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Category: Whiskey

Christmas Cocktail – The Partridge

Hello world, here’s a song that we’re singin’
Come on, get happy
A whole lotta lovin’ is what we’ll be bringin’
We’ll make you happy”

 – The Partridge Family

Hello World,
What I’m bringing today is  a Christmas Cocktail called The Partridge.
To make you happy.

The PartridgeUnlike his blue friend, currently residing on the Christmas tree, my little Partridge looks like a bit of a bruiser!  Which is quite appropriate seeing as it’s namesake also has some bite in its…well, not bark but cheep? Tweet?  What noise does a partridge make???  What I”m trying to say, in the most convoluted way possible is that with white vermouth, triple sec and whiskey making up the layers, The Partridge is all killer, no filler.

Blue Bird Christmas Ornament
The three layers in The Partridge were slightly easier to see with the naked eye but the triple sec on the white vermouth was not highly noticeable.  Even so, I think the gold band of whiskey across the top is very pretty. And I am like a child when it comes to layered cocktails.  It’s my form of marvel!
The flavours in the Partridge worked nicely together.  It was a bit smoky from the whiskey, herby and sweet from the vermouth and citrussy from the triple sec. 
The Partridge2I actually found it a bit too strong and had to drop a couple of ice cubes in the glass to dilute it down a bit before I could really enjoy it. 
Having said that though, I think the weather may have had something to do with it. I made, and drank, The Partridge in the middle of one of the hottest spells Melbourne has had.  It was over 40 degrees on the day I made it (that’s 100 to you folks in the States) which was way too hot to be drinking some thing this potent. 
I think this would be perfect sipped by a warm fire with snow falling outside – it could certainly warm the cockles of the coldest heart!  I almost want it to be winter again so I can taste this in what I think would be it’s element!
Now, just in case you are wondering if I have a pear tree for my partridge the answer is yes/no /maybe.
I bought a pear which I was going to use to garnish The Partridge and then promptly forgot all about it.  Enter the A-Z of Cooking which has a Pear and Blue Cheese Salad.
Happy Days!!!!
Pickling Pears
I always take a salad and the desserts to my mum’s for Christmas.  The Christmas Pudding was bought and taken round there  weeks ago.  Earlier today I made a white chocolate and raspberry Tim Tam Cheesecake (stay tuned for that) and my plan was to also make the Pear and Blue Cheese Salad.  However, the pear I had was totally tasteless.  So I am currently pickling it.
It seemed like a good idea at the time.  Then again, I could be delirious.  It’s 8:15pm and my phone is telling me it’s 33°C outside.  Which could have also lead to….
I really wanted to have ginger in the pickling mix but had none in the house.  I have already been to the supermarket twice today, I refuse to go back for round three of Christmas Eve parking and queues in 30+ heat so instead of sugar and ginger and water with the vinegar, I am using ginger beer.
Pickling Pears2
Eeekkkk…..This could either be a total fiasco.If I post some pictures of our lunch and you see a big bowl of what looks like plain lettuce with some lonely specks of blue cheese you’ll know!
And instead of a Christmas Carol to leave you on, here is another Partridge inspired treat for your ears!

Have a wonderful Christmas everyone!  I hope you’ve all been not too naughty so Santa leaves you exactly what you want!  Personally, I am leaving a Treasury of Great Recipes shaped space under my tree…fingers crossed!
Christmas Cocktail – The Partridge

Christmas Cocktail – The Partridge


  • 1 Oz White Vermouth
  • 1 Oz Triple Sec
  • 2.5 Oz Whiskey


  • Put all the cocktail ingredients in the right order : White Vermouth, Triple Sec, Whiskey. Pour the Triple Sec and the Whiskey slowly over the back of a spoon to preserve the layers.
  • Served in an old-fashioned glass.


Recipe from

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Nuwara Eliya & A Tea Punch Cocktail

If you were looking to write a Gothic novel, your first choice of location would most likely not be tropical Sri Lanka.  Because the tropes of Gothic novels include storms, rain, mist and fog and Sri Lanka is all sunshine, white sand, blue water and palm trees right?

