Category: Cocktail

All The Z’s – Part 1 – The Zanzibar Cocktail

So remember how I got really pissy that The A-Z of Cooking didn’t actually deliver a Z?   Well, there’s some snappy aphorism somewhere which is something like “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” or “Sisters are doin’ for themselves” which I can’t quite call to mind now.  But it’s something along the lines of “If life doesn’t give you Z’s stop your snivelling and get out there and make some Z’s.  So I did.  And here is the first in a mini-series of posts on food starting with the letter Z.  

Starting with the Zanzibar Cocktail!

This little beauty comes from the book The Cocktail by Jane Rocca.  

I feel like I always say this but damn!  This is good!

The main players are vanilla rum, passionfruit liqueur, cranberry juice, strawberries, blueberries and lime.  It’s sweet and fresh and the cranberry and lime add a tangy tartness so it is not at all cloying.

I made my vanilla rum, following the recipe here.  I did not add the simple syrup as thought this cocktail was going to be sweet enough.  Also, I had not planned far ahead enough to let the mix steep for 3 months so I also added some vanilla essence to the rum along with the bean.  I used it within about 3 weeks and it was fine.  Probably better if you wait 3 months but that’s for people are a little more organised! 

The recipe calls for crushed ice.  I tried to do it like that but both days I made this were ridiculously hot and the crushed ice was melting before I could even get it out of the blender. So I used ice cubes instead.

The Zanzibar is a glorious colour.  Just gorgeous!

When I was pottering around the internet I found this fabulous old travel poster for Zanzibar.

So I just had to make another so I could have a play…

Zanzibar9

This was a fun cocktail!  Perfect for a summer’s day on a tropical beach?  In Zanzibar maybe?  Or by your side in an inflatable flamingo drink holder while lazing in a pool.  Or just if you feel like something delicious to drink at any time.

Here’s the recipe:

Zanzibar Recipe

And if you want more flamingo’s in your life (and who doesn’t?) you might also want to try the Flamingo Cocktail which you can find here.

Have a great week.  I’ll be back with more Z’s in the not too distant!

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Faye Dunaway Cocktail

Back in my school days, we had an annual music competition where each House had to arrange and sing a song of their choice to assorted judges, family, staff and fellow schoolmates. 

One year the song selected by my House Music Captain for all of us to sing started like this:

Bonnie and Clyde were pretty lookin’ people,
But I can tell you people,
They were the devil’s children.

 

Faye Dunaway Cocktail1

I had no idea who Bonnie and Clyde before then but wow!  Believe me, just those opening lines were enough to send me racing to the Encyclopedia Britannica for more!  Pretty people?  Of course I  wanted to know more.  Pretty people who were also evil?  My 14-year-old mind was blown.  Who knew such a thing even existed!

Why am I telling you all this?  

Because a little while ago the lovely Jenny from Silver Screen Suppers asked if I would test out a cocktail recipe for her upcoming cookbook.  The cocktail was the Faye Dunaway cocktail, and Faye played Bonnie Parker in the 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde.

And oh boy, you want to talk about pretty looking people?

Bonnie and Clyde

Bonnie and Clyde3 (3)

Oh, the glamour!!!!

The Faye Dunaway Cocktail is also pretty glam!  It was invented in 2011 by Jonathan Humphrey of the Drake Hotel in Toronto and was inspired by the film Chinatown, which stars Faye Dunaway and Jack Nicholson.

Faye Dunaway Cocktail2

The recipe for the Faye Dunaway cocktail calls for mango juice which I was unable to find.  I also do not have a juicer so I puréed a fresh mango.  I was a little worried because the mango purée was quite thick but it worked out perfectly.  So do not despair if you also cannot find juice.  If fresh mango is unavailable frozen would also work perfectly!

The Faye cocktail perfectly balances sweet, spicy and sour flavours in a glorious mix of mango, lime and chilli.  It’s sooooo good!  I loved it – it reminded me of sunshine and holidays and tropical climes!  I made this exactly as per the recipe (which you can find here) because I was testing the recipe for Jenny.  However, even though this is divine as is, I can’t help wondering what it might be like if you also brought in a salty element by edging the glass?  Salty, sweet hot and sour being the four elements Thai cooks try to bring into balance.  Because that is really what the flavours of this cocktail reminded me of…cocktails on a beach in Thailand.  

