As you may already know, in our family we have a scent hound, Lulu and a half greyhound, Oscar. 

Oscar Lulu 2

And now we have a third.  Welcome the Salty Gin Hound! 

Salty Gin Hound

Mmmmm….the 6 week no alcohol challenge is over.  Welcome  back booze!   Possibly.  To be honest, I think having that break has changed the way I feel about alcohol and certainly the way that I want to re-engage back with it.  Oh, and we went to the dog beach, so whilst I prattle on about my six weeks of ahem “no” boozing whilst I sip my Salty Gin Hound, how about I show you some photos of our day at the beach?Dog Beach 280220162

The challenge was a lot easier to do than I thought it would be – I did take Valentine’s Day weekend off and I had the wine I spoke about last week which were both good breaks.  The February Fast website says that quitting alcohol can help you to increase focus, sleep better and lose weight. I  experienced all of that albeit not nearly as much weight loss as I would have liked  – primarily due to a dodgy foot that has limited my ability to go to the gym.

Dog Beach 280220163I felt really good not drinking – fitter, healthier, more focussed.  Having said that, I think it also made me a bit more moody.  I think feeling more in control of myself made me less tolerant towards people around me acting like dicks – whether they were drinking or not.  I feel it also made me a bit more introspective – which, you know,  it’s not like I wasn’t already halfway there to start off with! 

I also really started to think a lot more about events from my past and try to resolve a few unanswered questions.  For instance, I spent way too many hours thinking about my first boyfriend, the one I spoke about in the Valentine’s Day post – why did he dump me?  How has that impacted the rest of my life and the choices I have made since then?  Etc, etc.  Ad nauseam.   It’s not like I came to any life changing (or even just any) conclusions about any of the things I was navel gazing about.  Except maybe that I’m ok with not knowing and I am totally ok with the way things have turned out. 

Dog Beach 5Another thing I noticed after the sneaky vinos with my friend Aiden was how much alcohol can depress me.  Not in a way that makes me sad or maudling but just sucks my energy and motivation.  That evening I was like a zombie.  I had no energy or drive to do anything except veg out in front of the tv.  Not that I am averse to vegging out in front of the tv but I guess I want to do that when I choose to not because I can’t be arsed to so anything else.

Dog Beach 6

Another benefit was that we returned to one of our favourite  restaurants.  It is an Indian/Pakistani restaurant which, last year decided to become an alcohol free zone.  I  like to have a glass of wine when I go out for a meal; I think it helps to add to the ambience and the enjoyment of the meal, so we had not been there for some time.  Not drinking was the perfect opportunity to head back there for some of the best tandoori in Melbourne.

Dog Beach 7One of the tough points for me was cooking. Particularly on the weekend, if  I need to add some wine to a sauce or something, I will generally pour a glass for me.  Then we would have a glass or two with our meal.  Not pouring that “glass for the cook” was really hard the first few times! 

Socially was also hard. Going out for meals or even to people’s houses for a meal. There was one evening we went to my mum’s and everyone else had a glass of wine with their meal and I had a Fanta, like a six year old.  Othertimes, I felt like I had to explain why I wasn’t drinking. 

Next time maybe I’ll be cooler about it.

Dog Beach 10Because there will be a next time.  The benefits far outweighed the negatives.  I’m thinking I might do a four- six week stint every season. 

Oscar & Lulu Dog BeachYou might  be wondering why, given the obvious benefits why I am not quitting altogether.  One reason is that I do enjoy the social aspect and I love doing the research and making the cocktails for history happy hour. 

However, I think that I will be a lot more mindful about how I drink from here on in.

Dog Beach 17

Speaking of which….let’s talk about the Salty Gin Hound!

Gin, grapefruit juice and lemon with a splash of sweet vermouth!  Yum!  That is the Gin Hound.

Dog Beach 50

I had an awesome merlot salt which I used to rim the glass making it a Salty Gin Hound.  I also increased the lemon from the initial recipe, just cos that’s how I like it.

Dog Beach 19The Salty Gin Hound was delicious.  Just the right blend of sweet, salty, bitter.  So refreshing for a hot summer day!   It would have been perfect down at the beach with that tang of salt air on the breeze.

And speaking of salty hounds…we had the two schnooziest of schnoozers on the way home.  So tired after so much fun!

Dog Beach 20Salty Gin Hound 2Salty Gin hound 4

Salty Gin Hound
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Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cup fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
  2. 2 tablespoon lemon Juice
  3. 4 ounces gin
  4. 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  5. Vintage Merlot or other salt to rim the glass
Instructions
  1. Sprinkle the salt on a plate.
  2. Wipe the rim of your cocktail glass with the lemon rind.
  3. Swirl into the salt to rim.
  4. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  5. Add the gin, lemon and grapefruit juices.
  6. Shake, baby, shake.
  7. Pour over ice.
  8. Add a splash of sweet vermouth.
  9. Enjoy!
Adapted from The Gin Hound
Adapted from The Gin Hound
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
 Have a wonderful week! 

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2;

 

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