extravagant looking beverage. When it comes to the Rhubarb Bliss, you will not be disappointed. This little drop was Madagascan vanilla infused Ketel One vodka, a serve of house made rhubarb syrup and a hint of vermouth and pressed lemon. Shaken vigorously and served with a side of fairy floss. If you’ve ever wondered what the Royal Show for grown-ups tastes like in drink form, this is it.
This next little gem was the Green Tea Martini. Muddled fresh kiwi and a splash of Midori with a touch of yuzu, the cocktail was a blast in a glass. With a healthy helping of green tea syrup and a high pour of Madagascan vanilla Ketel One vodka, this little number was so refreshing and will easily take you back to a balmy summer day. “Shaken to awaken us for morning tea” because it’s 5 O’clock somewhere.
The Smoking Scottsman was a strong and bitey drink, consisting of Tanqueray 10 gin stirred over a block of ice and a whisper of Dolin dry vermouth sprayed with peat scotch for a burnt smoky aroma. It was bold and lingered on the palate making me feel like a straight up adult. The Collins Bar says, “Dare to try at your own discretion.” I now see why they offer this disclaimer, a few of these bad boys and you’ll be anything but discreet. It was at this point I had to cut myself off and show myself the door or else this review would never have happened.
If you are looking for a night of cocktails that know their stuff and don’t mess about, definitely get to The Collins Bar and prepare to learn a thing or two.
Words by Kassie Affede from Big Mouth Blog
WHERE: 223 Victoria Square, Adelaide