burnt toast

Tag: cocktail

Sling

Singapore sling

It’s Friday ladies and gents. Time to celebrate. Why, you ask. Because it’s the day all the good comes together, and all the bad gets released, the pressure, the stress, all gone. It’s the day of reflection, recounting the irritating, the weird and the hilarious, sharing it with friends, loved ones and cats. This one is especially for two of my favourite people, the co-founders of Friday night drinks and Nibbles, Hayley and Ross. Back then in the “Free-tapas-plate-with-every-two-cocktails” days at Dominic’s in Brunswick heads, back then when the bar tender was called Cameron, back when the cocktails were teasingly flirty, the conversation pun-heavy, and the tapas phenomenally memorable.

 

I’ve never tasted a Singapore Sling that good since. Sad? A little. But not despaired. I was stealthy enough to memorize the ingredients and amounts on one such Friday night occasion, so that I could recreate it for myself and others in future, creating peace and happiness all around for many, many more years. Such stealth. Wow.

lime slice

Singapore Sling

(The way it should be. Forever.)

 

Makes 1

 

30ml gin

15ml Benedictine

15ml cherry brandy

15ml Cointreau

15ml lime juice

10ml grenadine

120ml pineapple juice

Ice

 

lime slices or umbrellas or parrots or something even more exotic than that if you feel like decorating

 

Get a nice big jam jar and pour all the ingredients with a few cubes of ice in. Give it a mighty good shake, then pour into a tall glass filled with ice. Decorate however you see fit.

Cucumber Gimlet

cucumber gimlet

Oh hey. Listen I’m sorry about all this not posting stuff. First there were the holidays, which had to be spent doing jolly things, no question. Then there was Cambodia, and then there’s this heat wave that is threatening to fry, or indeed melt the majority of the people who call Melbourne home. So you know, I’ve been busy.

Without further ado, and because it’s just so incredibly hot, here a delicious something which I feel everyone should know about really. We all know cucumber and gin have always been best friends, we just need to be reminded about it every now and again. Throw in some mint and lime and hey, you’re the coolest cat of the dead-end street. I love this tipple. It is the most frequently drunk cocktail in our house, and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be at yours.

more gimlet

Cucumber Gimlet

Serves 1

2 thin slices cucumber, plus one extra for garnishing

15ml sugar syrup

15ml fresh lime juice

60ml gin

2 mint leaves, shredded, plus extra for garnish

ice cubes

Got a jam jar with a screw top? Good. Chuck your two slices of cucumber in there, and muddle them with the back of a knife or a rolling pin or an actual muddling utensil, until decently smashed. Add the sugar syrup, the lime juice, gin and mint leaves, and throw in about 4 ice cubes. Screw on the lid and give it a good shape. Now, get some more ice, and fill up a tumbler with ice. Pour the contents into the glass, by holding the lid slightly askew so as to catch any unwanted pulped cucumber. Get your saved cucumber slice and mint leaf and add to your drink in whatever way seems most appropriate.

Santé darling. It’s good to see you again.

White Russian

white russian

Once upon a time, a long long time ago, I used to like coffee. I had a great love for it, made even greater by the fact that I worked at a café, which was known by its locals for its coffee.  One shot late, one sugar, or sometimes even a mocha, depending on my mood. Then one day, during my “at least three coffees a day” – phase, I decided to quit. What followed was a week of headaches, and a taste for coffee no more. I can’t exactly pinpoint what it is, but I would say that it’s the combination of aroma and flavour that makes my tummy turn just a little. Maybe also the fact that that’s what you can smell on people’s breaths first thing in the morning on the tram to uni. That off, bitter fragrance of unbrushed teeth wafting through the tightly packed carriage.

All is not lost though. I still like kaluha. That counts as coffee in my books. Delicious, sweet, alcoholified coffee.

You already know I’m a sucker for a good cocktail, although mind, purists will say this isn’t.  To which I will agree and say of course not, it’s sophisticated dessert. Now do you want one or not.

I find most of the time, White Russians are a rather neglected drink, usually resembling a careless coffee milkshake – ice, Kahlua, milk, done. No, no, no.

I tasted this version almost a year ago in this little cellar bar called Abflugbar in Bern. If you’re ever there – go. It’s great. The barmen come have a little chat with you to determine what cocktail would suit you best. Anyway.  What I was served then was an incredibly pleasant surprise: A two-layered drink, dark and strong down the bottom with a  white cloud of cream floating on top. Delish.

So what you first need is a fancy glass, preferably a coupe. To this, add, shaken at different intervals, ice, Kahlua, vanilla vodka and cream – by which I would just like to mention – what is it with this “thickened cream”  Australia? How about pure cream? Does thickening it make it easier (and so much more time efficient – “takes only one minute to whip instead of two! Wow!”) for lazy people to whip it? If that’s the case, you should wear a bag over your head and get the pre-whipped sweetened can of cream from the back isle. Shame on you.

If you’re in a big enough supermarket, chances are you’ll find cream without any thickeners in it. That, or you add a splash of milk to your cream before shaking. Your choice.

