A night of cocktails or Netflix? …Why not both!?

Hello hello! Long time no see, my apologies. Excuses and what not, you know how it is. So! Lets jump right into things.

Right now I’m currently sitting down outside, listening to the tinny patters of rain spearing down through this 19 degree cold weather. Yesterday! However – I would’ve been shielding myself in an air conditioned room to fight off the suffocating heat of 39 degrees. Melbourne, amirite?

On the topic of Melbourne weather, let me intro you to: Melbourne Weather!

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I don’t know about you, but I’m not much of a flowers person. So if I was ever to receive a gift this little box of goodies would be right up my alley! Then luckily enough, out of nowhere, this little box of goodies turned up to my work!

Sending a drink to the end of the bar to get a certain someones attention is one thing, but sending 6 drinks to someone from across the city!? This pulls right at the heart strings!

So what exactly is this magical box, and where can you acquire one? Cocktail Runner is a new up and coming mastermind that has realised the need for cocktail expertise at our front door. They go all across Melbourne, finding the top bartenders and then boxing up their skills along with all the necessary ingredient. Long were the days were you had to choose between Netflix & Chill or bar hopping – now you can have the best of both worlds!!

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Just quickly, can we please observe how cute these little bottle of bitters are!? Along with possibly the most perfect limes I ever did see, this box of wonders also comes with step by step instructions as well as an inventory list to ensure you’re not missing any little novelty umbrellas.

To make the Melbourne Weather brought to you by none other than Mr David Whitehead (Venue Manager of Polly Cocktail Bar, and all round good guy) you’re given Melbourne Tea-infused Matusalem Platino Rum, limes, ginger beer, the cutest bitters ever produced and a rainbow of cocktail umbrellas.

Step by step, after pouring the ingenious concoction of rum into the Mojito glass, after layering ice and squeezes of fresh lime, you sprinkle the top with bitters, top with ginger beer – then behold! You’ve now made a Melbourne worthy signature cocktail, and your company will be thoroughly impressed!

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So instead of planning an expensive night out on the town over this holiday period, why not plan a cocktail night in? With an extensive list to choose from, such as Basil Daiquiris, Espresso Martinis, one called Cookies and Whisky (hello…), and more! You can have a night in, with all your favourite people, all your favourite cocktails, and all your favourite shows!

For further information, jump onto http://www.cocktailrunner.com.au

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year all!

***and if any of you manage to be surprised with one of these mystery boxes, please tag @cocktailsofmelbourne so I can see everyones amazing creations! All the curious 🙂

Prost!

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Some people do Cross Fit for strength, I prefer Dutch Courage!

What is Dutch Courage!?

noun
  1. strength or confidence gained from drinking alcohol.
...has anyone seen Flight? I don't know about you, but if I have to drive with two hands on the wheel. So does he.

…has anyone seen Flight? I don’t know about you, but if I have to drive with two hands on the wheel – so does he.

I have many reasons why I choose Dutch Courage:

Primarily, it’s historically exciting and theoretically proven via a war that lasted 30 years – creatively named “The Thirty Year War” which was one of the longest and most destructive conflicts in European history. If drinking rum before 10am makes you a Pirate, I definitely would go as far as saying drinking gin in your waking hours makes you a seasoned soldier. Secondly, I can’t do a hand stand to save my life, so Cross Fit was never an option.

Me last Tuesday.

Me last Tuesday.

When I practise the art of Dutch Courage, I usually don’t discriminate and don’t dismiss anything with an alcohol content higher than 4%, however if you want to be historically accurate, Dutch Gin also known as jenever or genièvre is the way to go.

Jenever which translates as Juniper was well known as the medical cure for many health concerns back in the day, including The Black Plague which claimed over 25 million lives… to think, if they only had more gin…

Notes to take home:

  1. Gin will give you the strength of a warrior without having to sign up to a gym.
  2. It’s a superfood – never heard goji berries or kale helping cure the bubonic plague.
  3. It’s delicious.

So imagine my delight when I went out to get a bottle of gin to experiment with and found this handsome number:

When life just works...

When life just works…

Oh yeah, I got excited.

So how should you prepare your dose of Dutch Courage? Well, I’m glad you asked.

