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Tag: Cocktail

All The Z’s – Part 1 – The Zanzibar Cocktail

So remember how I got really pissy that The A-Z of Cooking didn’t actually deliver a Z?   Well, there’s some snappy aphorism somewhere which is something like “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” or “Sisters are doin’ for themselves” which I can’t quite call to mind now.  But it’s something along the lines of “If life doesn’t give you Z’s stop your snivelling and get out there and make some Z’s.  So I did.  And here is the first in a mini-series of posts on food starting with the letter Z.  

Starting with the Zanzibar Cocktail!

This little beauty comes from the book The Cocktail by Jane Rocca.  

I feel like I always say this but damn!  This is good!

The main players are vanilla rum, passionfruit liqueur, cranberry juice, strawberries, blueberries and lime.  It’s sweet and fresh and the cranberry and lime add a tangy tartness so it is not at all cloying.

I made my vanilla rum, following the recipe here.  I did not add the simple syrup as thought this cocktail was going to be sweet enough.  Also, I had not planned far ahead enough to let the mix steep for 3 months so I also added some vanilla essence to the rum along with the bean.  I used it within about 3 weeks and it was fine.  Probably better if you wait 3 months but that’s for people are a little more organised! 

The recipe calls for crushed ice.  I tried to do it like that but both days I made this were ridiculously hot and the crushed ice was melting before I could even get it out of the blender. So I used ice cubes instead.

The Zanzibar is a glorious colour.  Just gorgeous!

When I was pottering around the internet I found this fabulous old travel poster for Zanzibar.

So I just had to make another so I could have a play…


This was a fun cocktail!  Perfect for a summer’s day on a tropical beach?  In Zanzibar maybe?  Or by your side in an inflatable flamingo drink holder while lazing in a pool.  Or just if you feel like something delicious to drink at any time.

Here’s the recipe:

Zanzibar Recipe

And if you want more flamingo’s in your life (and who doesn’t?) you might also want to try the Flamingo Cocktail which you can find here.

Have a great week.  I’ll be back with more Z’s in the not too distant!

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Faye Dunaway Cocktail

Back in my school days, we had an annual music competition where each House had to arrange and sing a song of their choice to assorted judges, family, staff and fellow schoolmates. 

One year the song selected by my House Music Captain for all of us to sing started like this:

Bonnie and Clyde were pretty lookin’ people,
But I can tell you people,
They were the devil’s children.


Faye Dunaway Cocktail1

I had no idea who Bonnie and Clyde before then but wow!  Believe me, just those opening lines were enough to send me racing to the Encyclopedia Britannica for more!  Pretty people?  Of course I  wanted to know more.  Pretty people who were also evil?  My 14-year-old mind was blown.  Who knew such a thing even existed!

Why am I telling you all this?  

Because a little while ago the lovely Jenny from Silver Screen Suppers asked if I would test out a cocktail recipe for her upcoming cookbook.  The cocktail was the Faye Dunaway cocktail, and Faye played Bonnie Parker in the 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde.

And oh boy, you want to talk about pretty looking people?

Bonnie and Clyde

Bonnie and Clyde3 (3)

Oh, the glamour!!!!

The Faye Dunaway Cocktail is also pretty glam!  It was invented in 2011 by Jonathan Humphrey of the Drake Hotel in Toronto and was inspired by the film Chinatown, which stars Faye Dunaway and Jack Nicholson.

Faye Dunaway Cocktail2

The recipe for the Faye Dunaway cocktail calls for mango juice which I was unable to find.  I also do not have a juicer so I puréed a fresh mango.  I was a little worried because the mango purée was quite thick but it worked out perfectly.  So do not despair if you also cannot find juice.  If fresh mango is unavailable frozen would also work perfectly!

The Faye cocktail perfectly balances sweet, spicy and sour flavours in a glorious mix of mango, lime and chilli.  It’s sooooo good!  I loved it – it reminded me of sunshine and holidays and tropical climes!  I made this exactly as per the recipe (which you can find here) because I was testing the recipe for Jenny.  However, even though this is divine as is, I can’t help wondering what it might be like if you also brought in a salty element by edging the glass?  Salty, sweet hot and sour being the four elements Thai cooks try to bring into balance.  Because that is really what the flavours of this cocktail reminded me of…cocktails on a beach in Thailand.  

Faye’s birthday is coming up on January 14.   I was going to hold off posting this until the day itself.  Then I thought it would be much more fun to give you all a chance to buy the ingredients so we could all celebrate her gorgeousness and iconic fashion sense by donning a beret and drinking one of these in her honour!

I will be trying the Salty Faye myself but if anyone makes either version, please let me know what you think!

And speaking of iconic fashion…I  had so much fun trying to find the Dinah Shore look a few weeks ago that I thought I would give it another go.