Faye’s birthday is coming up on January 14.   I was going to hold off posting this until the day itself.  Then I thought it would be much more fun to give you all a chance to buy the ingredients so we could all celebrate her gorgeousness and iconic fashion sense by donning a beret and drinking one of these in her honour!

I will be trying the Salty Faye myself but if anyone makes either version, please let me know what you think!

And speaking of iconic fashion…I  had so much fun trying to find the Dinah Shore look a few weeks ago that I thought I would give it another go.

Here is my take on Faye’s Bonnie and Clyde look fashion via my very first post on Polyvore.  Because don’t we all need a little bad girl glam every now and again?  

Polyvore - Inspired by Faye Dunaway

If you want to channel your “nightmare dressed like a daydream”, click here to access the Polyvore page and get the deets on all the items shown. 

Oh, and for anyone who is wondering how our music competition turned out?

The judges said that our singing and arrangement were spot on but that the content was inappropriate for both us to be singing and our audience to be listening to.

If you would  like to hear the scurrilous lyrics not fit for the mouths of good God-fearin’ girls (and see some photos of the real Bonnie and Clyde)  here’s a YouTube of that song:

Many thanks to Jenny for the opportunity to help with her book (I will let you all know when it is ready to be purchased, it’s going to be awesome!) and for selecting such a fabulous recipe for me to try!

And don’t forget, Faye Day on the 14th!

Cheers!

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History Happy Hour – The Flamingo

So, I made this Flamingo cocktail today with the idea that I would post it in the usual time it takes me to post anything – a month, six weeks, some time in the yet to be disclosed future.  But then I opened my email and discovered that today, December 26 in the way back of 1946 was the day that Bugsy Siegel opened the Pink Flamingo Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas Nevada.  

I’m not a big fan of posting too quickly because I like to procrastinate carefully curate what goes into these pages. 

It’s why the quality is usually so high…😂

But some opportunities are too good to miss.

Flamingo2 (2)

 

And how pretty is this?  It’s a gorgeous, glorious, fabulous pink! Perfect for drinking at the most fabulous, magnificent , luxurious resort in the world….or just, you know, at home…

Flamingo Casino

Siegel, called “the mobster with the beautiful blue eyes” by Cesar Romero named the resort the Flamingo after his girlfriend Virginia Hill who was a leggy redhead.  

The opening of the Pink Flamingo Casino was a total clusterf**k.  Bad weather kept many of the Hollywood celebrities who had been invited to the opening away.  The rooms weren’t finished so gamblers took their winnings elsewhere.  By the end of the first week, the Pink Flamingo had lost $300,000 in revenue.  By the end of its first year of operation it had earned nothing! 

Siegel was shot to death in 1947.  

A memorial to him still exists in the current Flamingo complex.

Flamingo1

Far from being a clusterf**k, the Flamingo cocktail is a total delight! 

Gin, Apricot Brandy, lime juice and Grenadine make it delicious!

A maraschino cherry gives it some vintage glamour.  It’s not in the recipe but it does make it gorgeous!

Here’s the recipe – Enjoy!!!!

https://mixthatdrink.com/flamingo-cocktail/

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The Pink Pornstar

Hello.  Hi.  Welcome to the post that will probably get the most search engine hits ever.  And also the highest number of people leaving bitterly disappointed. 

Just so we’re clear?  It’s a cocktail.  

If you’ve come here for ANYTHING except a martini? 

Then this is not for you. 

Don’t even stay around to comment on how upset you are.  Just form an orderly queue at the door and leave.  Quietly. 

And delete your search engine history. 

Pink Pornstar2

Okay, so now that all the perverts are gone lets talk about the Pornstar Martini.  Vanilla Vodka.  Passionfruit Liqueur.  Lime. Passionfruit.  With some sparkling wine on the side.

It’s the best!  Which is why I don’t understand how it took me so long to taste one!  I had my first Pornstar Martini  in London this year!  Which is kind of appropriate because that’s where they were invented back in 2002 by Douglas Ankrah at the Townhouse Bar in Knightsbridge which is again appropriate because that’s where I was staying. Knightsbridge not the bar!  Despite all this synchronicity I had my first Pornstar Martini at an All Bar One in the West End.  Thank you Monica for the introduction to what has become my favourite cocktail.

 

Pink Pornstar3

 

I knew right from the start that I wanted to blog this drink!  It is just soooo good!  Sweet from the vanilla vodka, tangy from the passionfruit and lime, with a crisp finish from the sparkling wine!  It’s also very festive so perfect for the season.  What am I  saying?  It’s good at anytime!

For a classic Pornstar Martini look no further than the ever reliable Difford’s Guide.  

For a RFFMT’s take?  Keep reading!  And don’t for one second think that this take only came about because…ahem…”someone”  forgot they had planned to make this and bought pink sparkling wine instead of Prosecco!   

The main change I made in creating the Pink Pornstar was that because sparkling rosé is sweeter than normal sparkling wine I had to counter that sweetness somehow. That was easy enough to do simply by omitting the simple syrup from the original recipe and adding a little bit of vanilla paste into the shaker!  Here’s the recipe:

The Pink Pornstar
Serves 1
A delicious and pretty cocktail!
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Ingredients
  1. 60 ml Vanilla Vodka
  2. 1 1/2 passionfruit
  3. 15 ml Passoa Passionfruit Liqueur
  4. 15 ml freshly squeezed lime juice
  5. 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  6. 60 ml Sparkling Rose
  7. Ice
Instructions
  1. Add a large handful of ice into your cocktail shaker.
  2. Add thee vanilla vodka, the seeds and pulp from 1 passionfruit, the Passoa, lime juice and vanilla extract.
  3. Shake, shake shake. You need to get this nice and cold!
  4. Strain and pour into your cocktail glass.
  5. Garnish with the 1/2 passionfruit.
  6. Serve alongside a glass of sparkling rose.
  7. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. If you do not have vanilla vodka, Difford's tells you how to make it.
Adapted from Difford's Guide
Adapted from Difford's Guide
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
So, given that the Pink Pornstar is really a drink of three parts, how exactly are you supposed to drink it?

Anyway you like but here are some options:

The Pink Pornstar Purist

Keeps the elements separate.

  • First eats the passionfruit garnish.
  • Then drinks the sparkling.
  • Then the Martini.

The reverse purist does the same but swaps the order of the sparkling and the martini.

Pornstar Martini 5

The Mambo 5 Pink Pornstar Picker

Remember that Lou Bega song from back in the day?  It’s in my mind at the mo because we are doing it in my dance class.  Well the chorus of that song goes:

A little bit of Monica in my life
A little bit of Erica by my side
A little bit of Rita is all I need
A little bit of Tina is what I see
A little bit of Sandra in the sun
A little bit of Mary all night long
A little bit of Jessica here I am
A little bit of you makes me your man

The Mambo #5 Pink Pornstar Picker similarly repeats this actions until the drink is gone:

A little bit of passionfruit at first

A little bit of sparkling for the thirst

A little bit of ‘tini for the burst….

 

The burst? That’s the worst!  Let’s move very swiftly away and pretend that never happened!  The final type?

The Pink Pornstar Punchster

Combines everything in the one glass so they can have a bit of everything all together.  This is my favorite way of drinking it but I would love to hear if you think differently!

Okay all that remains now is to say best wishes to you and yours for a wonderful festive season! 

And beware the creepy Santas.

 

Darling Don’t Refrain

In blogging, as in life, timing is everything.  And, as in life, mine usually sucks.  For instance, I’ll find a recipe for an April Flowers cake.  And I’ll look at the calendar and dammit, it’ll be the first of May!  But every once in a while the planets align.  As it is with this week’s post for a delicious cocktail called Darling Don’t Refrain. 

