Category: Cocktail

The Sherry Cobbler – A Crazy Gold Rush Cocktail

The Sherry Cobbler is an American cocktail probably first made in the 1830’s.  It was hugely popular in its native land but was, also incredibly popular in Melbourne during the Gold rush years, between 1851 and through to the end of the 1860’s .  Gold brought both a vast increase in the population and in the wealth of the population. And where there are miners and money?  There will be booze.

Sherry Cobbler2.jpg (2)

Nowadays, sherry is seen as an old lady’s drink.  However, this was not always the case.  Back in the 1960’s all the cool kids were drinking it. 

Vintage advert in 1960s magazine dated 1964 for DRY SACK Spanish sherry. Image shot 1964. Exact date unknown.And 100 years before them it was the turn of these boys.

MinersDry Sack sounds more like a painful affliction than something I would want to drink so I used a Fino Sherry for my Cobbler but you can use but you can use whatever you have. The Sherry Cobbler consists of Sherry, sugar, fruit and a little sprinkle of nutmeg.

Sherry Cobbler4Now, I can quite easily imagine our 1960’s poolside pleasure seekers enjoying a Sherry Cobbler or two.  But the miners?  Surely not.  Least of all because you would think all the fruit would get stuck in their beards.  But apparently back in the 1850’s it was the most popular mixed drink in the world.

However, those miners were pretty wily.  Is it a pure coincidence that the Sherry Cobbler, according to this article, was the drink that popularised the use of the straw. Or was it just a solution to fruit in beard syndrome?

Sherry Cobbler3But right from the start I promised you crazy and miners sipping sherry through straws is not crazy.  It’s adorable but not crazy. 

So let’s get crazy.  The Sherry Cobbler is poured over crushed ice.  Except back in the day there was no ice in Melbourne.  We are a temperate climate and Melbourne’s first iceplant didn’t open until 1860.  But dammit if those miners didn’t want their Sherry Cobblers served as the Good Lord intended them.  So, ice was imported from America.  Specifically, huge ice cubes were cut from the frozen lakes in Massachusetts, packed in sawdust and shipped to Melbourne to satisfy the Sherry Cobbler yearnings of the miners.

Not crazy enough?  In a land where there was no ice, how common do you think those new fangled devices called straws were?  Pretty damn non-existent apparently.  So how did those quick witted miners get around that little dilemma?

They used pieces of macaroni as straws.

Yep. For real. 

For serious.

Sherry Cobbler5 (2)

Macaroni.

Can you imagine anything more delightful than the five gentlemen above out on a night on the tiles sipping their Sherry Cobblers through macaroni straws?

The Sherry Cobbler is a lovely tipple too.  It would be a great day drink as it’s not too boozy.   And certainly not a drink just for your maiden aunt

Ditch the macaroni straw though.  It was useless. 

Sherry Party (2)

Sherry Cobbler
A classic American cocktail took a turn for the crazy in Mebourne's gold rush years.
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Ingredients
  1. 100g Sherry - I used Fino
  2. Crushed ice - about half a tray of ice blocks
  3. 1 tbsp caster sugar
  4. 3 strawberries, 2 chopped, one left whole for garnish
  5. 1 orange
  6. Nutmeg, to sprinkle
  7. Macaroni (optional)
Instructions
  1. Slice the end off the orange, then slice a round from it to form the garnish. Segment the rest of the orange, removing the pith.
  2. Stir the sherry with the caster sugar until the sugar melts. Add the chopped strawberries and orange segments.
  3. Fill your cup with crushed ice, pour the sherry and fruit mixture over the top.
  4. Garnish with the whole strawberry and orange slice.
  5. Sprinkle some ground nutmeg over the top.
  6. For authenticity, drink through a macaroni straw.
  7. Enjoy!
Adapted from Flavours of Melbourne - Charmaine O'Brien, Wakefield Press, 2008
Adapted from Flavours of Melbourne - Charmaine O'Brien, Wakefield Press, 2008
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
Unless otherwise indicated, all the facts in the above about Melbourne, ice, straws and macaroni come from a wonderful book called Flavours of Melbourne by Charmaine O’Brien (Wakefield Press, 2008).  This book is awesome.  There will be more recipes from it for sure.

