I decided to stop procrastinating and just let the world know that Martinis and Slippers are now creating gorgeous vintage inspired brooches.
On Wednesday morning I created a sneaky teaser post on Instagram and the response online was awesome. I will admit I was petrified…this is a huge step for me and is something I have been working on for quite some time. Lots of testing and many failures and finally I got to a point where I had something that I would spend my money on.
Stay tuned…my online store is soooooo close to being ready. Once we are ready to roll I will let everyone know and hopefully everyone loves my brooches as much as I do.
I got an awesome Birthday gift from my Husband this year. A very large scale framed print of a vintage poster. A Campari vintage poster! We went down to the store & picked it out and right after headed to a cafe for lunch and what do you know…Campari & OJ on the drinks menu.
As if I am going to order something else!!!
I ordered the Campari & OJ and it was perfect! So perfect that I bought a bottle of Campari the very next day & coincidently the weather was bloody perfect so we had a bbq & a ‘ahem’ few Campari & OJs.
So yeah that’s what will be heavily featured on our Spring/Summer drinks menu this year. It’s easy to make and really, you don’t need to measure how much Campari you need. The drink I made below has 30mls of Campari and then topped with orange juice. If you do it slowly you get that red Campari at the bottom and the OJ sitting on top of it and then you can add a stirrer to the glass to mix it all up.
Campari & Orange Juice
Orange Juice – with pulp and freshly squeezed if you can get it, otherwise get something that has no preservatives in it.
In a highball glass add ice cubes and then add the 30mls of Campari and then slowly top with OJ. Add stirrer or straw and enjoy on a warm spring day while you stand around the bbq.
My first post for 2014, I know it’s a bit late but I have been busy doing NOTHING!!!
We have just finished school holidays in Australia. The kids are back at school and my oldest child has just started his very first year of school and I am so freakin excited for him. I thought I might cry but nah!!!
So, I have a few cocktail posts leftover from last year and I have to get through those before I can start adding newer stuff. I got super lazy & sick towards the end of last year and we have had some pretty hot weather in Melbourne (hmm sit in front of a computer or go out and enjoy life? hmmm I choose outside thanks!!) AND we also went away for a few days to an amazing part of my stunning country up on the border of Victoria & New South Wales, right on the mighty Murray River!
Ok so the infamous Long Island Ice Tea. Made right this drink CAN be amazing. I have had heaps of dodgy LIITs and a few that totally got me drunk – I mean…really really drunk (like…took me days to feel human again type of drunk – hey I was in my mid 20’s!!).
I had all the ingredients in my possession so thought why not. I never have cola in the house, we don’t drink it and if I buy a bottle it’s usually because I am hosting a party and want it on hand incase a guest asks for it. Sooo I had a bottle leftover from a party had to get rid of it so decided to whip up a Long Island Iced Tea.
My version was ok. It wasn’t mind blowing but I think that might be because I am not a huge fan of cola. I also made a few other cocktails at the same time so I was probably comparing the LIIT to the other drinks I made.
Long Island Iced Tea – Serves 2
30ml Light Rum
30ml Gin (mmm Bombay Sapphire, how I love thee!!!)
Dash of lemon juice
In a tall glass add ice, rum, vodka, gin, cointreau, tequila. Top with the lemon juice & cola. Garnish it with a slice of lemon and wake up tomorrow morning with a shocking hangover!
Spiced rum & coke. Is that a cocktail? Nah no way.
Ahhh spiced rum & ?!?!?!
Ooh Long Island Ice Tea but I need eleventy billion other alcoholic drinks to mix with.
Dark spiced rum &…
Spiced dark rum and.
Oh bugger. I have nothing.
I should probably make something up but that could end in disaster AND I would have wasted precious spiced rum.
Ok. Maybe I could swap it out for another dark spirit like bourbon. I am in no rush to EVER drink Southern Comfort (first alcoholic drink I got drunk & vomited on. NEVER AGAIN EVERRR) so surely I could replace that vile demon drink with the pirates choice of liquor???
Ok, I did a bit of searching online taste.com.au and found a Lime & rum cocktail – it’s a little like a caipirinha but changing the cachaça for dark rum & adding some soda water? Meh anyway I decided to give it a go.
It was ok, not my first choice but still a quick and easy cocktail to make and would be great made up in a big batch in a jug for a party. I love limes in cocktails but I am not a fan of muddled limes. I just find that heaps of the lime gets wasted and stuck at the bottom of the cocktail shaker after being smashed to bits – there is still good juice in there and of course if you smash it too much it splashes out and makes a mess.