Now some of you will have immediately recognised why the timing of this is important.  Others will be pausing and thinking “Darling don’t refrain…doesn’t that…isn’t that…it’s from a song right?..Oh…that song….” And some of you, dare I say the younger readers, are staring blankly at the screen thinking “Shut your rambling and get on with  it”.

So to put the pausers and the starers out of their misery, “So, if you want to love me, then Darling don’t refrain” is a line from a Guns and Roses song called….. November Rain.  And hey, hey…it’s November.  And I’m posting the Darling Don’t Refrain!

Timing is everything….

Darling Don't Refrain3

I found the Darling Don’t Refrain…and for those of you that know the song…you know you can’t just say those words, you have to sing them…in a book of St Germain Cocktails called How to Drink French Fluently by Drew Lazor and Camille Ralph Vidal.


This is a great book, full of session style cocktails –  so mostly low alcohol so you can drink them over a period of time without getting too sozzled!   They had me at drinking French.  Never mind the St Germain, the ability to knock back a couple of these over brunch, the cocktail hour or dinner, and that the recipes featured in the book are from some of America’s best bartenders!

I love St Germain so this book was a super find for me.  It offers a great range of St Germain cocktails from the Classic cocktail which is St Germain, dry sparkling wine and soda water to innovative drinks like the intriguing sounding Smoked Tomato containing Santa Rosa plums, anise hyssop leaves and smoked tomato infused St Germain!

It is broken into 5 parts – Brunch, Daytime, Aperitif, Dinner and Nightcap so there is an appropriate cocktail for any time of the day you are contemplating drinking!


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The photography in How To Drink French Fluently is gorgeous and the writing is as delicious as the cocktails:

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The Darling Don’t Refrain comes from the Dinner section of How to Drink French Fluently – the idea is that as the meal unfolds, the St Germain ice cubes melt, developing the flavours of the drink.  The lighter alcohol content also means you don’t have to refrain – you can enjoy a few of these with your meal!

I have changed the original recipe by Micah Melton very slightly.  That recipe called for Manzanilla sherry.  I had Fino so I used that.  I later found out that they are basically the same thing…

Also, the original recipe called for 1/4 ounce of simple syrup. 

I mean really. 

Life’s too short to be making simple syrup so you can use 1/4 ounce of it.  I added 1/2 tsp of sugar into the shaker.  

Darling Don't Refrain
A delicious refreshing cocktail designed to be drunk with food. However, if you want one or more on it's own, then darling, don't refrain!
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For the Drink
  1. 1 1/2 oz London Dry Gin ( I used Bombay Sapphire)
  2. 1/2 oz manzanilla or fino sherry
  3. 1/2 oz lemon juice
  4. 1/2 oz Orange Curacao (I used Cointreau, the original recipe recommended BroVo)
  5. 3 drops orange flower water
  6. 1/2 tsp caster sugar
For The St Germain Ice Cubes
  1. 2 oz St Germain
  2. 1 ½ oz water
  3. ¾ oz lemon juice
For the Garnish
  1. A sprig of lemon thyme
For the St Germain Ice Cubes
  1. Combine all ingredients in a spouted jug.
  2. Pour into an ice cube tray and freeze until solid.
  3. Makes 4 ice cubes
For The Drink
  1. Combine the gin, sherry, orange curacao, orange flower water and sugar into a shaker.
  2. Shake gently, then pour into a Collins glass filled with the St Germain ice cubes.
  3. Top with the soda water and garnish with the lemon thyme.
Adapted from very slightly from Micha Melton in How To Drink French Fluently
Adapted from very slightly from Micha Melton in How To Drink French Fluently
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/

Darling Don't Refrain5Okay, now it’s time for some cocktail karaoke.  Because it’s not fair that it’s only me who has had this song stuck in their head for DAYS now….

Some of you will remember the bonkers video for November Rain.  If not, or probably more relevantly if you do, click here to read a very funny takedown of it by the peeps at Teamrock.

Many thanks to Netgalley and the team at Ten Speed Press for the ARC of How to Drink French Fluently.

Have a great week!
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