Any errors or omissions and all the hyperbole are mine alone. 

The weekend’s coming – what are you up to?

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Frangelico Luau

Aloha people of the internet.  It’s time to don your grass skirts, your leis and start shimmying those hips in a vague approximation of the hula because we’re off to Hawaii with this lovely Frangelico Luau.  Well, actually I’m off to Perth but a holiday is a holiday right?  Also, winter has arrived in Melbourne, its cold, gloomy, dark, rainy and miserable.  So a reminder of sun, sand and tropics is also in order! 

Frangelico LuauI found the recipe for the Frangelico Luau in the Feb / March edition of Vogue Entertaining and Travel.  It’s a three ingredient taste o’ the tropics that is pretty to look at and yummy to drink.  And guaranteed to bring some sunshine into the darkest winter day!

Frangelico Luau2The Frangelico Luau has only three ingredients – Frangelico, Pineapple Juice and Grenadine so it is relatively light in alcohol.  This is a great holiday drink because it is one you can sip all afternoon without getting too drunk to enjoy the evening!  I would have been a bit dubious about the combination of hazelnut, pineapple and pomegranate but it works! 

There are a few more lovely sounding Frangelico cocktails from the same advertisement so there may be a few more appearing here soon!

Frangelico Luau
A lovely taste of the tropics, guaranteed to brighten up even the gloomiest of days!
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Ingredients
  1. 30ml Frangelico
  2. 120ml pineapple juice
  3. Dash Grenadine
  4. Pineapple Circle and Mint Sprig to garnish
Instructions
  1. Mix the Frangelico, pineapple juice and grenadine in a blender. Pour into a chilled glass over ice.
  2. Garnish with a pineapple circle and a mint sprig.
  3. I used Vietnamese mint to add to the tropical vibe but regular mint would be fine!
  4. Enjoy!
Adapted from Vogue Entertaining and Travel Feb / March 1990
Adapted from Vogue Entertaining and Travel Feb / March 1990
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
 Gotta run, both metaphorically and literally – my plane leaves in a couple of hours and I have yet to pack and I also want to stretch my legs before the four-hour flight!

Have a wonderful week! 

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Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Podcasts + A Giveaway

Hey people of the internet..I know, it’s been a while… it’s been a pretty shitty start to the year. 

My step father passed away a couple of weeks ago and it’s been a horrible, weird, grief filled couple of weeks.  Maybe I’ll talk about it more in time but at the moment….it’s still all a bit too raw. I had written most of this post on the Peter Piper cocktail before all the shit got real.  So, here it is, pretty much unedited because I just want to get something out to resume some semblance of normality….

Don’tcha just love it when two three of your favorite things come together in a perfect storm of awesomeness?  Of course you do!  Which is how I came to find the Peter Piper cocktail. 

Peter Piper2The original Peter Piper Cocktail comes from a recipe by Georgia Hardstark and Alie Ward.  So, here are some things you need to know about Georgia Hardstark.

  1. She can make a mean cocktail
  2. She loves vintage clothes
  3. Along with Karen Kilgariff she is the host of one of my favorite new podcasts, My Favourite Murder

One of which would be reason enough to like her.  All three combined? OMG….massive girl crush!

Peter Piper 5

Also, here are some things you need to know about the Peter Piper cocktail.  Actually, no just one.

The original recipe requires dry vermouth.  Do not assume that just because you had dry vermouth the last time you made a cocktail, that you will still have dry vermouth.  More specifically, do not wait until you have your vodka on ice in the damn cocktail shaker to realise that the dry vermouth has either disappeared into some Bermuda Trianglesque worm hole surrounding your bar cart or you drank a damn sight more of those Lord Suffolk cocktails on NYE than your memory has so far allowed you to admit. My money’s on the worm hole.  Because you know, a lot of things go missing from that area of the dining room.  And the stuff that is left?  The levels also mysteriously change.  Spooky..