White Russian

 Serves 1

45ml Kahlua

45ml Vanilla Vodka

60ml cream

splash of milk if using thickened cream

ice

Find a jam jar with a tightly fitting lid. Add the Kahlua, vodka and 3 cubes of ice, screw the lid on and give it a good shake. Pour into your coupe glass, making sure you catch all the ice. Throw the ice into the sink, give the jar a wash, then add the cream (and milk) and 2 ice cubes. Give it a good shake. Gently pour over the back of a teaspoon onto the Kahlua vodka, making sure you catch the ice again.

Happy dessert time.

In case you were wondering how to drink this – just sip it. You’ll get a nice mixture of the two layers with every sip.

Also, you can use as many ice cubes as you want. We always seem to run out, so I’ve adapted my needs to our ice cube tray.

Pink Zing

IMG_6507

Ooh a pink drink? Blablabla. Don’t. Just don’t, okay? This is what some people would call “their guilty pleasure” of a cocktail, and in some ways they might be right. But what differs me from them is that I will hold this drink in my hand with pride, because there is absolutely nothing to feel ashamed about loving the delicious tango of zingy green apple, accentuated by a burst of fresh lime, with the sweet golden flavours of the butterscotch, completed by the slight bitterness of the cranberry juice. This is unity, people, harmony and happiness in a glass. Do it.

toffee two

Toffee Apple

Makes one cocktail

 

30ml Butterscotch Schnapps

30ml Sour Apple Pucker

60ml cranberry juice

the juice from 1/2  a lime

4 ice cubes

A thin slice of green apple, if you want to be schmancy

Combine everything except for the apple slice in a glass jar, screw on the lid, and shake it until the glass goes frosty. Pour into a martini glass, catching the ice by holding the lid slightly askew over the opening. Nope, no room for ice here. I want it in it’s purest form, undiluted deliciousness in a glass. Get your slice of apple in there for for some prettiness. Cheers darling.

If you ever find yourself in Melbourne on a Monday night, head up to Spleen on Bourke Street, where they have free comedy and this drink. They serve it with ice though, just letting you know.

Elderflower and Basil.

3 am sunrise

Hey there beautiful.

I’ve missed you. Come, sit down with me, in the green velvet armchair. Tell me all, what’s been going on in your life – tell me about how a ticket inspector randomly started talking to you, saying how you reminded him of his granddaughter, how you saw a young bearded woman lovingly hold her boyfriend’s hand near the 2-dollar shop, how you made smores with your housemate for the first time and you’re still kicking yourself for having waited this long to taste them.

And I will gently press a delicate coupe glass into your hand, a little basil leaf floating atop a fragrant moonstone – coloured liquid, and you will ask me what it is, and I will tell you to take a sip. A “Wow.” is all I get from you before you dive in for another nip. This little beauty is called a 3 am sunrise. I too reacted quite similarly to you the first time I had it, at this beautiful place called Lily Blacks in Melbourne. This strong, fragrant little tipple with elderflower and basil completely mesmerised me. It made me feel like there was nothing more important than the here and now, same as now.

3 am Sunrise

makes one cocktail

This drink has nothing to do with the sunrise you might be accustomed to. It is strong and subtly floral, the sweetness cut by a squeeze of lime, completed by the subtle basil undertones. Beautiful. If you can’t be bothered going out to get the Zubrowka vodka, replace it with any other good-quality vodka and add a drop of vanilla essence. I find all vodka tastes like nail polish remover, so I like spending a little more on it so I can actually enjoy it. Zubrowka is also known as bison grass vodka, it’s flavour described to have woodruff, almond, vanilla and coconut notes.

4  ice cubes

30ml gin

30ml Zubrowka vodka

20ml elderflower cordial

1/4 lime, juice

1 large basil leaf, bruised with the palm of your hand, and another smaller basil leaf, for decoration

Got an empty glass jar lying around? Fantastic. Place the ice cubes, gin, vodka, cordial, lime juice and bruised basil in it and screw the lid on. Give it a good shake for about 15 seconds and strain into a coupe glass. Float the remaining basil leaf on top and serve.

My pleasure darling.

Cheers.

It is time for drinks me thinks. Time to celebrate. It is very important to have a reason to clink glasses. It makes it all the more important. There are many many reasons today for this one. To good friends, to family, to health, to food, to life. To my repetitive sneezing, to early mornings, to warm scarves, and to tired giggles. And to this drink of course. Often it will be ordered without alcohol, as a designated driver’s drink, or even overlooked because it has become “standard”. However, if it is done right, it becomes so much more than just standard. Don’t go shy on the angostura and squeeze that lime for what it’s worth.

Cheers to us.

 

Vodka with Lemon, Lime and Bitters

ice of course

15ml lime cordial

10-12 dashes of angostura bitters

50ml vodka

150ml “Lift” lemonade, or other cloudy lemonade

2 fat lime wedges

Fill a tall glass with ice and add cordial, bitters and vodka, combining them with a spoon. Add lemonade and squeeze the lime wedges on top and drop into the drink.

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