Lockdown cocktails are booming. We know. We see you down the beach with your margarita in a can, walking in twos so you can “exercise”.
For much of Sydney (and now Melbourne, and SA and Orange and Coffs Harbour) this lockdown COVID situation is getting a little tiresome. But don’t crack. Don’t be tempted to flock to the shops. Do “Click and clack,” as Kerry Chant says.
Or better still – order your pre-mixed, pre-bottled cocktails delivered to your home. That way you’re doing the right thing and Gladys won’t be so mad at everyone.
This week we road-tested Twisted Shaker Cocktails on sale at BevMart in 700m and 200ml sizes.
These are the drinks that people keep showing off in their “Zoom work drinks”. And, damn they are good.
I’m a sucker for a margarita. It’s my go-to holiday cocktail. It MUST be fresh. Twisted Shaker’s Margarita is as smooth as any I have had poolside in LA.
I poured it into a chilled salt dipped glass (because that’s what the experts recommend) and sipped it next to the spa in the fading sun as I pretended I was anywhere else but lockdown.
For a moment it worked, which is a testament to the quality of this pre-mixed drink.
We also tried out the gimlet. Having attended a brilliant virtual gin festival earlier in the year, I now feel like a gin conneseuir. But my expertise has largely been limited to G&T. Tonic makes just as much difference as the gin people!
The gimlet could be my new lockdown cocktail. Made with cucumber, dry gin, lime and a dash of sugar, it the perfect blend of cool and sweet and sour. Be warned though, this cockatil was reportedly named for its “penetrating” effects on the drinker.
What to eat with your lockdown cocktails
Yes, you do need to eat. And not just crisps. Or cheese slices. We know Woolworths orders can take a few days right now (hello FIVE), so you have time to add some variety to your list.
While most of us are well-versed on wine pairings, when it comes to what to drink cocktails with — other than more lockdown cocktails – it gets a little more complex.
Twisted Shaker Brand Manager Jeremy Allan said you should choose foods that complement, but not compete with, the flavours of the cocktails being served.
“You want a drink that naturally fits with the food, extends its principal flavours, and keeps your senses invigorated, anticipating the next bite or sip,” he says.
Interestingly, Allan says you have more food pairing choices with cocktails than with wine. Here are his 5 best cocktail and food pairing choices to try at home.
You are going to want a dish or appetiser that complements the lime flavours of the margarita. Guac and chips are an easy and simple match but if you have a bit more time, try raw kingfish ceviche.
If you enjoy it, don’t be afraid to add a bit of chilli on top too, that always goes down a treat. You can also pair your Gimlet with anything grilled or barbequed. The sweet notes of a margarita balance the spice and salt; you can think of this combination with an “opposites attract” mentality.
Cucumber Gin Gimlet
Instead of heading for the sake to sip with your sushi, you may want to consider mixing it up with a gin gimlet next time. Sushi with cucumber will enhance the flavours already present in the cucumber gimlet plus the cocktail will act as a palate cleanser in between bites.
The citrus notes of the lime juice, a touch of sugar, and the flavour of a good dry gin go really nice with all the salty, wasabi goodness of a sushi meal.
Think about what you’d want with your morning coffee. A nutty biscotti or rich chocolate dessert is going to balance the bittersweetness of the coffee element.
Try pouring it over vanilla ice cream (affogato al caffe style), pairing it with a classic cheesecake or simply with chocolate. Just remember, sweet flavours shut down the palate, so indulge in sweeter drinks at the end of the meal or evening, not the beginning, otherwise, your brain will tell you to stop eating.
Whiskey based cocktails pair well with beef, particularly on the BBQ. If you are looking for a bit of extra flavour with your lockdown cocktails, try using a smoky BBQ rub on the beef before cooking, the subtle smoky flavours will round off the Old Fashioned nicely.
For something on the lighter side, try smoked salmon. The smoky flavour of the salmon gives the cocktail a spicy fruity taste, complementing each other really well.
The cosmo lends itself well to a good old cheeseboard. Go for a bit of flavour in your cheese but nothing too overpowering (stray away from blue).
Hard cheeses like aged cheddar and pecorino of softer cheeses like brie will go great with the fruity and floral flavours of the raspberry hibiscus cosmopolitan.
Liked our story on lockdown cocktails? Need more food and wine ideas? Try these stories…