Also, the girls used pepper vodka, I made my own chilli infused vodka and used that.  That is super easy to make – I just chopped up a Bird’s Eye Chilli and put it into a 100ml jar filled with vodka and left it for about a week.  And  there you have it.  Spicy vodka, perfect for mixing with pickle juice, and because you have no dry vermouth, a splash of Fino sherry.   With a kick of heat from the vodka, briny sour from the pickle juice, a hint of sweet and nuttiness from the sherry….the Peter Piper is truly a thing of beauty!  Perfect to drink with some salty chips whilst listening to your favourite podcast!

Peter Piper4As far as I am concerned one of the best things to come out of 2016 for me was a new found love for the podcast.  I have always been a big pod listener but l feel that last year raised the bar.  So, whilst we sip our Peter Piper’s I’m going to take you through my Top 5 of the pods I discovered and loved in 2016. 

These are vaguely in order of my discovery of them and not necessarily my love of them.  Except the first three are probably also my top three in terms of love too.

1. The Black Tapes

It’s kinda X Files with loads of creepy children, music that will make you die within a year of hearing it, missing wives, and villain who looks like a Sexy James Bond.  Not to mention evil monasteries and people having their faces ripped off.

Start with:  You really need to listen to these in order.  Start with S1, Episode1. 

Standout Episode:  The creepy knocking on Alex’s sleep tape gave me chills

2. Tanis

What have I not already said about my love for Tanis.  (Brought to you by Pacific North West Stories who also produce The Black Tapes?).

Oh yeah – Both The Black Tapes and Tanis have been on  hiatus for a while but The Sandy Island episodes which are for Patreon subscribers only?  Totally amazing and made me fall in love with Tanis all over again.  Also see my Tanis inspired cocktail posts:

Here for The Black and Tanis

Here for the Eld Fen Martini

Here for the Navigator

Here for the Sex on The Breach

Start With: As with The Black Tapes you need to listen to this in order

Standout Episode: I really liked S1 E3, The Girl in The High Tower which touched on the death of Elisa Lam.  And anything with Geoff Van Sant.  Or MK.  So all of them.

3 My Favourite Murder

Who thought a podcast about murder could be hilarious?  Well, let Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff change your mind. And just in case you are wondering, never disrespectful about the victims.  They may not be the best researched of all the true crime pods that I will list but they are by far my favourite.  I love these gals!

 

And OMG, the memes that have come out of this.  From the catch cry “Stay sexy, don’t get murdered” to “You’re in a cult, call your dad” to “Here’s the thing, fuck everyone”

Don’t Start With: The Canadian Greyhound Bus Cannibal.  This one scared the crap out of me.  I was almost too scared to go on public transport for weeks after listening to this one!

Start With:The Alphabet Killer.   This is absolutely what fascinates me about these things.  No spoilers but how did that thing become his thing?  Also the one on Israel Keyes.  He looks like a guy you would see at a beachside pub wearing a polo shirt and boat shoes and talking too loudly to his bros.  Not a serial killer, rapist, bank robber and arsonist.   The Israel Keyes episode also spawned the now famous rules of hiking:

  • Go in packs of five
  • With knives
  • With fucking Rottweilers
  • With knives taped to your hands
  • And knives taped to your Rottweilers
  • And then just tons of guns
  • And just start shooting at any sound you hear
  • Anyone who fucking approaches you – shoot them

Other: They also have the best fan made merch. I  just ordered one of these “Stay sexy, don’t get murdered rings” off Etsy. I feel it’s my version of the WWJD bangle.

4. Casefile

This is also true crime but from Australia.  And if  MFM is  entirely personality driven, Casefile is the facts ma’am just the facts. The host is even anonymous.  This is not exclusively Australian content but there is a lot of it on here, proving that when it comes to nutters and psychopaths, we can certainly hold our own with the rest of the world!

 

Start With: Peter Falconio. I remember this case so well.  I also remember how they demonised his poor girlfriend in the media.  