If I make this again instead of muddling the limes I will zest & juice the limes and add that to the shaker, add the other ingredients and perhaps use slices or wedges of limes in the glass. I also found the sugar didn’t quite dissolve so there was a pile of sugar sitting in the bottom of my cocktail shaker.
I found a post on my facebook feed stating that Melbourne was having a night market called Luna 1878. A NIGHT MARKET IN MELBOURNE IN THE MIDDLE OF WINTER. Ahhh ok.
So I dug around (click links really…no digging as if I would dig in this stupid cold weather!!) and found out that Winter markets were being held in Melbourne on Wednesday nights for the month of August.
Ok, so why not check it out. Brilliant idea!
It was a nice day so I figured I would pick my son from kinder and then we could make our way into the city, maybe go visit my Husband at his office so the kids to see the view of Melbourne from way up high and then we would go to the Queen Victoria Markets where the markets are being held.
It rained a lot.
It poured with rain and the traffic was shocking.
It took over an hour to get to Collins street from our home and we sat on Hoddle Street for a lifetime after driving on the Eastern Freeway in the pouring rain with one fabulous driver that figured lots of rain meant they could drive 60kms on the freeway that most people are doing 100/90kms (the rain was falling but visibility was still ok). An accident just waiting to happen.
Vent over. We get to the city and it’s raining. Still.
We took the kids up to level 45 so they could see the view and by this stage it’s dark so all the lights were on way down below and it was great. They loved it. They could see the trains pulling into Flinders Street Station and cars on all the various roads.
Soon enough we pulled the kids from the windows and headed back to the car & on our way to QVM. We found parking and headed towards the markets and it was great. Despite the crappy weather (well…what do you expect in the middle of winter) it was well protected so I didn’t feel the cold.
They had big open fire pits for people to sit around and get warm.
The smells of food was amazing, there were so many amazing choices and I would pick something and go…”yep, eating that” only to change my mind about 10 seconds later.
The Soup Factory.
How yum do these stacks of cob loaves look @The Soup Factory.
Señor BBQ – was going to get this…
Ok, changed my mind…having a Philly Cheesesteak instead…
Oh hang on…Filipino BBQ
My Son wanted a burger so we got him a slider with a meatball from The Meatball Company and I got one as well.
The Meatball Company – check out those pans & all those meatballs
While we were waiting Miss A & I took a selfie.
These are the meatball sliders with fries that we settled on.
We had to get dessert of course – can’t remember the name of the guy doing the pancakes & I didn’t take any pics but these pancakes were delicious & fluffy and moreish. Covered with chocolate custard & ricotta it was perfect to eat & share with each other.
Then the fighting started. My Son would have a drink then my Daughter wanted a drink and backwards and forwards it went before we called it a night and decided on another quick lap before leaving.
They had these pallet type tables set up to eat on as well as tables & bench seats.
Nice Moroccan style lamps that were scattered throughout the markets & would change colours.
Vintage Garage were there – why didn’t I see this when we arrived. Meltdowns are in progress, you can stop them once they start at this hour so I didn’t get a chance to browse their goodies.
My super vision kicked in and the writing was on the wall (so to speak!!).
Oh well, just have to grab one to taste and it was ok. Heaps of ice and on a cold rainy night it just didn’t work. I still drank it. While my daughter screamed because she wanted some and I didn’t give her any.
Green Apple Mojito
So we had to hunt down a non-alcoholic drink. We bought one and wowser…$5.00.
More fighting & screaming & crying. She thought it was all for her, he wanted some, she didn’t want to share. Sigh.
We went home.
Oh did I mention the silent disco….yeah…ahhh…I think you get headphones and then you can dance, without bothering the neighbours.
Excuse me while I silently giggle.
Overall it was fun – something to do in the middle of Winter on a school night. I am a Summer girl so the Suzuki Summer Markets are my first choice – it’s hot, icy drinks rock, there is still light at 9pm. I could go on but will save it for Summer time.
Ahhh a new cocktail for me to try. This one is called Old Fashioned and well…given the way I dress & do my hair I guess it’s only fitting that I should add this to the list of cocktails to try.
Below is a YouTube video of a ‘mixologist’ called Jack Daniels…no joke…that’s his name…cool huh!
So I followed his instructions and…taa daaaaaaaaaa.
Most recipes of I have for this cocktail say to use Whiskey or any dark spirits and in the video above Jack Daniels uses Cognac. I used dark rum, because…well…I really wanted to try this Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum (how cute is the hula girl illustration on the bottle!!!) – so already I have totally changed the cocktail but…this is my baby, MY old fashioned.
Sugar syrup – I posted the recipe here. Equal parts sugar & water on the heat to boil then simmer for 5 mins. Allow to cool.