Wrong, so wrong.  Welcome to Nuwara Eliya.

Nuwara Eliya WeatherSituated “up country” Nuwara Eliya is about as far away most people’s idea of a “tropical” country as you can get.  This is a famous tea growing district  – all of the bushes you can see in the photo above are tea plants.  We were there for three days and the weather was like this the entire time, all low swirling clouds, fog, mist and rain. 

As we climbed higher and higher into the hills, the weather changed from hot and sunny, to cold and gloomy.  It was as if you were entering a different, very isolated world – even though the nearest town was only a few kilometers away and you could usually get a decent wifi signal. 

As well as the weather, a good Gothic novel should be set in a (preferably haunted) old mansion or manor house.  Nuwara Eliya is nicknamed Little England and The Hill Club, where we stayed,  would not look out of place on the Yorkshire Moors. 

Hill Club, Nuwara Eliya

I’ve read enough Agatha Christie and watched enough episodes of Midsomer Murders to know that the English Manor house is actually a hot bed of murder and sexual intrigue.  If it’s not a pyromaniac mad woman in the attic, it’s something nasty in the woodshed!  

Hill Club3The Hill Club may well be the one place where the sun hasn’t set on the British Empire.  Staying there is like taking a step back in time.  I suspect that not even in Britain today are there many hotels where one wall in the bar is adorned with a large portrait of the Queen and another with an equally large photo of Winston Churchill.  And this is not someone’s idea of a decorating a hotel with some kitschy memorabilia from the days of Empire.  This is a Hotel from the days of Empire.  Actually, sorry, not a hotel at all.  A gentlemen’s club.

Hill Club
The olde-worlde atmosphere only contributed to the feeling that you had somehow strayed into either some sort of time slip stream or parallel universe.  I would not have been entirely surprised to wake and find myself back the 1940’s or to see a ghostly figure roaming the halls. Speaking of which, there was also a long corridor which could have come direct out of The Shining:

Hallway CollageAdd to this some flickering lights and power outages caused by the storm and you have almost the perfect place to gather around the fire in the reading room either to read your favourite Gothic novel by candlelight or to see who can make up the spookiest story.  Who knows, it may even be the next Frankenstein!

Hill Club4But telling ghost stories can be thirsty work, so whilst you are doing that you need the perfect libation to not only wet your whistle but give you some Dutch courage in the event that a large hound starts baying outside or the tap, tap, tapping on the window turns out not to be a tree branch but your dead lover come to woo you from the grave. 

All of which, after the longest intro, ever means, I made us a cocktail. 

Tea Punch Cocktail I wanted to make something with tea to highlight the wonderful produce from Nuwara Eliya. And, in a wonderful piece of serendipity, the very next chapter of The A-Z of Cooking contained a recipe for a tea punch. (Yes, we are still only up to D – Dips and Drinks). 

Tea Punch Cocktail 2

Sadly, the Tea Punch in The A-Z of Cooking was non-alcoholic.  So, I boozed it up.  Because in my mind, a punch needs to have a little punch if you know what I mean. 

My only dilemma with this was what to use as the “spike” for my tea.  Absinthe would have been the Byronesque choice however I can’t bear the taste of it nor the big shirts with frilly collars. 

Tea Punch Cocktail 4

Arrack was my next choice because I brought a bottle home with me, but that would be no fun for any of you.  Arrack is a Sri Lankan spirit made from toddy, which is the fermented juice from a coconut palm. 

Tea Punch Cocktail 5

I then found this wonderful article in Gothicked which confirmed not only spiked tea as a Gothic drink of choice but also whiskey.  I still had some Jameson’s from when I made the Emerald Presse so I used that.

The original recipe called for Orange Bitters, I had Rhubarb Bitters so I used them instead. 

Whether you are in a Gothic Manor house or at home just reading about them,  this is a really nice drink –  the combination of the tea, whiskey and ginger give it a dark, smokey flavour whilst the peach and orange adds some sweetness and a lovely bright tropical colour!