Some Ginspiration

White lady

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I’m sure this is what the soldiers strolled into battle with…

45ml Gin
15ml Triple Sec (I’m using Peach Schnapps.)
30ml Lemon Juice
10ml Sugar Syrup (I went with 5ml agave)
1 egg white

  1. Add all ingredients into shaker (or nutribullet) without ice, shake (or blend) until fluffy, then add ice momentarily to chill.
  2. Double strain into coupette.
  3. Enjoy!

Southside Fizz

Can't go 5 posts without a fancy mason jar cocktail ;) #thepeerpressuresofsociety

Can’t go 5 posts without a fancy mason jar cocktail 😉 #thepeerpressuresofsociety

60ml Gin
30ml Lime Juice
15ml Sugar Syrup
7 Mint Leaves ***
Soda Water

  1. Put Gin, lime, & sugar syrup in a shaker. Shake-shake-shake!
  2. Get the mint leaves, clap to allow the minty freshness to exude, then add to shaker. Don’t shake-shake-shake, instead, stir briskly.
  3. Top with soda!
  4. Garnish with mint, and look down at your masterpiece in sheer awe and enjoy!

*** I don’t like shaking mint because I find it makes cocktails bitter. Little experiment to decide for yourself: put a mint leaf on your tongue and you’ll taste a minty sweetness, then bite the leaf and taste how bitter it gets. You’re welcome.

Happy sipping and enjoy your long weekend Melbourne peeps! For everyone else, happy Friday!

Prost!

For goodness saké! … 酒

There’s nothing I enjoy more than when customers pronounce Pinot Noir [pee-not no-ear], chipotle [chip-pot-ool] or Tempranillo [temp-rah-nillll-low]. (if this confuses you, click the words for general enlightenment.)

Word of the day!

Saké ! or 酒? [Sah-kay] ?

Such a happy little sake! Them sake eyes… How can you resist!?

Okay, I might fall in the realm of customers on this one, but I have tried my best to decipher and learn enough to share some interesting fun facts, cocktails and bars!

Ask for sake anywhere, and you’ll get sake, ask for sake in Japan, and you’ll get anything. Sake is in fact just a japanese word for ‘alcohol’, so if you want the specific liquid goodness I’ll be referring to, they say nihonshu – which means ‘Japanese alcohol’. Interesting fact, but this blogs focus is slowly seeming like a language lesson, so lets digress…to maths.

Polishing is the process whereby they mill the rice grain to reveal its starchy core. The more the grain has been polished, theoretically the better the sake! Most sakes are polished between 50-70%, in easier words: If it says 60%, than means 40% of the kernel was polished away leaving only 60%

Junmai type = Less Polishing (70%) = Richer & Deeper Flavour

Ginjo type = More Polishing (50%) = Cleaner & Aromatic Flavour

*Although Junmai is associated with less polishing, it also refers to pure rice/no additive sake. So you can also have Junmai Ginjo, which means higher polished pure rice sake… I won’t lie, I’m just as confused as you are.

Just like wine, there is a plethora of types of sake! Ones which you should stay away from reffered to as table sake (Futsushu) where the rice polishing can be as low as 93%… to Daiginjo/Junmai Daiginjo which is super premium sake.

If the above didn’t lose you and want to read more, click here for a full 101 on Sake.

Now that the English and Mathematics is out of the way, lets get to the fun bits!

My all time favourite sake cocktails

MR Miyagi

Mr Miyagi

Cold Drip Martini – Cold drip coffee, Shochu, Sake & White Chocolate foam… #whatdreamsaremadeof

Tokyo tina

Thundercat Martini - Belvedere Vodka, Junmai Sake Plum Bitters, Orange Blossom Water & Pickled Ginger 🍶👌

Thundercat Martini – Belvedere Vodka, Junmai Sake
Plum Bitters, Orange Blossom Water & Pickled Ginger 🍶👌

Not quite sake but still delicious

Cucumber & Yuzu Sour - Belvedere Vodka, Elderflower, Yuzu, Cucumber, Honey. All. The. Delicious!

Cucumber & Yuzu Sour –
Belvedere Vodka, Elderflower, Yuzu, Cucumber, Honey. All. The. Delicious!

MY wish list

Sashimitini! Gin with ginger liqueur garnished with sashimi. Yes, Sashimi. & again, maybe this one doesn't quite contain sake. But. Sashimi. It has. Sashimi. That is all.