Standout Episode: Snowtown.  OMG.  Find out what happens when a group of people who individually were only ever going to be losers and fuck ups meet up.  Spoiler – it ends with bodies in barrels.

In Adelaide. 

Of course.

5. The Sofa King Podcast

These guys started following me on Insta so I gave their pod a listen and have not stopped.  It’s a mix of true crime, cults, conspiracies, mysteries, and things that go bump in the night. 

 

Start with: Their take on Dahmer.  Because no one else will tell you that they found a painted preserved penis in his work locker.  For real.

Standout Episode:  The 411.  This is about people going missing in National Parks.  I laughed so hard whilst listening to this that I had to pull my car over to the side of the road because I was no longer capable of driving.  Believe me, you will never see Gary Coleman in the same light!  

Peter Piper2

Peter Piper Cocktail
A delicious savoury cocktail
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Ingredients
  1. 125ml chilli / pepper vodka
  2. 60ml pickle brine
  3. Splash fino sherry or dry vermouth
  4. Cornichons, pickled jalapenos, green olive to garnish
Instructions
  1. Add the vodka, pickle brine and sherry to a shaker filled with ice.
  2. Shake it like a polaroid picture.
  3. Pour into 2 glasses and garnish with a sliced cornichon, a green olive and a pickled jalapeno.
  4. Enjoy!
Adapted from Georgia Hardstark and Alie Ward
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
 Okay so I have a couple of 1990’s magazines and a 1990’s cookbook on pasta and risotto, all from my personal collection to share with readers.  Point me in the way of your favourite podcasts or let me know if you share my faves and these can be yours!  Leave a comment here, on facebook or instagram or tweet me.

Have a wonderful week! And give someone you love a big hug….

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Lord Suffolk Cocktail

Top of the list of my New Year’s Eve libations this year was a cheeky little  cocktail called the Lord Suffolk. 

Lord Suffolk CocktailFeatured in the classic Savoy Cocktail Book from 1930, the Lord Suffolk is a gin based cocktail and believe me, it is deeelicious!!!! It’s so good! 

On top of the gin you have herby notes from vermouth, citrus from Cointreau and a nutty flavour from Maraschino liqueur. 

This will however knock you flat if you have more than one though so go easy!

I’ve included a cautionary tale via some dating tips from the 1930’s  to guide you in the correct etiquette of dealing with the Lord Suffolk so why not make yourself one, sit back, sip up an enjoy!

First Impressions

Him:  Is that a nip I see before me?  Mummy warned me about loose non-brassièred women like you. Must.  Avert.  Eyes.   OMG, you’ve also got cankles!

Her: Calm down, that’s just my wrinkled stockings. 

Pre – Date Chit Chat

Her:  I wish I could just tug my girdle around a little bit.  I feel it’s making me sit awkwardly.  Good thing I have a jawful of Stay Calm Chewing gum or I’d be ready to bury an axe in your boring AF head.

Him:  If you snap your gum at me one more time, I’m going to strangle you with my pristine white handkerchief.  And BTW you sit like a truck driver with elephantiasis of the testicles. It’s making me weirdly horny.

Out and About

Him:  Mummy gave me that hankie.  She washed and ironed it specially for me, and now it’s RUINED, you harlot!

Her: If only this was the 21st century where the object I am holding would be a mobile phone and not a compact.  I could

a) send a selfie to my bestie asking her if she thinks I should have worn a brassière tonight and,

b) ask her to call me  to say she’s had a girdle tugging emergency and needs me to come immediately.

One Lord Suffolk Later

Lord Suffolk Cocktail2Her:  This is the best drink I’ve ever had.  Let’s go dance one of those new fangled jitterbugs!

Him:  You know, you’re not so bad after all.  Waiter, another round of these delightful Lord Suffolk cocktails!

The Dance Floor

Her: You put the boom-boom into my heart, You send my soul sky high when your lovin’ starts
Jitterbug into my brain, Goes a bang-bang-bang ’til my feet do the same.  (RIP George Michael!)