If you are a reader and you were interested in learning a bit more about Sri Lanka, particularly the civil war that tore that beautiful country apart in the ’80’s and ’90’s you might want to take a look at this book:

  I read it when we were there which made the story that much more real, particularly as completely by chance we stayed at two of the places, Mount Lavinia and Havelock Town which feature in the book. 

And if anyone is inspired by this post to write a spooky Gothic tale or locked room murder mystery set in Nuwara Eliya, please let me know, I would love to read it!

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Tea Punch Cocktail
A tropical cocktail with a dark heart
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  1. 50ml strong Ceylon tea
  2. 30ml whiskey
  3. 30 ml peach juice
  4. 30 ml orange juice (about 1/2 an orange)
  5. 5 drops Rhubarb Bitters
  6. Dry Ginger Ale
  7. Orange and peach slices to garnish
  1. Mix the tea, whiskey and fruit juices.
  2. Top with the dry ginger ale.
  3. Add the bitters and stir to mix.
  4. Garnish with orange and peach slices
Adapted from The A-Z of Cooking
Adapted from The A-Z of Cooking
Retro Food For Modern Times

Whiskey in The Jar – The Emerald Presse

I was so disappointed with my attempt at an Irish Potato Salad Roll that it drove me to drink. 

Quite luckily as it happened because that particular cab on the road to rack and ruin drove me right up to the Emerald Presse.  And you know, if there’s one other thing the Irish are famous for outside of potatoes, corned beef and cabbage, it’s drinking. And the Emerald Presse  will tickle the tastebuds of even the most fastidious of Fassnidges.

 Emerald Presse1

Emerald Presse1

I’m not normally a whiskey drinker so I was not sure how this would taste.  I liked the idea of the mint, apple and lime even though they seemed a weirdly light combination for what I always think of as being a heavy drink. 

Anyhoo….Put  ’em together and have you got? Not bibbidi-bobbidi-boo but…My new favourite drink!!!!  

Emerald Presse2
Emerald Presse2

The flavours worked really well together.  That little frizzante from the sparkling apple juice also added some lightness to it. In my best Irish accent this was the fooking craic!!!! I can’t even begin to tell you how delicious this is.  You need to make it immediately and come back to me.

Go  on

I’ll still be here when you get back.

Now, take that first sip and “Ohhhhh…..Yeah, sooooooo good” 

Then we’ll have a sneaky second.  Just because that sparkling apple juice isn’t going to sparkle forever.

Emerald Presse3
Emerald Presse3

 The original recipe for this called for 45 ml of Jameson’s.  When I measured this out, it looked like a huge amount of whiskey.  I scaled mine back to around 30mls and found it about right for my taste.  You can scale up or down according to your preference. 

Styling Tip

 If you really wanted your whiskey in a jar, this would look really cute served in mason jars – in which case you probably could use the full  45ml of Jameson’s.


Emerald Presse
Serves 1
A delicious refreshing cocktail to celebrate St Patrick's Day
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  1. 30ml Jameson Irish Whiskey
  2. Sparkling Apple Juice
  3. 2 sprigs of mint
  4. Half a lime, quartered
  5. Ice
  1. Muddle the mint leaves and the lime quarters in a whiskey glass
  2. Half fill the glass with ice.
  3. Add 30ml of Jameson Irish Whiskey.
  4. Add 90ml of sparkling apple juice.
  5. Top with ice and garnish with another sprig of mint.
  6. Sláinte
  1. Feel free to adjust the quantities of whiskey and apple juice to suit your taste.
  2. *Also, I think this recipe came from Australian Gourmet Traveller, however as it was just a cut out piece of paper, I am not 100% sure. If anyone knows, please let me know and I will attribute authorship accordingly.
Adapted from Australian Gourmet Traveller*
Adapted from Australian Gourmet Traveller*
Retro Food For Modern Times
 Happy St Patrick’s Day, may the road rise to meet you!

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