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Category: St Germain

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!

Darling Don't Refrain1
The photography in How To Drink French Fluently is gorgeous and the writing is as delicious as the cocktails:

Eiffel Tower (1)

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

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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Tanis Inspired Cocktails 2 – Eld Fen Martini

There are wondrous things….

I conjured up the Eld Fen Martini based on a Twitter suggestion by the Tanis Podcast.  And here it is:

Eld Fen MartiniBut first….

What Is Eld Fen?

 Eld Fen also known as Old Fen or King Wurm is a….presence.  And it’s seriously fucking creepy.  Eld Fen sleeps in the darkest part  of the deepest forest. But it’s waking up.  And it’s coming…..

Ever walk alone in the woods and all of a sudden the hairs on the back of your neck prick up and you know something else is there?  You can’t see it or hear it….yet…but it’s there?  Just waiting? Now imagine doing that in the dark.  And you walk into  a circle of birch trees and the crisp smells of the forest fade into something that is sweet and swampy and rotten all at the same time. 

You thought you would be safe in the circle but you’ve turned around a few times trying to find the thing that is out there and now you have no idea which direction is home.  Which is scary because you’re out there in the dark all alone. 

Now multiply that fear by a thousand.  Because the truly frightening thing is that you’re not alone.  Because you’ve woken it up. And it’s coming. 

And when it does?  There will be blood. And madness.  And unspeakable horror. 

That’s Eld Fen.

There are magical things….

Sweet hopscotching Jesus!  I was trying to give you all the Tanis-y creepy chill and managed to scare myself!.  Good thing I’ve got a lovely martini to calm me down!

Eld Fen Martini5

What Is The Eld Fen Martini?

It’s an Eld(erflower) and Fen(nel) Martini with a splash of Chartreuse. So it’s sweet from the Elderflowers, anisey (Tanis – y?) from the fennel and herby from the Chartreuse. Delicious.  The perfect pick me up after a hard day’s work searching for a place that may or may not exist.  And may make people crazy when they find it. 

The hardest thing about making the Eld Fen Martini was trying to walk the line between making something that conveyed the swampy, sickly  aspects of Eld Fen without making it so disgusting that no one would ever want to drink it.  I felt my first attempt, which did not have the Chartreuse, was too pretty, this did not at all convey swampy, hint of pus look I wanted. 

Eld Fen Martini2Hmm….

I bet you never read that last sentence in a food blog before. And now you know why I chose Eld Fen over Hint Of Pus Martini. 

What do you mean you don’t want to have a drink with me?  It’s not real pus.  It’s Chartreuse. Made by Monks.  And not those spooky Order of Cenophus Monks from The Black Tapes.  These are proper French Monks who are far too busy tending their garden of 130 herbs so they can make lovely, delicious Chartreuse to:

  1. Kidnap an itinerant
  2. Rip someone else’s face off. 
  3. Sew said face onto itinerant
  4. Push itinerant off a monastery tower.

Oh FFS, as if I hadn’t already scared myself enough with Eld Fen.  Now I’m freaking out about murderous monks!

There are dangerous things….

Eld Fen Martini 7I wanted the garnish on the Eld Fen to maintain the dark edge.  My favorite maraschino cherry was just a little bit too perky for this.  So I went with a blueberry /blackberry garnish.  And OMG, if you give these a teeny squish?  They start to release little lines of juice which look like veins or splashes of blood! Perfect!

Eld FEn Martini 8

You Get What You Deserve

Here’s the recipe.