Sashimitini!
Gin with ginger liqueur garnished with sashimi. Yes, Sashimi. & again, maybe this one doesn’t quite contain sake. But. Sashimi. It has. Sashimi. That is all.

closing words on sake

Sake, I feel, doesn’t get the credit it deserves. Kind of like soup, always underrated, but never disappointing. I tried to point out the versatility and quality of sake to my friend the other day who didn’t seem sold. That or he was just tired from the gym. Naturally, I grabbed his protein shake and turned it into a sake cocktail to prove a point:

A symphony of premixed chocolate protein shake, sake, and salted caramel ice cream. Yeah... I went there... 🍦

A symphony of premixed chocolate protein shake, sake, and salted caramel ice cream. Yeah… I went there… 🍦

After he got over the fact I used ice cream to garnish his protein shake (it was Skinny Cow, which is diet ice cream… I may of pretended it was sugar free… but really… come on…) he tasted it and was super surprised at it’s deliciousness. Sake and chocolate go together like bacon and eggs, or popcorn and butter, or cereal and baileys.

Long story short, go to your local bottle shop and start experimenting! This stuffs going to be the new Gin in your tonic, and for anyone who can post a good sake sangria recipe – I’ll be giving out stickers.

Kampai!

Hello Spring! Spoiler Alert: Contains a GIF of Leonardo DiCaprio

Once upon a time it was 45 degrees in Melbourne, the sand was beyond tolerable, the sun was merciless, and I thought the combination of a super-sized slurpee from the local 7-eleven and a bottle of Pimms was my best strategy to keeping cool whilst enjoying my day on the beach. Fast forward to later that evening, and I was throwing up water for the next 12 hours with probably the worst head ache of my life, sun stroke isn’t fun and it’s best to learn from my mistakes. (Note: If you ever are unfortunate enough to fall victim to sun stroke, you’ll find laughing is up there with one of the most painful actions. For this reason, learn from my other mistake, and avoid watching Wolf of Wall Street at all costs: I was crying from pain and laughter simultaneously).

Demonstrates both the moment in the movie I laughed so hard I thought my brain was going to explode, and how I looked like doing it.

I try to do my best to research before I type, and understand heat stroke/ sun stroke is a serious diagnosis – and if you do experience such horror Dr. Google does stress you should call emergency services/ seek medical treatment immediately. I think I opted for the – I’m going to stay on the family couch with a bag of frozen beans on my head and a bucket in front of me whilst everyone gives me sympathy approach. Which didn’t really work out, as everyone was pretty much calling me an idiot and said I only had myself to blame. Again, learn from my mistakes, at least medical professionals at least offer some form of bed side manners and support.

So! Long story short, I’ve devised a couple of tips in preparation for summer. And as I mentioned before, I try to research the topic before posting, and when I came up with results such as Avocado Margaritas and Kombucha Long Island Iced Tea I realised that the internet needed some more palatable advice…

Numero Uno!

Let’s get the obvious out of the way – water is your best mate if you’re going to have a big one under the hole punched O-Zone! However when I read googles solution of “Consider ordering your beverage mixed with a bit of water — some whiskey experts believe adding water brings out the alcohol’s deeper flavours.” I slightly died inside. (Sure, add a drop or two to open up a cask strength whisky, or add more to completely destroy it. Either way.) Don’t basterdize a beautiful drink to reach you hydration quota, drink water before and after said creations.  Make a drinking game out of it, not quite as exciting as beer pong however does sound more exciting then spending the night feeling like you’re in the seventh circle of hell.

You put the lime in the coconut…water.

Coconut water is my secret weapon when it comes to hangovers due to its hydrating abilities, and I personally think it’s delicious. Have you ever tried a coconut water mojito? Friggin’ delicious. Click here for a recipe. Or not that keen on coconut water? Try freezing it into ice blocks, and the slowly melting electrolytes will secretly seep into your body like a ninja.

The lyrics Harry Nilsson forgot to add.

The lyrics Harry Nilsson forgot to add.

