Category: Grapefruit

Tanis Inspired Cocktails #3 – The Navigator

The huge reveal of Tanis Episode 209 was that The Navigator is…

Yeah right, as if  I’m going to spoiler that! 

No way!  You have 21 fascinating  episodes of murder, madness, conspiracy and stray right feet washing up on beaches before you can get to that reveal.  Having said that, there’s no need to be daunted, the Tanis back catalogue is still small enough that you could binge listen to it all in a weekend. 

So get onto it. It is actually one of those things that is also worth a second (or third ) listen. 

You could have a Geoff Van Sant moment and grab a beer while you listen. Or, even better,  make this super dry, super citrussy cocktail called The Navigator. 

the-navigator3The Navigator & Clues to Tanis

The Navigator is to Eld Fen what the runner is to Tanis. Basically,  to get there you need one.  And you also need a map. 

the-navigator4But maybe not a map like this. 

Because even when you have a Navigator / Runner, you can only get to Eld Fen / Tanis when the stars don’t align.

As soon as I heard about the stars not aligning my first thought went to the line from  Space Oddity,  “And the stars look very different today”.   I don’t think it’s at all relevant but except maybe for the writers tipping their hat and giving a little nod to the late, great Mr David Bowie.  I hope it’s that and the twist about to come is not aliens. 

The Navigator Cocktail

I found this on the ever reliable, always excellent Difford’s Guide.

Dry Gin, Limoncello and Pink Grapefruit Juice…three of my favorite things!  I added some additional lemon juice to mine.  I figured that if I was going to cut open a lemon from the garnish, I may as well use some of it in the drink too!

the-navigatorThis is so good!  The stars all align with The Navigator.  It is:

  • Lipsmackingly dry from the gin
  • Sweet from  the limoncello
  • Sour from the lemon juice
  • Bright with a hint of bitter from the grapefruit.

It’s like a flavour explosion in your mouth. 

The Navigator could easily become one of my favorite cocktails!

The Navigator
A refreshing dry and tangy citrus cocktail
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Ingredients
  1. 2 shots dry gin
  2. 3/4 shot Limoncello
  3. 1 1/4 shot freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
  4. 1/2 shot freshly squeezed lemon juice
  5. Lemon wheel to garnish
Instructions
  1. Shake all the wet ingredients with ice.
  2. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  3. Garnish with the lemon wheel.
  4. Enjoy!
Adapted from Difford's Guide
Adapted from Difford's Guide
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/

Tanis Speculation

I have no doubt Nic is about to go into the forest again but with whom? Per the first series, you need four.  So, Nic, The Navigator and two others. 

If I was Nic, I’d take Geoff Van Sant and MK.  But then, given the choice, I’d probably take GVS and MK anywhere with me.  They’re the best.  I think GVS is my secret podcast crush.  What can I say, I happen to have a thing for guys with messy hair and alert eyes who like a drink or two.  And in my head he looks like Paul from Orphan Black.  And that is never a bad thing!

And MK is just the best.  She may also be my secret podcast crush!

I can’t wait…the series two final is fast approaching….I will try to align my fourth (and final) cocktail with that happening!  

Breaking News!

Ladies of the PNW who need a thrilling secret conspiracy to liven up their lives?  GVS is trying dating again.  Why not have a beer with him?

‘kay people of the internet, we’re done. 

Keep looking!

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History Happy Hour 1764 – The Leland Palmer

It’s baaaaacckkkk!

And what a way to bring it back, even if I do say so myself.  Today we a celebrating the 1764 birth of a British Lord, with a drink inspired by our favourite filicidal maniac!

Leland Palmer1Charles Grey, born 13 March 1764 was the Second Earl Grey and the Prime Minister of Britain from 1830 to 1834.  And yes, he is THE Earl Grey that gave the tea it’s name.

Earl Grey Tea, which is traditionally black tea flavoured with bergamot, is reputed to have been made for the Earl by a Chinese Mandarin to offset the taste of the dodgy water at the Earl’s ancestral home.

And today we are celebrating the Earl with my version of a drink named after Leland Palmer, which in turn is a twist on the Arnold Palmer.  I know, it’s like going down a rabbit hole isn’t it?

For those of you not of a certain age, Leland Palmer is a character from the tv show Twin Peaks.  He is the father of Laura Palmer and ****spoiler alert***** (if you can still have spoilers on something that is 25 years old) later revealed to have killed her whilst under the possession of an evil entity called Bob. 