Here is my take on Faye’s Bonnie and Clyde look fashion via my very first post on Polyvore.  Because don’t we all need a little bad girl glam every now and again?  

Polyvore - Inspired by Faye Dunaway

If you want to channel your “nightmare dressed like a daydream”, click here to access the Polyvore page and get the deets on all the items shown. 

Oh, and for anyone who is wondering how our music competition turned out?

The judges said that our singing and arrangement were spot on but that the content was inappropriate for both us to be singing and our audience to be listening to.

If you would  like to hear the scurrilous lyrics not fit for the mouths of good God-fearin’ girls (and see some photos of the real Bonnie and Clyde)  here’s a YouTube of that song:

Many thanks to Jenny for the opportunity to help with her book (I will let you all know when it is ready to be purchased, it’s going to be awesome!) and for selecting such a fabulous recipe for me to try!

And don’t forget, Faye Day on the 14th!


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History Happy Hour – The Flamingo

So, I made this Flamingo cocktail today with the idea that I would post it in the usual time it takes me to post anything – a month, six weeks, some time in the yet to be disclosed future.  But then I opened my email and discovered that today, December 26 in the way back of 1946 was the day that Bugsy Siegel opened the Pink Flamingo Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas Nevada.  

I’m not a big fan of posting too quickly because I like to procrastinate carefully curate what goes into these pages. 

It’s why the quality is usually so high…😂

But some opportunities are too good to miss.

Flamingo2 (2)


And how pretty is this?  It’s a gorgeous, glorious, fabulous pink! Perfect for drinking at the most fabulous, magnificent , luxurious resort in the world….or just, you know, at home…

Flamingo Casino

Siegel, called “the mobster with the beautiful blue eyes” by Cesar Romero named the resort the Flamingo after his girlfriend Virginia Hill who was a leggy redhead.  

The opening of the Pink Flamingo Casino was a total clusterf**k.  Bad weather kept many of the Hollywood celebrities who had been invited to the opening away.  The rooms weren’t finished so gamblers took their winnings elsewhere.  By the end of the first week, the Pink Flamingo had lost $300,000 in revenue.  By the end of its first year of operation it had earned nothing! 

Siegel was shot to death in 1947.  

A memorial to him still exists in the current Flamingo complex.


Far from being a clusterf**k, the Flamingo cocktail is a total delight! 

Gin, Apricot Brandy, lime juice and Grenadine make it delicious!

A maraschino cherry gives it some vintage glamour.  It’s not in the recipe but it does make it gorgeous!

Here’s the recipe – Enjoy!!!!



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Thirsty Thursday – Airmail Cocktail

Gentlemen, don your fedoras and your double-breasted suits.  Ladies, it’s time to channel classic Chanel or Greta Garbo or Joan Crawford.  Because today we are stepping back into the glamour days of the 1930’s.  More specifically Cuba in the 1930’s so you might also want to put your mambo shoes on….because by the end of this post and after a few Airmails –  you might be doing your own little dance of joy. I certainly was.

I have added to the glamour by using a glass pilfered from her Maj herself!  Or bought at the Buckingham Palace gift shop…you can decide which of those

a) makes a better story

b) is actually the truth

and believe accordingly.

But first…let’s take some rum, of course, we’re in Cuba after all.  Then add a little honey for sweetness, lime for a sour note and to add that touch of glamour…what else but some bubbles….and voila…you have an Airmail.  The Airmail was created in Cuba to celebrate the height of technological sophistication (and social correctness) that was airmail.  You know, we may snigger these days but no one’s celebrating What’s App or FB Messenger with a cocktail.  Are they?  (Quickly googles…to ensure veracity of last statement).  No they are not!  Nor is anyone touting their social correctness either. 

But let’s set the scene..this is Cuba…around the time of the birth of the Airmail and a few more happy snaps of the objêt itself. 

Airmail3 Airmail4 Fun times!

For your own fun time, here’s the recipe!

Airmail recipeAnd for a semi related link, here is some brilliant dancing, much of it from the era of the Airmail, mixed to Bruno Mars.  This is my favourite youtube at the moment – I must have watched it about 100 times…and that’s just this week.  We do this song in my dance class and I only wish we were busting some of the moves featured here…

Why not pour yourself an Airmail and watch.  Hell, have two and join in!

Finally – if you love the thought of the rum, honey and lime but hate sparkling wine? 

Leave it out. 

Instead of an Airmail you now have a Honeysuckle. 

I hope you all enjoyed this post.  Ha…you didn’t honestly think I was going to let that golden opportunity for a pun pass with out comment did you?.  I just hope it got your stamp of approval.  I thought it was first class but if you feel that  failed to address the issue, or that my delivery lacked some punch feel free to express your opinion in the comments below.  Dont be a-freight….

Aaaaaaand, I’m done. 

Consider this post signed, sealed and delivered.

Have a wonderful week!

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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
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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