burnt toast

Tag: lime

Cyclone

IMG_8069.jpg

As warmer weather approaches (hahahah), people are once again slowly opening up to the idea of drinking something a bit more refreshing than wine, yet a wee tastier than yeasted bubble water (why humanity, why). Granted, this is more of a summer drink, but I recently discovered Bundaberg Ginger Beer, the one and only ginger beer, in Bern. And lord knows I need to make the best of it.

I last had this drink at the Beaufort in Carlton, Melbourne (another excellent place to visit if you’re in the neighbourhood). There they called it a Hurricane, but since I’m only using one type of Rum, I’m settling for “Cyclone” – the tame, tasty sort that limits itself to small glass vessels. You get a hint of vanilla from the rum, an extra punch of ginger from the syrup,  all zingily balanced by the lime. What more is there to say.

IMG_8080.jpg

Cyclone

 

Makes 1 drink

ice, rather more than less

60ml Sailor Jerry Rum

15ml ginger syrup (recipe below)

2 dashes Angostura Bitters

2 lime wedges

120ml Bundaberg Ginger Beer

 

Get yourself a tall glass and fill it with ice. Add rum, syrup and bitters. Squeeze over the lime and fill up with ginger beer.

 

Ginger Syrup

makes about 180ml

220g white sugar

250ml water

100g ginger, thinly sliced, then roughly chopped

1 pinch salt

Combine everything in a small pan. Bring to the boil, then let simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes until syrupy. Let it cool, then pour into a jar through a fine mesh strainer. Will keep in the fridge for a few weeks.

Advertisements

Spring Fizz

IMG_7915

It’s summer guys! Confusing Swiss summer. I’m surprisingly okay with that. No sweating! No sunburn! And lots of happy green trees having a ball of a time. Gentle monsoons is where we’re at.

In order to celebrate the very agreeable climate had here, I thought I’d serve you up a nice little tipple. This is what I’ve been nipping at in the past few months, at first because I was in the mood for something a little less heavy, and then later because there was an inordinate need for something refreshing and citrusy to reflect the parasol- and gumboot clad world outside.

 

Spring Fizz

Adapted from this recipe . Serves 1.

Ice

2 tsp orange, lemon and vanilla syrup – recipe below

2 tsp lime juice

3 shakes bitters

15 ml sweet vermouth

30 ml gin

1 strip lime rind

30 – 60 ml sparkling water

Fill a tumbler with ice. Drizzle over the syrup and juice. Add the bitters, vermouth and gin. Rub the lime rind around the rim of the glass, give it a bit of a squeeze and drop it in. Give everything a good stir and top it with as much sparkling water as you’d like.

 

Orange, Lemon and Vanilla Syrup

1 orange

1 lemon

½ tsp vanilla seed paste or ½ vanilla pod, seeds scraped

250g sugar

300ml water

Using a vegetable peeler, remove as much of the orange and lemon peel as you can. Transfer to a small saucepan. Juice the orange and the lemon, adding that to the peel. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes (maybe more), until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and let it cool. When it’s reached room temperature, remove the peel and pour into a large jar. Keeps for a few weeks in the fridge.

The Honeybee

the honeybee

I’ve always had a so-so relationship with honey. Oh no, I don’t mind the fact that it’s bee spew. Humans eat far worse things I’d think. It’s more that I felt that it wasn’t being worshipped enough. If we’re going to be so mean and ruin all that hard work by nicking it and stirring it into our tea, there should be a certain level of appreciation had. It’s pretty amazing stuff. Next to being wonderfully flavoursome, it can aid people in getting rid of allergies, while its antibacterial properties can help combat infections and heal wounds and burns. It’s part magic alright?

So what is it I make when I decide to incorporate some magical goodness into my day, you will ask. Oh you know me too well. A cocktail of course. A delicious little combo of honey, lime juice, elderflower cordial, and vanilla vodka, with a sliver of fresh chilli to represent the sting of the bee. Pretty nifty eh?

 

The Honeybee

Serves 1

 

30ml fresh lime juice

30ml honey (if it’s too solid, give it a few seconds in the microwave)

15ml elderflower cordial

60ml vanilla vodka

Ice

1 slice of chilli (optional for those who are weak in the chilli – ingesting department)

 

Combine the lime juice, honey, cordial and vodka in a jar with a few cubes of ice. Give it a mighty good shake, then pour into a pretty glass over some fresh ice or just by itself. Float the chilli on top. Yum.

Miso Tom Yum

miso tom yum

It’s time to talk about soup, kittens. Melbourne’s weather has once again turned into a European winter, just minus the snow and the fantastic European insulation.