Him:  STFU!  How do you expect me to concentrate on perfecting my moves like Jagger when your incessant idiotic ramblings prevent me from hearing the beat?  And whose hat is that?

Two Lord Suffolk’s Later

Her: I love you Lord Suffolk, you’re my best friend.

Him: I hate you.  And whose fucking hat is that?

Three Lord Suffolk’s Later

Her: Zzzzzzzz

Him: Dear Mummy, you were right, all women are drunken sluts…

Random Double Breasted Suit Wearing Stranger: My hat!  Mamma  Mia!! What has she done to my hat? 

Lord Suffolk Cocktail
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Ingredients
  1. 5/8 Gin - I used Beefeater
  2. 1/8 Italian Dry Vermouth*
  3. 1/8 Cointreau
  4. 1/8 Luxardo Maraschino
  5. Lemon Peel to garnish
Instructions
  1. Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  2. Garnish with a strip of lemon peel.
Notes
  1. *The original recipe used sweet vermouth. I tried with both sweet and dry and preferred the dry. Use your preference.
Adapted from The Savoy Cocktail Book, 1930 by Harry Craddock
Adapted from The Savoy Cocktail Book, 1930 by Harry Craddock
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
Have a great week and whatever you do, keep your dignity.  And don’t tug your girdle.
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French Pink Lady

How can I have been doing this so long and never have spoken about my unabiding love for the movie Grease?  I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I have watched it.  And I always wanted to be in a cool girl gang like The Pink Ladies.  However , today we are not going to talk about my want to be this type of pink lady:

But about a classic cocktail of the same name – possibly the inspiration for the name of the aforementioned girl gang as I believe the Pink Lady was popular drink in the 1950’s.  My “French” take on the classic Pink Lady is that, traditionally applejack is an ingredient in a Pink Lady.  However, Applejack was not available in my little suburban bottle shop so I subbed in Calvados. Using French Apple brandy is also a teeny homage to one of the Pink Ladies, Frenchie!

So, in the infamous words of Rizzo,  “Okay girls, let’s go get ’em”

pink-lady1The Pink Lady has been around for decades, according to the fount of all knowledge Wikipedia, it was already well known in the Prohibition era.  It was also the drink of choice of choice of Hollywood star Jayne Mansfield.  I’m not sure if she is holding a Pink Lady in the picture below but it’s pink so let’s put two and two together and raise a glass with Jayne!  OMG…how glamourous is she!  If just ONE day of my life I could have that sort of va-va-voom I would die happy! 

Don’t let the sweet and innocent look of the Pink Lady lull you into a false sense of security.  This is not girly drink made from sugar and spice and all things nice.  The Pink Lady packs a punch!  It almost straight gin, topped up with Applejack / Calvados, with a dash of grenadine, a splash of lemon juice and an egg white being the non-alcoholic components. 

pink-lady2

So, as a little bit of fun, if you are a lover of the Pink Ladies and / or Grease in general, why not  take this fun quiz on Vimio?

Which Grease Character are you?

I’m going to put the recipe first, then I will reveal who I got…

French Pink Lady
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Ingredients
  1. 45ml gin
  2. 22.5 ml calvados
  3. 7.5 ml lemon juice
  4. 1-2 dashes grenadine
  5. 1 egg white
  6. Maraschino cherry for garnish
Instructions
  1. Pour the gin, calvados, lemon juice and grenadine into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
  2. Shake vigorously.
  3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  4. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
Okay, so….I got Marty “You know, as in cherry”, Maraschino.  Very happy to take that.  But then again, I would have been happy with any of the Pinks.  Except maybe Jan.

martyI would love to know who you get if you do the quiz!  Let me know in the comments!

I am on a work trip to Canberra for the next few days.  There will be precious little time for sight-seeing in our Capital city  but I’ll try to fit in a run and see if I can get some photos to share with you all.  And right now I need to go pack my bag for the flight tomorrow morning!

Have a fabulous week and remember – think pink!

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