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Literary Cocktails: Romeo and Julep

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This year I thought that I would start cleaning some things up in my apartment to make room for the things that really count. Having a nicely arranged bar in my kitchen for example. Mission: accomplished! But you won’t see the choc-a-block cupboards of booze that are hiding beneath that well organised bar… thats for another time.

When the baker and the chocolate maker came over for lunch on Australia Day, we decided it was a perfect time to bust out all the cocktails that husband-to-be and I had been making over the holidays. This one was from a cute little book that S and S from work gave me for Christmas.

IMG_4818Who doesn’t love puns? Especially the English department!

Cute cute!

Despite the negative symbolism, I figured we would start with the Romeo and Julep with a few little twists on the original recipe. We needed to start with this one because its a little too labour intensive for later in the night.

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You need to begin with half a dozen mint leaves in a glass. Don’t use a tall or narrow glass because you need to have to muddle the mint with the next couple of ingredients and that could be pretty tricky with a little glass.

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After years of using a rolling pin (I know, i’m a classy lady) a good friend gave me a very thoughtful birthday gift of a proper cocktail making set including this little muddler. The ridges mean that you can bruise the mint much more easily and don’t have to worry about smashing your glasses with your rolling pin. So you muddle the mint with peach schnapps and a tiny quarter teaspoon of brown sugar. Then on to the secret ingredient!

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Jack Daniel’s Honey Whisky.

Be. Still. My. Heart.

After years of hating whisky, something has happened to my mouth and suddenly… oh baby. I think that I am declaring this year – The Year of Whisky.

The original recipe calls for just plain whisky and a greater amount of brown sugar. I rather like the sweetness of the honey whisky and you could probably eliminate the brown sugar entirely. However, I’m clearly a sugar fiend and I still like to add a tiny bit to this drink. If you’re not such a fan you could probably just keep the normal whisky and reduce the sugar as well. Up to you!

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Then you just need to fill those suckers up with lemon lime soda water.

Don’t use lemonade or it will be far too sweet.

These drinks are very refreshing which is great at the moment when the sun is still ridiculously hot and the days are long. What is your drink of choice to beat the heat?

Romeo and Julep (Adapted from Tequila Mockingbird – Cocktails with a Literary Twist)

Ice

6 mint leaves

1/4 tsp brown sugar

1/2 ounce peach schnapps

1 1/2 ounces honey whisky

lemon lime soda water to fill (for the sized glass I used, I found that 1 can of the cascade soda water was enough to fill)

Method

1. place mint leaves, sugar and schnapps in a glass and muddle until the mint is nicely bruised and sugar partly dissolved

2. Add the whisky and ice

3. Top with soda water and enjoy!

Taste of Summer: Pineapple Coconut Cake

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God I love cake. I love relaxing on the couch eating cake. I love eating cake in summer. I love eating cake while wearing comfy coral jeans. Show me a person who doesn’t like cake, and i’ll show you a really sad person. The saddest person in the world. But, I would like to think that even the most dedicated cake hater might declare an amnesty on this little baby. Its a moist pineapple and coconut cake. Moist and crumbly and sweet. What could be wrong with that?

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This is probably one of the easiest cake recipes. Only requiring super basic ingredients (except maybe the coconut milk), you just cream the butter and dry ingredients before adding the wet ingredients and finally stirring in the pineapple at the end. I dare you to get this recipe wrong. Really.

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Then you just ice that baby and eat it all! The coconut icing is particularly fluffy and delicious. Maybe with the help of a few friends. I had my friends The Baker and The Chocolatier to help me. Luckily. However, if you’re not wanting to share your cake with anyone, you can alway make it into cupcakes and halve the cooking time. It should make about 15 depending on the size of your patty pans.

So kids, coconut and pineapple is a pretty damn good combination. Do you have a favourite match?

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Pineapple and Coconut Cake Recipe – adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook

Cake – Ingredients

240g plain flour

280g caster sugar

3 tsp baking powder

a pinch of salt

80g unsalted butter

240ml coconut milk

1tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 medium sized tin of crushed pineapple

Method

1. Heat the oven to 170 degrees

2. put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a mixer and beat on a slow speed until the mixture is a sandy consistency

3. mix in the coconut milk and vanilla extract

4. beat in eggs

5. drain the pineapple and stir through the mixture

6. Pour into a lined baking tin and bake for 50 minutes

Ingredients – Coconut Icing 

 250g icing sugar

80g unsalted butter

25ml coconut milk

 

Method

1. Beat the icing sugar and butter together until well mixed

2. switch the mixer speed to slow and pour in the coconut milk

3. Once the mixture has come together, turn the mixer speed up to high and beat until light and fluffy

4. Ice yo damn cake!

Cocktail Hour: Apple Pie Punch

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So kids, are you enjoying the unseasonably warm and lovely weather that we have been having in Sydney right in the dead of winter? This week has been gorgeous with warm sunshine and clear blue skies. Apparently it has been the warmest July on record!

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This little guy certainly thinks so!

Just kidding! This was just a snap of Angus and I chilling out last Summer.

But can you blame me? July has been bringing Summer back.

So, what better way to celebrate than with a delicious cocktail. Or, if you’re having a gathering, why not make a jug and keep it chilling in the fridge? Less work and more deliciousness. I promise!

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And I get to bust out my  friend Captain Morgan.

He knows how to get a party started.

This drink is like a delicious apple pie with a few bubbles and a splash of cinnamon. Super easy, it can be left to infuse a few hours before your guests arrive. All you need to start with is a giant bottle of apple cider, cinnamon sticks and some cloudy apple juice. Cloudy apple juice will give you a better flavour than clear and reconstituted.

IMG_3376Pop a couple of cinnamon sticks in your jug then fill it half full of apple juice

you can add a little cider at this point as well, then leave to chill in the fridge for a few hours

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Then we can add a few more friends to the mix

Namely a splash of spiced rum and apple schnapps (and some white rum if you want to get really relaxed!)

top up with cider and SHAZAM!

Apple Cider Punch

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Cocktail Desserts have to be the best thing ever

A great thing about making cocktails in jugs is that you really can just tweak the recipe to suit your taste. And you will mostly have enough of your ingredients left over to make a second batch! Hooray! What are you all doing to enjoy this blessed sunshine?

 

Apple Pie Punch Recipe

Ingredients

1 large bottle of cloudy apple juice (a 2L carton will give you enough for a couple of batches)

1L apple cider

1/2 cup spiced rum

1/2 cup white rum

1/2 cup apple schnapps

2 cinnamon sticks

 

Method

1. Place your cinnamon sticks in your jug

2. Fill the jug halfway with apple juice, then add a cup or two of cider

3. Place jug in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours

4. Take jug out of the fridge and add both rums and apple schnapps

5. Fill jug to the top with apple cider, stir and put back into the fridge for half an hour to chill

6. Splishy splashy! Drink those babies up!

Bonus Step: Add another cinnamon stick to each glass that you pour for a little more spicy goodness