Garnish with orange twist and maraschino cherries (ooh and cocktail with a cherry in it I love!).
This drink is so freakin easy to make and you can use whisky, rum or bourbon and you have a quick easy cocktail to make. It was so good that we had 2 of them, I think using the spiced rum just gave it some depth – without sounding too cheesy.
This video is on the River Island blog – here is a link to River Island Style Insider Blog and here is a link River Island if you want to check out their clothing range.
I had one of those “oh crap” moments when I realised that on Friday night when I usually do my cocktail for the blog that I would actually be out and not anywhere near alcohol (going to an intro session for the sewing lessons I am starting next week!!).
So I decided to use the last of the vanilla vodka that I have and try the Rosewater & Lychee Martini. I found this recipe on taste.com.au last week when I was searching for other cocktails I could make with the vanilla vodka I had left over. So from one bottle of vanilla vodka I have managed to make Espresso Martinis & Strawberry & Vanilla Vodka Martinis and now the Rosewater & Lychee Martinis.
The lychees used as a garnish.
This recipe serves 6. I didn’t have 2 cups or 500mls of vodka, I had a little less than 1 cup or 250ml so I halved the ingredients and made enough to fill two martini glasses and have enough left over for another 2 glasses.
I have a cold (another one) at the moment so with a blocked nose I had to get in real close to my drink & have a good sniff but I know that without my stupid blocked nose this drink would smell amazing. It does actually taste quite nice so a drink I will make again.
The next time I get vanilla vodka I will try this exact recipe but use watermelon – watermelon & rosewater together are like…ahhhhhhh bliss. So I figure why not make a cocktail out of the two & see what happens. One for the to-do list.
The real recipe for the Rosewater & Lychee Martini can be found here on taste.com.au. The version I made last night is below.
Rosewater & Lychee Martini
250ml (1 cup) Vanilla vodka
30ml Rosewater (you can buy this in continental delis. I got mine in the supermarket)
1 tin (565gm) Tin of lychees (refrigerate before use)
Separate the lychees from the syrup and reserve the syrup
Mix vanilla vodka, rosewater and syrup to taste (I added probably half the syrup from the tin) and then add ice. I blitzed it in my blender and then pour into your martini glass.
Garnish with lychees
Enjoy the sweet perfume of this beautiful cocktail – almost as good as a bunch of roses!
This is the bottle of rosewater that I use…smells & tastes amazing!
Ok, so it’s not really a proper martini but it’s in a martini glass and I love martini glasses.
I have half a bottle of vanilla vodka left over from my Espresso Martinis so I figured I needed to find some other cocktail recipes to justify buying it again.
Here it is… Strawberry & Vanilla Vodka Martinis. I love strawberries and mix in a bit of alcohol and taa daaa another cocktail. I got this recipe from taste.com.au and they use a lot of ice so this would be absolutely perfect on a hot summer day/night.
Amazingly I managed to get strawberries that taste sweet in the middle of Winter. They are local grown too so I bought two punnets and my Daughter managed to eat one entire punnet on her own. I used the one remaining punnet in my mix tonight.
Strawberry & Vanilla Vodka Martinis
1 Punnet of strawberries – washed & hulled
1 Tablespoon of icing sugar or caster sugar (the icing sugar will dissolve faster)
125ml (1/2 cup) Chilled vanilla vodka
30ml Chilled dry vermouth
Ice cubes – I used about 6 ice cubes from my tray
Throw the lot into a blender and blitz the hell out of it, pour into martini glasses and enjoy!
Taste.com.au‘s version of this recipe serves 10, I halved the quantities and managed to fill two of these glasses and have about maybe half a martini glass left over!
Citrus flavoured drinks were the unexpected theme for the night with all the cocktails I ordered.
Arrrr she be havn’ er share o’ vitamin c to ward off that there scurvy!!! Arrrrr. Ok, that was pretty cheesy pirate talk.
Perhaps because it’s Winter in Australia and every other person has a cold the kind bartender thought it best that we get a top up of vitamin c in all our alcoholic beverages. Ha.
So, a night out with the girls to have a bite to eat, catch up on the goss – child free & see a dear friend of ours that was back in Melbourne for the week saw us at The Firehouse in Ringwood.
We have eaten here a few times, always enjoyed the food. The staff are fantastic & our waitress was brilliant.
Hmmm what would I like to drink tonight?
My first drink for the night was the Sherbertini. Wow. Ok…so my friend & I have arrived early our other friends were on their way so we snuck in a cheeky drink and my friend is animatedly telling me a story. My drink is in front of me & I have taken my fair share of pics. My friend has my full attention & I reach for my drink, take a sip and my face erupts into the perfect example of a sour puss – cat bum – squinty – sour face. Even though I couldn’t see it I knew it was funny. My friend squeals with laughter & my eyes water & my saliva glands go into overdrive.