The Leland Palmer cocktail is the creation of Daniel Boelte who was inspired to make it after being hungover at his girlfriend’s house and watching an episode of Twin Peaks.  The original Leland Palmer uses jasmine tea, whilst, in honour of the day, I used Earl Grey Tea –  as well as being Charles Grey’s Birthday, it’s also my wedding anniversary.  So I guess I can switch up my cocktails however I want. 

So, did my twist on the Leland Palmer result in unleashing a Bob of cocktail?  I am totally, utterly may be slightly biased but I think not.  This was delightful!

Leland Palmer 3

The bergamot in the Earl Grey combined beautifully with the fresh citrus and the limoncello.  The herby notes of the tea also works really well with the botanicals in the gin. 

The bitterness in the grapefruit and the tea is balanced by the sweetness of the honey and the limoncello with the lemon adding some zing. 

Leland Palmer 4

This is totally gorgeous.  Everything balances beautifully and you can add as much or little soda as you like depending on your needs.  We drank them quite long (ie with lots of soda) over a summer afternoon and it was perfection however I can also envisage drinking it with just a splash of soda in winter in colder months. 

Leland Palmer 2Happy Birthday Charles Grey, Happy wedding anniversary to me and the fussiest eater in the world, thank you Daniel Boelte for the original recipe and to Leland Palmer for inspiring you to make a drink.

Here’s the recipe!

Leland Palmer (My Way)
A delightfully well balanced and refreshing cocktail made from gin, l[imoncello and Earl Grey Tea
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup honey
  2. 3 cups freshly brewed Earl Grey Tea
  3. 3/4 cup gin (I used Hendricks)
  4. 3/4 cup limoncello*
  5. 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  6. 1/2 cup fresh grapefruit juice
  7. Chilled club soda
  8. Ice cubes
  9. 6 lemon wheel (for garnish)
Instructions
  1. Stir the honey into the Earl Grey Tea, whilst it is still warm. Set aside to cool in fridge for a few hours.
  2. Mix honey tea mixture, gin, limoncello, grapefruit juice and lemon juice.
  3. Fill glasses with ice cubes
  4. Pour in the tea mixture.
  5. Top with chilled club soda to your taste. More for weaker drink, less for a stronger version. Mine was about 50/50.
  6. Garnish with a lemon wheel
Adapted from Daniel Boelte
Adapted from Daniel Boelte
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
 Have a wonderful week!

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2;

 

The Salty Gin Hound

As you may already know, in our family we have a scent hound, Lulu and a half greyhound, Oscar. 

Oscar Lulu 2

And now we have a third.  Welcome the Salty Gin Hound! 

Salty Gin Hound

Mmmmm….the 6 week no alcohol challenge is over.  Welcome  back booze!   Possibly.  To be honest, I think having that break has changed the way I feel about alcohol and certainly the way that I want to re-engage back with it.  Oh, and we went to the dog beach, so whilst I prattle on about my six weeks of ahem “no” boozing whilst I sip my Salty Gin Hound, how about I show you some photos of our day at the beach?Dog Beach 280220162

The challenge was a lot easier to do than I thought it would be – I did take Valentine’s Day weekend off and I had the wine I spoke about last week which were both good breaks.  The February Fast website says that quitting alcohol can help you to increase focus, sleep better and lose weight. I  experienced all of that albeit not nearly as much weight loss as I would have liked  – primarily due to a dodgy foot that has limited my ability to go to the gym.

Dog Beach 280220163I felt really good not drinking – fitter, healthier, more focussed.  Having said that, I think it also made me a bit more moody.  I think feeling more in control of myself made me less tolerant towards people around me acting like dicks – whether they were drinking or not.  I feel it also made me a bit more introspective – which, you know,  it’s not like I wasn’t already halfway there to start off with! 

I also really started to think a lot more about events from my past and try to resolve a few unanswered questions.  For instance, I spent way too many hours thinking about my first boyfriend, the one I spoke about in the Valentine’s Day post – why did he dump me?  How has that impacted the rest of my life and the choices I have made since then?  Etc, etc.  Ad nauseam.   It’s not like I came to any life changing (or even just any) conclusions about any of the things I was navel gazing about.  Except maybe that I’m ok with not knowing and I am totally ok with the way things have turned out. 