 

Tom yum and I go way back. Oh yeah. As a wee kid my mum would joke that my love for the hot and sour soup started in her belly, when she regularly succumbed to her cravings by meandering down to China Town in Sydney for a steaming bowl of hot Thai goodness. Tom yum is my number one thing I will order at a Thai restaurant, but more often than not I’ll end up throwing one together at home when I can’t bother making something too lengthy and extravagant for myself. I’ve got a minor crush going for this soup, not only because it’s easy, but because it’s so versatile. Add some baby sweet corn or a few sliced snap peas,or if you’re feeling a bit mild, replace some of the water with coconut milk to make a tom ka.

 

Now you may have noticed that I omit the “goong” at the end of tom yum. Goong translated means prawns. And I hate them dearly. Often you can get chicken instead, or tofu if you ask nicely. I go vego all the way, mainly because I don’t tend to have a chicken waiting for me in the fridge. To make up for the missing prawn or chicken flavour, I add shitake mushrooms and a spoonful of miso.  Umami all the way darling. Chuck in some noodles at the beginning of the cooking time, or have it with rice.

 

Miso Tom Yum

 

Makes 1 serving

 

1 Tbsp sliced dried shitake mushrooms

1 garlic clove, sliced thinly

1 spring onion, sliced thinly

5 cm lemongrass, bashed with the back of a knife

2 kaffir lime leaves, bruised

3 cherry tomatoes, sliced thinly

3 thin slices galangal, or ginger if you cant find it, bruised

2 coriander roots including stalks, bruised (if you don’t have roots, just use a small bunch of stalks)

1 small red chilli, sliced finely

½ lime, halved

½ tsp vegetable stock powder

 

50g fried tofu, diced

1 Tbsp light miso paste

dash of soy sauce

small handful fresh coriander leaves

 

rice, to serve

 

Place the shitake mushroom slices in a small bowl and add a dash of hot water to soften. Alternatively, slice 2 button mushrooms very thinly and use in the next step.

 

Combine the soaked and softened mushrooms with their liquid, the garlic, spring onion, lemongrass, lime leaves, cherry tomatoes, galangal, and coriander roots to a small saucepan and cover with 300ml hot water from a recently boiled kettle. Bring to the boil and let it simmer for about 4 minutes, or until the tomatoes are mushy. While the soup is simmering away, you can decide how much chilli you want to add. Start with a few rings, you can always add more. Add the juice of ¼ lime and the vegetable stock powder. We only add this much because the miso is going to be quite salty. Now, once the cherry tomatoes are how they should be, add the tofu and bring to the boil again, until everything is heated through. Remove from the flame and add the miso. I usually mix it with a bit of the soup in a small bowl so it doesn’t go lumpy. Now, have a taste. Does it need more salt? Add a dash of soy sauce. Maybe some more acidity? Add the rest of the lime. Pour into a bowl and top with the coriander leaves.

 

Yay! Your tom yum is done! Serve with rice or whatever starchy accompaniment you feel is right.

 

Remember you can’t really eat the kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, coriander roots, or galangal. You’re welcome to give it a try but I doubt it would be very enjoyable.

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.

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.

Avocado

guacamole

Oh guacamole. It feels like we’ve known each other for ever. No matter where I go, or what I do, you will always sneak your way into my life. I have loved you, and hated you, as well as looked at you in pity. You have been good, bad, and extremely average. Before however I continue what could end up being a novel about the many facets of your personality, answer me this. What’s the go with that jarred version of you one finds at supermarkets next to the salsa and corn chips? Do people actually eat that or is it just to please the eye, to complete the colour composition of the snack isle? If it were, I’d pat you on the back and go “Nice one! But between the two of us, keep an eye on the natural flavoured corn chips. The two of you might clash a bit…” But whom are we kidding. I don’t know what you are but you will sure as hell not get the honour of being called guacamole. I have not dared look at your list of contents, but I assume it would include hydrated lettuce, tapioca, MSG and concentrated synthetic diluted reconstituted imitation guacamole extract. I know baby, I know. But I really appreciate how much effort you put into being perfect at home with me on the table, in that delicate white and blue bowl. You look beautiful together with those corn chips, they really bring out your smooth side. The slight bite of the lime, the tangy saltines of the goat’s cheese, the aromatic bouquet of the garlic and the spices. I will dare go as far and say baby, in my eyes, you are perfect.

Guacamole

2 large or 3 smallish ripe avocados

½ lime, juice

2 Tbsp sour cream

2 large garlic cloves, chopped finely

1/3 tsp ground cumin

1/3 tsp ground coriander

½  tsp salt

1 bunch coriander, leaves and stems, chopped finely

50g soft goat’s cheese or soft feta, crumbled, plus more to decorate

fresh chilli, as desired

Scoop out the beautiful avocado flesh into a bowl and mash roughly. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, adding as little or as much chilli as you’d like. Top with a little more cheese and maybe a few leaves of coriander for added prettiness. Bring out the tortilla chips and start that party.

%d bloggers like this: