Farewell my friends

About 3 or 4 weeks ago I was sent an invitation to farewell some friends of ours before they make the big move up North. The theme for their party was The Great Gatsby. I will admit that I freaked out initially but figured this would be a great opportunity to do something different with my hair & to try out an outfit that isn’t 40’s or 50’s.

So my hunt began. I already had a black beaded body hugging gown that is about 20yrs old. I actually wore this dress to my cousins wedding in Mauritius in 1997 (I think?) and it was a bit big on me then and I was pretty chuffed to say that the straps were a bit loose on the night of the party – BUT I did have one wardrobe malfunction.

Next on my list was a fur stole. I recalled seeing one in a local vintage 2nd hand clothing store and I actually grabbed the kids and rushed back to the store but missed out. Gone gone & gone. So I tried ebay and managed to pick up a 1950’s Cornelius Fur from Sydney and was wrapped that it only cost me $41.00.

I found these fabulous shoes, no idea on the date but they look granny enough to fit into that 1920’s style and as a bonus I can wear them with my 50’s wardrobe. Low heel, made in Australia, full leather AND they only cost me $20 from a stall at Waverley Antique Bazaar.

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The last piece to my 1920’s wardrobe puzzle was the hair and makeup. I did a fingerwave trial on my hair based on this amazingly easy to understand & follow YouTube tutorial and it worked perfectly. Actually I didn’t really like it when I first did it but after 1 hour I realised that the problem was I wasn’t really digging the 20’s and I was much more comfortable with my 50’s hairstyles so I figured with the whole outfit together it will work.

It did work, I was really happy with the final outcome.

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The party was held at Madame Brussells on Bourke Street, Melbourne and we had a private function room where we drank delicious cocktails – martinis (with 3 olives…YES!!) and sidecars (I have to try this one at home.) I had a fantastic night and it was great to catch up with great friends and have a laugh. Everyone made a great effort to dress up – lots of bow tie action from the guys. I love a dress up.

Martini with 3 olives.

Gatsby03Sidecar

Gatsby04Filling up the glasses for the guests.

Gatsby07Yum Sidecars were delicious. A little too easy to drink!

Gatsby08Yeah yeah a selfie – I had to do it.

Gatsby05Close up of the bling on ‘Bernard’ my vintage fur stole (I stole the name from 80’s movie Weekend at Bernie’s – they carry a dead guy around their shoulders all weekend – Bernard is dead & was on my shoulders – get it..huh huh!! lol)

Gatsby14I really would love a backlit cabinet like this for all my fancy bottles & glasses.

Gatsby09Some of the Melbourne skyline – it was pouring with rain but this was the view for the smokers.

Gatsby12One of my friends ordered a cocktail called the Zombie – he had 2 of them!

Gatsby11I ordered a Moscow Mule. It was ok.

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I will admit that I felt a bit out-of-sorts not being in my usual garb and I did receive many wonderful compliments – even from people who weren’t guests at the party, so it was nice to get that recognition but I was so happy to wash my hair the next day and get my 1950’s back on.

Oh and as for the wardrobe malfunction I mentioned earlier – ZIPPER FAIL. Yep..sitting outside with the smokers I felt a bit…cold and reached back to find my zipper had split open. Lucky it wasn’t broken so I got my Husband to unzip me and zip me back up. Yeah, I was paranoid for the rest of the night.

Cheers

Alex

Rosewater & Lychee Martini

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.

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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.

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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)
Ice

Method

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!

RosewaterMartini04

 

Cheers

Alex

 

 

Strawberry & Vanilla Vodka Martinis

Yes yes yes…another Martini!!

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.

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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.

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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

Method

Throw the lot into a blender and blitz the hell out of it, pour into martini glasses and enjoy!

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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!

Cheers
Alex

Friday night cocktails – Espresso Martini

Nespresso Martini / Espresso Martini

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.

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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.

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Nespresso Martini / Espresso Martini – my version!

Serves 2

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)
Ice.

Method

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.

Cheers

Alex

Gin Martini

Yay! My first cocktail post.

 

It’s Friday!!

I don’t drink during the week and save myself for 1 or 2 drinks on a Friday evening with dinner.
Tonight I decided it’s only fitting that I should make my very first cocktail post be a Gin Martini.
I don’t drink them as often as I used to but I still really enjoy slowly sipping on a martini. In particular I really love a dirty martini with 3 olives. A friend of mine introduced me to the dirty martini many years ago. 3 olives are important because it’s kinda like having a meal with your drink. Ha ha!
So, I have listed the recipe I have used below and to make it dirty just add a teaspoon or two (to taste, I guess) of the brine that the olives are sitting in.
I prefer to have something to snack on (other than the olives!) while I drink so tonight I made cheats nachos with guacamole & sour cream.
I have ice & my martini ingredients inside my cocktail shaker.
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Gin Martini Recipe
45ml gin
15ml vermouth
5ml olive brine/olive juice (the stuff the olives were soaking in before you yanked them out of the jar!!!)
Method
Pop some ice in your martini glass if you haven’t chilled it in the fridge already, once you have made up your martini the ice gets the toss and your glass should be nice & cool.
Over ice (more ice) in a cocktail shaker pour all your ingredients. **DON’T SHAKE!** This will break up the ice and water down your martini. Just a gentle stir and then strain it into your ice less martini glass.
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Pop your olives onto a toothpick, toothpick with olives goes into the martini glass and enjoy…responsibly. You have to get up tomorrow and too many of these bad boys will mean a very sore head tomorrow.
See the 3 cheeky olives!!!
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Now for my cheats nachos. This is not a gourmet recipe, this is a slap it together quick meal with extremely stupidly high calorie count and is to be shared with friends or family.
Cheats Nachos
1 bag of your choice of corn chips – I used Doritos
1 jar of salsa – I used the Doritos brand
Jalapeños – The pickled version (you can find them near the olive section in the supermarket)
Cheeeeeese – I had pizza cheese in the fridge so I used that.
Method
Heat the oven, I give it a good 200 degrees Celsius to heat up and then when the nachos are ready to be put in the oven I drop it down to 180/160.
In a heat proof dish, add the corn chips, then add the jar of salsa using a spoon to distribute the salsa evenly.
nachos1
Add the Jalapeños (I cut them to smaller pieces) and then smother with cheese.
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Stick it in the oven for about 5-10mins – keep your eye on it because the corn chips will burn. If you have a grill option in your oven you may want to turn that on to brown/melt the cheese, but please don’t leave it unattended.
I added homemade guacamole to the nachos when they were out of the oven (mash together avocado+salt+pepper+lime juice+tabasco sauce+chopped coriander) and some sour cream.
nachos3
It’s hot so don’t start scoffing it yet, please let it cool down a little.
Cheers
Alex