Dog Beach 5Another thing I noticed after the sneaky vinos with my friend Aiden was how much alcohol can depress me.  Not in a way that makes me sad or maudling but just sucks my energy and motivation.  That evening I was like a zombie.  I had no energy or drive to do anything except veg out in front of the tv.  Not that I am averse to vegging out in front of the tv but I guess I want to do that when I choose to not because I can’t be arsed to so anything else.

Dog Beach 6

Another benefit was that we returned to one of our favourite  restaurants.  It is an Indian/Pakistani restaurant which, last year decided to become an alcohol free zone.  I  like to have a glass of wine when I go out for a meal; I think it helps to add to the ambience and the enjoyment of the meal, so we had not been there for some time.  Not drinking was the perfect opportunity to head back there for some of the best tandoori in Melbourne.

Dog Beach 7One of the tough points for me was cooking. Particularly on the weekend, if  I need to add some wine to a sauce or something, I will generally pour a glass for me.  Then we would have a glass or two with our meal.  Not pouring that “glass for the cook” was really hard the first few times! 

Socially was also hard. Going out for meals or even to people’s houses for a meal. There was one evening we went to my mum’s and everyone else had a glass of wine with their meal and I had a Fanta, like a six year old.  Othertimes, I felt like I had to explain why I wasn’t drinking. 

Next time maybe I’ll be cooler about it.

Dog Beach 10Because there will be a next time.  The benefits far outweighed the negatives.  I’m thinking I might do a four- six week stint every season. 

Oscar & Lulu Dog BeachYou might  be wondering why, given the obvious benefits why I am not quitting altogether.  One reason is that I do enjoy the social aspect and I love doing the research and making the cocktails for history happy hour. 

However, I think that I will be a lot more mindful about how I drink from here on in.

Dog Beach 17

Speaking of which….let’s talk about the Salty Gin Hound!

Gin, grapefruit juice and lemon with a splash of sweet vermouth!  Yum!  That is the Gin Hound.

Dog Beach 50

I had an awesome merlot salt which I used to rim the glass making it a Salty Gin Hound.  I also increased the lemon from the initial recipe, just cos that’s how I like it.

Dog Beach 19The Salty Gin Hound was delicious.  Just the right blend of sweet, salty, bitter.  So refreshing for a hot summer day!   It would have been perfect down at the beach with that tang of salt air on the breeze.

And speaking of salty hounds…we had the two schnooziest of schnoozers on the way home.  So tired after so much fun!

Dog Beach 20Salty Gin Hound 2Salty Gin hound 4

Salty Gin Hound
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Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cup fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
  2. 2 tablespoon lemon Juice
  3. 4 ounces gin
  4. 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  5. Vintage Merlot or other salt to rim the glass
Instructions
  1. Sprinkle the salt on a plate.
  2. Wipe the rim of your cocktail glass with the lemon rind.
  3. Swirl into the salt to rim.
  4. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  5. Add the gin, lemon and grapefruit juices.
  6. Shake, baby, shake.
  7. Pour over ice.
  8. Add a splash of sweet vermouth.
  9. Enjoy!
Adapted from The Gin Hound
Adapted from The Gin Hound
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
 Have a wonderful week! 

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Retro Easter Part 1 – Cocktail: When Doves Cry

I got a mention on a Christian website the other day. And no, they weren’t damning me to hell for my potty mouth and occasional smutty innuendo.  Far from it.  They actually described this as:

 “the cutest Australian retro site”

And just in case you think I’m fibbing, you can link here.

And shame on you!!!  As if I’m going to lie about the Christians!!!   Let’s just say I’m taking Pascal’s wager on that one. If nothing else.

And…

YES!!!!

I believe for only the second time ever that Philosophy major I undertook at university has come in handy.  I knew all that time and money would be worth it someday.

And consider yourselves lucky I’m not doing a Paleo blog – otherwise the references  to Plato and his cave would be coming thick and fast.

BOOM! – That would be three.

Happy Easter
Happy Easter

But given it is Easter, how about a quote from the modern-day philosopher Bill Hicks:

“A lot of Christians wear crosses around their necks. You think when Jesus comes back he ever wants to see a fucking cross? It’s like going up to Jackie Onassis wearing a rifle pendant.”

And farewell to the readers I picked up from the Christian website, it was nice knowing you.