What a reaction!!! I loved it. I had another sip & this time knew what to expect so the facial reaction was somewhat reduced but this drink smelt like sherbert and tasted very lemony, very tart but the sugar-rimmed edge of the glass helped cut through that tartness. A sipping drink not designed for swallowing in one gulp.
Next on the list was the Raspberry Pisco Sour. Another foamy drink courtesy of egg whites and this was really nice with the raspberry & lime flavour. As I was taking my last sips I was getting these teeny tiny bit of raspberry gems I suppose you could call them in my mouth & it was very moreish. I enjoyed it & would order 10 of them if they weren’t $17 each and made my head cloudy the next day.
Raspberry Pisco Sour.
Finally I ordered a jug – yes a jug at $22 each of the Pink Pineapple Mai Tai. My first Mai Tai and it was good. Between 4 people we all got a serve in a glass as pictured and it was nice – perfect Summery drink. I could make this & easily chip away at a jug of this at a bbq or just kicking back on a hot Summers day. Grapefruit juice was the boss in this drink, it kinda overtook the orange & pineapple juice that was also included in the cocktail.
Pink Pineapple Mai Tai being poured from the jug.
Pink Pineapple Mai Tai.
After my 3 drinks I wasn’t drunk. I was happy not tipsy & I felt great. Then I did something stupid. I ordered a glass of wine. Red wine. I love red wine but I probably shouldn’t have had that glass because it made me feel a bit blurghhh. I had the wine with my main meal – the Wagyu Beef Burger that was so tasty and yes it was noticed by everyone on the table that I had been quiet since my meal arrived – too busy eating to talk!!!! Chips & a pickle on the side completed my delicious meal.
Yes – I had a cheeky bite of the pickle BEFORE taking the pic.
We shared desserts but I didn’t take any pics of that. We ordered the apple crumble and the chocolate brownie. I only tasted the brownie and omm nom nom. I love anything with salted caramel on it and well..salted caramel ice cream just made this brownie perfect. We ate it all!!
Oh and I included a cheesy selfie – my hair didn’t quite do what I wanted. I put it in hair roller but only for 5 hours or so. About 1 minute after I took the rollers out the curls dropped. Boooooo. So into a pony tail & just a simple forward victory roll.
As we were leaving the restaurant they had this backlit sign near the entrance.
Call it what you want. I call it Nespresso Martini because – yep, I have a Nespresso machine & I popped my pod into the machine & RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR fresh coffee.
I used about 3 pods of coffee, not really sure how much I would need for this recipe so figured that should suffice (for the record, I didn’t need that much but I am hosting a party tomorrow night so it should come in handy!!). I read a few recipes online but decided to wing it and see what happens.
This is the result.
I enjoyed my version of an espresso martini, although it was probably a touch too sweet so adjust the amounts listed below to suit your own taste. This is super easy to make, I spent more time cleaning the kitchen than actually making it.
I must also point out that the crema at the top of the espresso martini – a must. I guess it’s supposed to look like an espresso but an alcoholic version. I have a smoothie blender type device so I kinda cheated and rather than shake the hell outta that shaker I blitzed it to bits (with a bit of ice to help cool it) and then added it to my cocktail shaker to cool it even more without diluting any further.
Then I strained it into my martini glass and sipped until it was all done. You can garnish this with some coffee beans or chocolate covered coffee beans. I had none so I just grated some dark chocolate on top.
Delicious, just remember it’s got caffeine in it. So if you are thinking of heading to bed early – don’t have an espresso martini. This drink is a perfect pick me up when you are tired & you HAVE to be out for the night, trust me!
A note on the sugar syrup in this recipe – equal parts caster sugar & water, in a saucepan over high heat until the sugar is dissolved. You can let it boil for another 5mins or so and then remove off the heat to let it cool. You don’t want toffee.
Nespresso Martini / Espresso Martini – my version!
60ml Vanilla flavoured vodka (you could use plain old standard vodka)
30ml Crème de Cacao White
30ml Espresso coffee (cold)
30ml Sugar syrup (equal parts sugar + water boiled & cooled see above)
Combine all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker or blender. Add a few ice cubes and blend until all combined. Add additional ice cubes into a cocktail shaker and then pour your combined espresso mix over the ice to assist in making it even colder.
Strain into martini glasses and add coffee beans or shaved chocolate & enjoy but remember you have to go to bed tonight so try & have this early in the night.