We’re stepping into the waaaaaay back machine for today’s history happy hour, all the way back to 1558 when, on 17 November, Queen Elizabeth I ascended the English throne.
“I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too”
Queen Elizabeth I
Elizabeth’s parent’s were Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. However, maternal bonds were not really allowed to develop as her father had her mother’s head lopped off when Elizabeth was just under 3 years old.
By the standards of the day, Elizabeth was a beauty with the lovely Tudor red-gold hair. I wondered if this might not be the be the reason for the apricot brandy in the Gloriana.
Elizabeth ruled for 45 years and her reign saw the voyages of Drake and Raleigh and the defeat of the Spanish Armada. The position of the Church of England was stabilised and the arts flourished. Elizabeth even attended the première performance of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.
Elizabeth was the last Tudor Monarch. She died without an heir to the throne and the crown passed to James I.
The Gloriana is traditionally ungarnished. Given our subject was the Virgin Queen herself, I thought my garnish was appropriate. (In a totally inappropriate way!)
If you feel like raising a toast to Good Queen Bess, Gloriana herself, I can think of no better way than with this delicious cocktail.
Now it’s not often I get all immersive and Heston on you but I really think your experience of this post and the Blue Skies Cocktail would be best achieved if, before you kept on reading, you clicked on the link below and cranked up the volume….
Ok…are we there yet?
You know, it wouldn’t be Retro Foods for Modern Times if we didn’t have a luridly coloured cocktail to end the year so, here ’tis…The Blue Skies…and I defy anyone not to start humming along with The Chairman of The Board….
Smiling at me
Nothing but blue skies
Do I see….
It sure is blue. And…dontcha think the ice cubes look a little bit like clouds?
If you said no to that. Have one. And look at the picture again. Still no? Have another. REALLY crank the Frank up. And have another look. Repeat.
It will happen.
I can’t remember if I ever introduced you all to the third canine in our house. F. Scott Fitzgerald, or Scotty as we like to call him, may be quiet, but much like his namesake, he knows how to sniff out a good cocktail.
And when he sees one he likes? Oh boy, does he light up!
Singing a song
Nothing but bluebirds
All day long
From all of us at La Maison de la Retro Foods to you and all of yours, all the very best for a fantastic 2015…
All of them gone
Nothing but blue skies
From now on…
It's a delicious blue cocktail..with maybe ice that looks like clouds
No, I’m not getting out my love beads and turning all peace, love and mung beans on you but I have been inspired by all things floral this week and I made you an amazing cocktail which is a veritable flowerbomb of flavour! (And not even the slightest hint of Parfait Amour).
Spring has sprung in Melbourne which means it’s constantly windy, all the better to spread pollen all over the place, so I’m sneezing constantly. We’re also having bizarre weather changes….Seriously WTF Melbourne? From 27 to 13 in one day? We’re living in crazy times!
On a happier note, the sun has been shining more frequently, we’ve had a couple of gorgeous warm days, I did twilight yoga in the park the other night and the garden is growing like crazy. Back at Easter we planted the front garden – I was going for a Mediteranean look so we have an olive tree, rosemary, thyme and lots of lovely lavender. We have a couple of dark pink ones:
As well as the more traditional purple ones:
Then my mum brought over these gorgeous roses from her garden:
So in between the sneezes, it really has been all about the flowers. And they have inspired a fabulous cocktail, called the Flower Power. It’s really a trashed up Lavender Lemonade, and you know what? I can get pretty damn trashy!!!! I was almost tempted to call this one the snowball, because once it got started it took on a life of it’s own.
So here is the entire evolution of the Flower Power Cocktail.
The Spark – Flower Power Coctail v1
The lavender in the garden got me thinking about a recipe I read ages ago on Thug Kitchen (which is an awesome blog) for Lavender Lemonade. Which you can find here:
You could just make this and live happily ever after. It’s nice, it’s refreshing and they are very, very funny people. But you know, with all due respect to Thug Kitchen…it’s not nearly trashy enough for this girl!
Enter the Flower Power Cocktail v2.
Flower Power Cocktail v2 – A Kiss From A Rose
I had some gorgeous dried rosebuds bought to make my Persian recipes for book club (coming soon) and thought that they would be a nice addition.
The mixture will start to turn colour after about 15-20 minutes. For the best flavour, let the petals steep for at least an hour, I left mine overnight. An added bonus is that during the steeping your kitchen will smell like a garden
The Lavender and Rose Lemonade was really good. And a gorgeous pink! Very girly and perfect for sipping on a sunny afternoon.
But you know what? Sometimes this girl needs a little bit o’ booze mixed in with her flowers and citrus…so enter version 3…
Flower Power Cocktail v3 – The Crackling Rosie
So if you take your Lavender and Rose Lemonade and add a little hit of a florally gin like Hendricks you have a very pleasant cocktail. Still very girly and whilst you could sip it all afternoon it does have a little ginny kick to it.
But you want more. I know you do.
So, without further ado…..
The Flower Power Cocktail
So far, we have been topping our lemonade or our cocktails up with a little sparkling water.
For the true Flower Power Cocktail, use the lemonade mix straight.
Add your half nip, or hell, a whole nip of Hendricks. Top with St Germain Elderflower Liqueur.
Oh baby, oh yeah!
A couple of these and you’ll feel like you’re in San Francisco with flowers in your hair!
Gilding The Lily – The Flower Power Cocktail Bling
If you really want to trash up your Flower Power Cocktail you can add some flower petal ice cubes and make some lavender sugar to rim your cocktail glass. If you make the ice cubes use big trays to make them. My ice cubes were kind of small and it was a hot day so I ended up with a couple of mouthfuls of petals. Which is not great tastewise and even worse if you’re trying to look all classy and have to keep spitting out lavender buds!
A cocktail recipe called the Simply Divine which uses Parfair Armour, Gin and Citrus. And it is AWESOME!!!! So, so tasty…sweet and tangy and floral and delicious….except for one thing….
The citrus mix was a very pretty peachy colour.
The Parfait Amour and gin was purple.
So the result should have been a pretty pinky purple as per the original recipe.
That didn’t happen.
If you were looking for some sexed up paintchart name for the colour this went, you’d probably call it Dove Wing Grey. Technically, I think the weird browny purple grey colour it turned is called puce. Unofficially, it prompted the so-called-beloved to ask if I was drinking bong-water. After I explained that I had no idea of what he spoke of, we decided that this is not so much Dove Wing Grey but that this is what it looks like when doves cry.
As long as you don’t mind drinking something that looks like the water you washed your socks in, this is a super drink – the citrus and gin really do cut through the sweetness of the Parfait Armour to create a drink that has a really nice balance and is very refreshing.
And because I changed the ingredients slightly from the recipe and nothing that colour can be truly called Simply Divine, ladies and gentlemen meet the:
WHEN DOVES CRY
30ml gin – I used Hendricks
30ml Parfait Amour
1 red or pink grapefruit, juiced
1 lemon, juiced
1 tangerine, juiced
Fill a glass with ice
Add the gin and Parfait Amour
Top with the mixed citrus juice
Wince at the colour.
You can mix up the citrus too – lime would be great, as would orange!!!!
I’m going to try to redeem myself in the next post which will feature some of the cutest sandwiches you ever did see.
Oh and I’m now on instagram. You can follow my feed by clicking on the icon at the top o’ the page.