Eld Fen Martini
Serves 1
A delicious and refreshing cocktail inspired by the Tanis Podcast
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For The Fennel Syrup
  1. 1 cup sugar
  2. 1 cup water
  3. 1 tsp fennel seeds
  4. 1 medium bulb fresh fennel, roughly chopped
For The Eld Fen Martini
  1. 30ml Fennel Syrup
  2. 30ml Vodka
  3. 30ml St Germain Elderflower Liqueur
  4. Juice of 1/2 a lime
  5. Splash of Chartreuse
  6. Ice
For The Garnish
  1. 2 blueberries
  2. 1 blackberry
For The Fennel Simple Syrup
  1. Give the fennel seeds a few good whacks with a pestle or heavy rolling pin.
  2. Place the water, sugar, fennel seeds and chopped fennel in a small pan.
  3. Bring to a boil, then simmer for around 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  5. Strain to remove the fennel and fennel seeds.
  6. Place in fridge until required.
For The Cocktail
  1. Chill your martini glass.
  2. Pour the vodka, St Germain, fennel simple syrup, lime juice and Chartreuse into a shaker filled with ice.
  3. Shake, baby, shake.
  4. Pour into your martini glass.
  5. Garnish with blueberries and blackberry that have been slightly bruised to release some juice.
  6. Enjoy!
  1. You will have enough Fennel Simple Syrup to make plenty of these!
Retro Food For Modern Times
 Eld Fen Martini9

To find Eld Fen, you need a Navigator. 

Why you would want to find Eld Fen is utterly beyond me.  Is your tv broken?  Play some Words With Friends, read a book, write a blog, take up yoga…there are so many things you could do with your life that do not entail pushing you to the brink of sanity and life itself.  But if you must find Eld Fen…you’ll need a navigator.  And that’s where we’ll go next time….

In the meantime, keep looking.

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This Goose is Loose – Goose in Spring Cocktail

Happy hump day people of the internet!

This goose is loose! 

For the next five days, I am a lady of leisure!  And what better way to celebrate than with a cocktail (or two)!  And this Goose in Spring Cocktail fits the bill perfectly!

Goose In Spring 1After three years, I am leaving the amazing team at Protiviti in Melbourne for pastures new.  It was so hard to say goodbye; I have made so many friends there and worked for three amazing bosses.  But new challenges beckoned and I am moving on. 

But not until  Monday.

Goose In Spring 2

So, in the meantime, while I am unofficially unemployed, I am as free as this little bird.

Goose In Spring3If being free means:

  • Cleaning out my pantry
  • Clearing out my wardrobe
  • Clearing out my bookshelves
  • Putting my car in for a service
  • A visit to the dentist
  • A visit to the hairdresser
  • Catching up with a girlfriend for lunch
  • A visit to the beauty salon for a mani & pedi
  • Getting the broken strap on my favourite handbag fixed
  • Trying to cook as many recipes from Persiana as possible
  • Vintage Shopping with my mum
  • Writing at least three blog posts to schedule for when I am on holiday next month
  • Writing that novel I’ve been thinking about for years
  • Scaling Everest

Yep, totally absolutely free!

Goose Is Loose 5The Goose in Spring cocktail was the winner of the May 2012 Vodka Cocktail Contest, where it was created by Elijah Venanzi.

Goose In Spring
A delicious fruity and floral cocktail. Perfect for Spring!
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  1. 4 raspberries
  2. 45ml lavender-infused Grey Goose Vodka
  3. 30ml ounce St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
  4. 30ml fresh lime juice
  5. Lime peel for garnish
For the Lavender Infused Vodka
  1. Add two sprigs of lavender to Vodka and allow it to infuse for 6 days, then double strain to remove all of the herb.
For The Cocktail
  1. Muddle the raspberries in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Add the lavender vodka, the St Germain and the Lime Juice
  3. Shake well over ice.
Adapted from Elijah Venanzi
Adapted from Elijah Venanzi
Retro Food For Modern Times
The Goose In Spring combines all the delicious floral flavours I love – lavender and elderflower with some fruity deliciousness from raspberries and lime!  The original recipe used lemon instead of lime but I didn’t have any – and you know, when life doesn’t give you lemons, a girl’s gotta improvise!  My lavender vodka was also VERY lavendery so I needed to adjust the other ingredients around it.  The original ratios are per the link in the recipe.

Have a lovely week!  I’ll be thinking of you while I’m doing all that nothing!

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