A Fizz is basically a base spirit – usually Gin- citrus and sugar made to fizz with a soda and sometimes an egg white to give a luxurious creamy head. I have a complicated relationship with eggs on the whole, fried and runny NO, mayonnaise YES, soft boiled or poached NO, lemon meringue YES. Putting egg white into my cocktails seemed disgusting and so I have always opted out, until I was introduced to Miss Sloe Gin Fizz. Her velvet pink dress and white feather boa utterly seduced me. Sugar and egg white are, after all meringue, I argued as I shook like a pro waiting for the magic to happen.
Why hello Miss Fizz so very nice to drink you. For you I will grit my teeth and put egg white into my shaker.
Three ingredients, with easy to remember measures, make this cocktail one to master, you can make a spectacular amount of cocktails with a bottle of white rum, sugar syrups and a citrus fruit.
Sugar syrup is used in lots of cocktails. Because sugar will not dissolve in cold liquid you have to dissolve it first in boiling water and leave it to cool. Basically, put some white granulated sugar in a cup, cover with boiling water, stir, leave to cool and keep in an airtight container in the fridge. Will keep indefinitely.
Big and busty, the Porn Star Martini, embrace her.
Why is the delicious blend of vodka and passion fruit, with a side of fizz call a Pornstar Martini, who cares, it tastes fantastic? I look for it on all the cocktail menus and order one without hesitation, and encourage others to do the same. There is so much information out there I suppose I could look into it, but I’m too busy drinking it to care.
Mojito, Mojito, mojito, when I was behind the bar serving, all the staff hated making this cocktail when we were busy. It takes a long time to make properly and is messy to boot. I remember we attempted to speed things up with sugar syrup and fresh lime juice, but the real mojito drinker could spot the deception and would bring it right back. We would remix and hand the cocktail back, quietly hoping the customer would choke on a mint leaf, and not come back for more. I think that this must have put me off the drink and I have never taken to it. My friend drinks them regularly and will happily take a bag full of limes, mint leaves and a cocktail shaker along to a gathering. I have always politely declined her offer to partake.
It was through gritted teeth then, that I made my husband and I a Mojito, as so many people have asked me for a good recipe and I needed to speak from the heart. Oh dear, all those years I have wasted. This a fresh and zingy little number, which is most certainly worth the effort. I prefer mine with a little more sugar than my husband, and I like to strain the leaves out. My friend likes hers more cheek suckingly sour. The below is the basic authentic recipe, after the first one you decide the balance of sweet and sour.
Would the real Mai Tai please make yourself known!
I enjoy the flavours of both orange and almond and use white rum in many drinks, so I could never reconcile the involuntary shudder, accompanying a stick your tongue out NO, whenever I was asked if I wanted to try a mai tai. I first tried this cocktail somewhere hot, at a beach bar, sometime in my early twenties. Clearly, I do not recall the details but I was left with a vivid recollection, that this was an overly sweet and alcohol tasting drink, never to be repeated. There are many versions out there.
A happy accident then, that one balmy night, at a trendy cocktail bar in London’s Covent Garden, I sipped a friend’s drink and told the barman, with absolute confidence, that I would have what my friend was drinking. “A mai tai, right,” he said, reaching under the counter for his shaker. “No”, I replied, “one… of…. those”, slowing my speech down and pointing to the drink, as he was obviously slow on the uptake. “Yes”, my friend confirmed, “a mai tai”. The barman raised his eyebrows and I was forever hooked. Continue reading “Cocktails”→
You must try this long drink. It is refreshing and spectacularly blue. I have always drunk it with gin, as I was taught to make it this way. I have included a vodka based frozen drink, which is just as yummy and deserves a mention.
15ml dry vermouth (Martini)
15ml blue curacao
Slice of lemon, lime or mint to garnish
Fill your cocktail shaker with ice. Add everything except the lemonade mint and lemon and shake until the outside of the shaker is frosty and cold. Pour into any tall glass and top with lemonade, add the ice from the shaker and garnish as you like.
Curacoa is made from the Lahara fruit, actually quite bitter with a distinctly orange flavor. It is actually a colorless liqueur. The blue is for show, you can find it in green and red too if you fancy.
As with all cocktails, there are many versions out there. Basically, this is a vodka based drink, that done right gives a wonderful balance of sweet and tart. It is undeniably American in origin and was birthed somewhere in 70’s. I confess that I am never too bothered by the ml quantities, I try my best, but pay more attention to the ratios. Here is the most official recipe, it is light, delicate, tart but with a sweet base that comes through. Continue reading “Cocktails”→
Cocktails are schizophrenic. Dressing up cheaply, with too much makeup, they dress in cream and large pieces of fruit, they are sweet but deadly this way. They hang out at hotel and beach bars, in the Costa’s of this world, unashamedly luring in the young with cheap thrills. Bizarrely, they then slip into something more demure, stripping back to wear little black dress glasses, elegant and honest. When this happens, you can find them talking politely in the best bars of Europe.
Gross generalisation, but you get my point, they seem to be one thing, or the other, with nothing in between. We pushed them out of the door, somewhere in the late 1950’s, and have not let them back in, where they could be good friends with vino and beer. What did they do wrong? Continue reading “Cocktails”→