In Summary

I wanted to add more life tips from a hypocrite, however I think being punished enough in primary school with the ‘no hat = no play’ rule, we’ve been encoded to know that being sun smart is of the utter most importance, not just in life, but also whilst enjoying a cheeky bevy. So! That said, slip, slop and slap. Enjoy this currently amazing weather, I’ll start compiling a list of venues where to do so, and try to avoid resembling the gif above.

Prost!

A dash of American prohibition, a spoonful of Russian Revolution, garnish with an evil English Queen…

And you have yourself a Bloody Mary!

Yes yes, some see a Bloody Mary and cringe at the idea. On the other hand, some people consider them a Sunday morning ritual, I personally think a Bloody Mary is a thing of beauty. As rich in history and creativity as it is in its red hues, and hopefully at the end of this post you’ll fall in love with its poetry as much as I do. So let the story begin! Once upon a time…

It all started back when something terrible happened in the US of A, prohibition, or as W.C. Fields likes to put it, a time where he “was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water”. Bartenders had decided to flee to the safe shores of Europe to continue their practise, the same time a pretty nasty revolution convinced groups of Russians to do the same – bringing their Vodka with them. Americans didn’t come empty handed however, they brought tinned juices. (If it was a competition….)

Nonetheless! This, right time at the right place was the birth place of something beautiful. It was 1920s Paris, a bartender by the name of Ferdinand “Pete” Petiot and a bar by the name of Harry’s New York Bar on 5 Rue Danou (or as liquor hungry americans learnt to instruct parisian tax drivers, “Sank Roo Doe Noo!”). This is where the history gets a bit blurry, there are many variations of the story, but long story short – the Bloody Mary or very early days the “Bucket of Blood” was created. Some say the Bloody Mary comes from Queen Mary I, known for the death and destruction she caused over her reign, also sharing the same nickname.

At the start it was just equal parts vodka and canned tomato juice, but as time passed, Pete moved back to New York to man the King Cole bar at the St. Regis and a Russian Prince and businessman by the name of Serge Obolensky wanted one of the infamous Bloody Marys, but with a kick. And this! My friends, is where we get the tasty concoction today. He put on his thinking cap, grabbed the salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and a lemon, and the blank canvas was promoted to masterpiece.

The story continues with its many variations, The Red Snapper it gin laden cousin, or its Mexican friend the Bloody Maria, but these are all interesting stories for another day.

The classic recipe:

  • 1 oz. Stolichnaya vodka
  • 2 oz. Tomato juice
  • 1 dash lemon juice
  • 2 dashes salt
  • 2 dashes black pepper
  • 2 dashes cayenne pepper
  • 3 dashes of Worcestershire sauce

The beauty of the Bloody Mary is that there is no true recipe, and its a classic which the most stubborn mixoligist will allow others to play around with. These days we see the likes of sriracha among many other ingredients being added. Its something of ones own culinary skill and these days Bloody Marys aren’t just drinks – but also foundations for lavish garnishes which really show the true potential of wooden skewers and a creative mind.

Hopefully I’ve helped open up the minds of some anti-Bloody Mary folk out there, it may be an acquired taste, but it truly is one for the books. So with that said! A few locals to have a look at:

The Bloody Hell - Chilli Infused Vodka Served with a Shrimp, Slider & Buffalo Wing @ Bloody Mary's, Sydney

The Bloody Hell – Chilli Infused Vodka Served with a Shrimp, Slider & Buffalo Wing @ Bloody Mary’s, Sydney

The Bloody Mary @ Porch and Parlour, also at Sydney. Bondi in fact, who needs garnishes when you have a view?

The Bloody Mary @ Porch and Parlour, also at Sydney. Bondi in fact, who needs garnishes when you have a view?

The Secret Bloody Mary @ Stray Neighbour, Preston. Garnished with Fried Pickles & Chipotle aioli - this one was limited edition but I'm sure we can create a petition...

The Secret Bloody Mary @ Stray Neighbour, Preston. Garnished with Fried Pickles & Chipotle aioli – this one was limited edition but I’m sure we can create a petition…

For those playing at home:

Bloody Mary’s Bar/Cafe, 332 Victoria St Darlinghurst Sydney || www.bloodymaryssydney.com.au

Porch and Parlour,  110 Ramsgate Ave North Bondi Beach  || www.porchandparlour.com

Stray Neighbour, 463 – 467 Plenty Rd, Preston ||                 www.strayneighbour.com.au

Prost!