So let’s talk about how I celebrated Easter….

First there were cocktails.  Then sandwiches. Then home made Easter Eggs.

Not one of them normal….because what would be the fun in that?

We’ll get to the others in due course but today is all about the cocktail.

Remember back in February when I did the post with the Parfait Amour?  At the time, I said:

If I was to make this again,  I would add some zing, maybe with some lime juice and also maybe a kick of a flavoursome gin like Hendricks – I think the floral notes in the Hendricks would combine well with the floral notes in the Parfait Amour.”

Well guess what I found?

Simply Divine Ingredients

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….

JuiceSimply DivineThe 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.

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.

Simply Divine3

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

Ingredients

  • 30ml gin – I used Hendricks
  • 30ml Parfait Amour
  • 1 red or pink grapefruit, juiced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tangerine, juiced

Instructions

  • Fill a glass with ice
  • Add the gin and Parfait Amour
  • Top with the mixed citrus juice
  • Stir.
  • Wince at the colour.
  • Enjoy!

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.

Hope you had a fabulous Easter!!!!

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Grapefruit, Thyme and Pepper Cocktail aka the Mexican Standoff (Spice Peddler)

Ay Carumba this was good!!!

Spice Peddler Grapefruit, Thyme and Pepper Cocktail

Yeah, not for me the humblebrag…This was awesome!

I was really worried that it would be an epic fail…It was the garlic in the spice rub that threw me, how would that work in a cocktail? However, in the end the strong flavour in the simple syrup was the thyme with the pepper and spices providing more of a background notes and warmth.  (Yes, I’ve been reading wine labels again!)

I based this on a recipe from Martha Stewart which you can find here.

I also used tequila not vodka.  Just because I had some that has sat on my drinks trolley for about 10 years.  Seriously.  I think it was given to me as a housewarming present for the last house I moved into.

The all important drinks trolley

I really, really wanted to use the Spice Peddler Big 5 mix in a cocktail but I  thought it would be better to infuse the mix into the simple syrup.  So, I mixed a teaspoon of the pepper mix into the sugar and water, and then I threw the thyme in as well to make a thyme and pepper simple syrup.  Dammit, I should have thrown the grapefruit rind in as well…ah well, next time! Maybe some chilli too…

 

Grapefruit, Thyme and Pepper Cocktail

Then I kind of completely forgot about it as we were trying to hang some pictures in the new house and either the beloved or I have a skewed view of reality because it took us over 30 minutes and the use of  spirit level before we could agree that a painting was straight….and this was before we started on the cocktails.

Thyme and Black Pepper Simple Syrup
Thyme and Black Pepper Simple Syrup

So what I ended up with was the thick black syrup you can see in the photo above.  What you can’t get from the photo is that this mix of thyme, sugar and pepper smelled ridiculously like marijuana.

Or so I was told.

By the complete stranger who just  happened to knock on the door at that exact moment.  Then disappeared equally as quickly.  Didn’t catch his name, Officer.  So sorry.

Which in turn reminded me of something that never happened and is a total figment of my overactive imagination.

So imagine if hypothetically you turned up unannounced at your parent’s house.  And the imagine that said house smelled overwhelmingly of….erm…thyme and pepper infused simple syrup.  And imagine they were being a little silly and giggly.

Move over Quentin Tarantino, I think I just bested you in the Mexican Standoff stakes…

The  problem with accusing your parents of  “imbibing the thyme and pepper simple syrup”  is that then then they know that you are also familiar with “thyme and pepper simple syrup”.

So, what do you do?

Borrow the drill you came to get and GTFO of Dodge is what.

Cos, you know  possibly they were also just  making cocktails.

I mean, if that had ever happened.

Which it didn’t.

Grapefruit, Thyme and Pepper Cocktail3
Grapefruit, Thyme and Pepper Cocktail3

Wow, this post is making my head spin.  What will not make your head spin, or spin only in the right way is this cocktail.  Which is super. – tangy from the grapefruit ,zingy from the pepper, aromatic and resiny from the thyme….

Drink it, enjoy, have a fabulous, fantastic Christmas everyone!

Special thanks to Mercy and the team at The Spice Peddlers for their trust and belief in me.

And major thanks to everyone for reading and your kind words over the year.

Without you, this would just be fun.

With you,  it’s super awesome.

 

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