How to stay in good form whilst drinking Absinthe

“Whiskey and beer are for fools; absinthe for poets;
absinthe has the power of the magicians; it can wipe out
or renew the past, and annul or foretell the future.”

Ernest 1867-1900

It’s hard to say no to a drink that is apparently magic? Even pop culture tells us a swig will consequent in Kylie Mingoue making an impromptu cameo, green glitter everywhere! So how to drink the celestial drop whilst keeping in good form? …or ‘good form’?

Okay, I may of cheated with semantics however if we were going to be technical, Absinthe is unequivocally French. If we were in France, instead of saying ‘good form’ we would say ‘le bon ton’… so to Le Bon Ton we go!

Meet Le Bon Ton! Where absinthe runs free, and half the bar is made from champagne boxes ūüáęūüá∑

Meet Le Bon Ton! Where absinthe runs free, and half the bar is made from champagne boxes ūüáęūüá∑

Despite my undeniable logic, Le Bon Ton isn’t actually French per se, but is orientated towards a New Orleans style bar/diner. It has a 24 hours license (which allows it to be open until 6am on weekends) has an oyster room, absinthe salon, smokehouse, cocktail bar, and my favourite – a fairy light illuminated beer garden!

fairylights

Fairy lights make everything better, fact.

So what exciting cocktails can you expect!

You can expect ALL the cocktails!

You can expect ALL the cocktails!

The cocktail list is long, in depth, amazing and has something for everyone. I made sure to test this by getting a variation.

First up!

Bartender, can I please have something fruity and fun?

Meet the hurricane - which also happens to be on tap!

Meet the hurricane – which also happens to be on tap!

This one happens to be the number one best seller, thus the fact its on tap makes it all the better! Described as one of the most visible drinks if you were going to visit the French Quarter of New Orleans. The birth of this drink originates during World War II when it was so hard to import Scotch Whisky that the only way a bar could secure even just a single case from a liquor salesmen was by also purchasing as many as 50 cases of Rum! So to help shift the abundance stock, The Hurricane was created; Rum + fresh pressed citrus + passionfruit + pomegranate = Rum be gone!

Bartender, I need something with a kick.

The Le Bon Ton Martini

The Le Bon Ton Martini

If anyone has read my previous posts they will understand why this one excited me so much. Made with Dutch Courage Gin, Dry Vermouth, a splash of Manzanilla Sherry, an olive that has been stuffed with a smoked almond by hand and a novel spray of Scotch Whisky to finish off – there’s no room for disappointment.

Bartender… Can I have the peanut butter one?

My favourite, I have a weakness for milky alcoholy goodness...

My favourite, I have a weakness for milky alcoholy goodness… name: PB + Jamo

My ultimate favourite! I can enjoy my spirits neat, prefer my drinks without a mixer – but if the description contains such words as “egg-nog” or “Reese’s Peanut Butter”, I’m going to have 6 before the hours up. In full: a wintery Egg-Nog with herbal Benedictine, rich Muscat wine and Jameson Irish Whisky¬†infused with Reese’s Peanut Butter then garnished with grated nutmeg. If I wasn’t aiming for ‘variation’ I would’ve most definitely stuck to these all night…

Bartender! I need variation before I order another PB + Jamo…

The Mojo Hannah, this one made me temporarily forget about peanut butter...

The Mojo Hannah, this one made me temporarily forget about peanut butter…

Containing Spiced Rum, fresh watermelon, white chocolate liqueur and a hint of citrus and Absinthe Рit did not disappoint. Even after peanut butter egg nog, this one was like every cocktail above in one! As I said before, this place has it all!

Then what do you do when you’ve tried¬†everything but the Kitchen Sink? You order a Kitchen Sink….

The Kitchen Sink Salad ft. Fried Chicken

The Kitchen Sink Salad ft. Fried Chicken

I can’t think of more perfect drinking food, shared among friends it tasted like Nachos but was in fact salad and if thats not enough, they possibly have the best fried chicken I’ve ever had.

To stalk it yourself:

Le Bon Ton, http://www.lebonton.com.au/ , 51 Gipps Street Collingwood

Prost!

Why salted caramel is everything the body needs!

There’s a lot more to salted caramel than meets the eye. I honestly thought that when researching the topic I would find out it was created due to the indulgent needs of a French Monarch, a little Geoffrey of a prince who just wanted everything all at once,

“Sacr√© bleu! Give me something¬†simultaneously¬†savoury and sweet! MERCI BEAUCOUP!”

