Tag: 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)


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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  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)
  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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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. 


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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  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
  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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Political Partini

Well, the Brits have Brexited; here in Australia we go to the polls this weekend (Lord only knows why – every time we actually elect a Prime Minister internal party political infighting deposes them and puts someone else in the top job!) I’m sure my friends in the U.S. are sick to the back teeth with Trump and Hilary and there’s still a long way to go on that one….

Political Partini

Most of these campaigns are being run on scare tactics and fear mongering  so why not kill the bad vibes with a super tasty cocktail.  I’m in…how about you? 

And oh boy do I have an absolutely beauty for you!  The Political Partini!  It’s not only delicious but punny which means I love it even more!!!!  And what’s not to love?  It’s pear infused vodka, traditionally Grey Goose La Poire but I made my own, Amaretto which I absolutely adore, simple syrup and lemon juice. So, it’s filled with fruit and nuts kind of healthy…in a boozy sort of way!

Polical Partini2This is so, so good.  I only wish I had made more pear-infused vodka so I could make it my election night tipple! Do people in other countries have election night parties?  It’s kind of a thing here.  My parents used to always have / or go to one.  If I had not just started a new job I may have thought more about it and organised something for the weekend but that’s totally not happening…maybe I’ll tag along to my parents’ party….oh Lord really?  Is this what my life has come to?

Well, here’s an ode to something I most likely will not be this Saturday from one of my favourite singers Dan Kelly.  It does contain some of the naughty words  so, if you are at work or there are kiddies about, you might want to delay playing it. 

The Political Partini was created for the US 2008 election campaign but is delicious enough to celebrate or commiserate any election wins or losses.  Or indeed anything.

OMG…it’s so good!!!!  And that’s coming from someone who is not overly fond of pears. 

Political Partini3

Politcal Partini: The Recipe

Political Partini
A super delicious cocktail made from pear infused vodka, amaretto and lemon - how could it be bad?
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For the pear infused vodka
  1. 1 pear
  2. 250 ml vodka
For the cocktail
  1. 2 parts pear infused vodka
  2. ¼ parts Amaretto
  3. ¼ parts simple syrup
  4. ½ part lemon juice
  5. Pear slice for garnish
For the pear infused vodka
  1. Wash and chop up the pear.
  2. Place in mason jar.
  3. Cover with vodka. Close the jar and keep in a dark place for a week or so, shaking daily.
  4. Before use, strain through cheesecloth to remove all the pear particles.
For the Cocktail
  1. Place all ingredients, except the pear slice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  2. Shake, baby, shake until the outside of the shaker is frosted.
  3. Strain into martini glass and garnish with a pear slice.
Adapted from Gayot.com
Adapted from Gayot.com
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
 Have a great week!

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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 http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
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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The Devil Made Me Do It

Welcome to my Blogiversary!  Enter if you dare!  Because the theme of this party is The Devil!  I’ve even dressed up for the occasion. 

We’re about to get things started.  But first, allow me to introduce you to our eponymous cocktail du jour – The Devil! 

The Devil2When I was younger I longed to be the kind of person who had HollyGolightlyesqe parties where glamorous women smoked cigarettes from ridiculously long cigarette holders,  people danced in crowded rooms and a drunk invariably wore a lampshade on his head.

People at these parties seemed to get drunk incredibly quickly and I had been wondering what it was that, seemingly in a matter of minutes could turn you from this:

To This:

Now I think  I know.  It’s this:

The Devil3Beware! The Devil is Potent!  Delicious but it’s got a kick like a kangaroo!  And totally perfect to kick off my devilishly themed 4th birthday celebrations! 

TheDevil5Even better, it’s hellishly simple to make.  Just three ingredients and you’re done!  The original recipe calls for a splash of  lemon juice and a lemon garnish.  I had some kumquats left over from last week’s canapés so I used them instead.

The Devil
A simple, delicious but highly potent cocktail. Enjoy but beware...the devil's voice is sweet to hear. Drink this one wisely!
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  1. 1 part Tawny Port
  2. 3/4 part Dry Vermouth
  3. Ice cubes
  4. Dash of lemon or kumquat juice
  5. Lemon twist or kumquat slice to garnish
  1. Chill your cocktail glass in the freezer.
  2. Add the ice cubes to a glass and stir in the port, the vermouth and the lemon (kumquat) juice.
  3. Strain into the chilled cocktail glass.
  4. Garnish with a twist of lemon or a kumquat slice.
  5. Enjoy!
Adapted from Drinks Mixer
Adapted from Drinks Mixer
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
 Just remember to go easy – I think where The Devil is concerned, we need to heed the words of Dorothy Parker. 

“I like to have a martini,
Two at the very most.
After three I’m under the table,
after four I’m under my host.”

On a non-birthday note, many thanks to both Donna and Yinzerella for letting me know the comments aren’t working. The WordPress support team of people a lot smarter than me are working to help me fix it!  Until it’s fixed, please feel free to comment via Facebook or Twitter!

Have a great week!  I”ll be preparing us some devillish appetizers!

The Devil CocktailSignature 2


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