Elizabeth Bay House has a fantastic basement that makes for a great launch venue, the African character that served as Ship’s Captain aiding Indiana Jones’ escape from Alexandria was called Katanga and Schweppes is producing a rather tasty darkened drop that tastes like a grown up drink.
Of these three things I did not possess as any reliable type of irrefutable knowledge as I walked along Onslow Ave to take up a shadowy invitation that had arrived in the post the week prior. Upon being met by a proper lady at the door of the former Governor’s residence, I was transported back in time and down a flight of stairs for the launch of a new product on the cocktailian fringe.
The party was great. Possibly the most fun launch I’ve attended this year. Read all about it over at the Gourmantic, who caught Simon McGoram and I in full flight.
The Elixir is kind of a big deal for the team at Schweppes. Their tonic is synonymous with Britain’s greatest cultural export, the Gin and Tonic. As such, they have a established relationship with the bartenders around this lucky country and the dark mixer is an unashamed attempt to invade the adjoining mixed drink territories that surround the white spirit and tonic stronghold they have fortified over the last two hundred and something years.
Despite the similarity in colour, this is not an attempt to produce a Schweppervescent take on the Coca-Cola beverage. Taste wise, it delivers four big flavours, in almost equal parts. Coffee, Caramel, Chocolate and Vanilla compete for space on the palate and do a fine job of nestling down beside the earthy tones of tequila, and liven up a treat on exposure to Tanqueray and a hit of rose.
You’ll only be able to experience this on-premise. That is, in a bar, and probably a rather refined one at that. Pair it with pretty much anything on the back bar. With the small personal supply I have been afforded, I can confirm Rums, Scotches, Bourbons and Ryes all yield pleasing, if varied results.
It seems like a product that will add a new indulgence to those amongst you who enjoy a spirit and mixer to dull the pains and lower your inhibitions. It also has a root beery-ness that soothes a savage stomach rather pleasantly.
The signature serve, for now at least, is a tequlia drink, it is fantastic. I should know, after drinking ten brace or a score at the Launch Event, I arrived home lauding its name.
45mls Jose Cuervo Reposado Tradicional, 15mls freshly squeezed lime juice, Schweppes Elixir
Build over ice in a glass that has been given a chili salt rim, top with Elixir. Cry “Batanga!” as the drink is served, in your best faux Victorian accent.