And yes, that was my entire vocabulary of high school French.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much history at all. It was only created in the late 1990s by a Parisian pastry chef Pierre Herm√©. That’s right, salted caramel is a 90’s kid.

(cue for novelty 90's themed macaron)

(cue for novelty 90’s themed macaron)

So more research, why is salted caramel so addictive?

Due to our hunter-gatherer ancestors – we instinctively prefer¬†sweet-tasting high-energy foods compared to bitter-tasting poisonous foods. The sweetness indicates energy, and salt is a necessary mineral for the body’s water balance and blood circulation. So you combine the two, and in return¬†get two very happy biological¬†responses. Your stomach then continues to get overwhelmed by the excitement, like the mastermind kid in the Old El Paso add who decides that ‘both’ is the best option, and sends happy signals to your brain creating a reward circuit.

It’s not your fault, you’re biologically predisposed to be hopelessly addicted to salted caramel. Think of it as nutritional efficiency.

So! Now that we have an excuse:

Salted Caramel Espresso Martini

So you get the amazing duo, then add it to another stunning duo of coffee with alcohol and you pretty much get something to which I would go as far as saying is best described as: ‘Nectar of the Gods’

Oh hello there you beautiful thing you...

Oh hello there you beautiful thing you…

For those playing at home:

45ml Stoli Salted Karamel Vodka
15ml Kahlua Coffee Liqueur
30ml Little Drippa Cold Drip Coffee

  1. Add ingredients to boston shaker and fill with ice.
  2. Shake until your arms hurt, or around 20 seconds will do (I find the more I shake, the fluffier the martini)
  3. Double strain into a coupette, or wine glass, or whatever is handy. If you put it in a mug, it makes it socially acceptable to consume before 10am.
  4. Garnish with 3 coffee beans (no more or no less, I’m superstitious)
  5. Voilà!

And if you don’t know what a boston shaker is:

Or alternatively, refer to recipe below for a boston shaker free substitute.

Some times simple is best... and yes, that is a tim tam.

Some times simple is best… and yes, that is a tim tam.

120ml Milk (can come from a cow, soy bean or nut.)
60 ml Stoli Salted Karamel Vodka
Tim Tam (whichever flavour you so desire, I went with coconut cream, just to be fancy)

  1. Fill a short glass with ice
  2. Add vodka and milk, you can change up the measurements to taste… sometimes I do a cheeky vice vera.
  3. Garnish with Tim Tam.
  4. Then once you’ve finished staring at the glory before you, bite both ends of the Tim Tam to create a straw, also known as a ‘Tim Tam Slam’. For more in depth instructions for this step and fun facts, click here.

Happy drinking!

Prost!

ps. If you like looking at pictures of delicious cocktails – @cocktailsofmelbourne ūüėČ

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 ‚ÄúPete‚ÄĚ 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 Р467 Plenty Rd, Preston ||                 www.strayneighbour.com.au

Prost!

Four reasons to swap your single origin piccolo latte (You’re welcome)

Muharam Cafe, Little Drippa Espresso Martini w/ Pistachio, Goji & Dark Chocolate coated marshmallow.

Muharam Cafe, Little Drippa Espresso Martini w/ Pistachio, Goji & Dark Chocolate coated marshmallow.

As cafes have now become the foundation of every social catch up, business meeting, hipster office and instagram post Рyour drink order has become more important than ever. If god forbid you accidentally forget to ask from what region your single origin cold drip coffee comes from before ordering, you may be mistaken for as lazy.

But as you read that last sentence, I think we both know that is a load of sh..ugar. The reality is no one really cares. We order for the caffeinated buzz, and not the slight sharpness of plum undertones brought on only by arabica beans harvested on a full moon 16.3kms from the equator.

So! On that note, here a four lovely venues to get your morning going!

|| Espresso Martinis

Espresso Martinis are in fact as equally balanced in stimulant & depressant as the yin and yang tattoo on your baristas forearm. So if you wanted¬†to have a truly productive morning, I suggest you skip your yoga class and order one of these and I personally guarantee a morning of socialising, self-awareness, and brainstorming (which from experience may lead to you and your best friend drunkenly booking a trip to Europe…) Passports at the ready!

Dr Morse Bar & Eatery

274 Johnston Street, Abbotsford, www.drmorse.com.au

Oscar Cooper

160 Greville Street, Prahran, www.oscarcooper.com.au

St Ali

12-18 Yarra Place, South Melbourne, www.stali.com.au

Muharam

97 Burwood road, Hawthorn, www.muharam.com.au

Detailed photos and reviews to come in due time…

Prost!