Ginuary 31st: the Dutchess.

WE MADE IT! Well, I made it. Did you make it? This drink’s name isn’t a typo.

The Dutchess

  • 45ml genever
  • 15ml lemon juice
  • 30ml strained pineapple juice
  • 22ml orgeat syrup
  • 15ml Angostura bitters

Shake all ingredients with ice until very cold. Strain and serve immediately.

This one comes from Theo Lieberman via Serious Eats, and I didn’t realise until I was writing this post that this guy is behind Lantern’s Keep, maybe the only wonderful cocktail bar in the theatre district in NYC, and one of the few cocktail bars I managed to get to with my broken ankle last year. Memories!

Anyway, this is one I’ve had tagged for a while, but I kept putting it off. First, I had to have genever. Then I had to have orgeat. Then I had to stick to the guide and get some fresh pineapple juice, despite buying some bottle juice only a few days ago.

What I didn’t pay much attention to was the fact that the recipe uses 15ml of Angostura bitters. Not a few drops. Half an ounce of bitters. What the flipping heck. Always trust a recipe, though (or most of the time) and I did, and while it does have the herby, tangy bitters notes coming through, there’s enough punch from the other ingredients that it all works out magically and wonderfully.

Having said that, it’s been a very big day for me—and a big month, to boot. Thanks for coming on this crazy adventure with me yet again. See you next year?

Ginuary 30th: Alexander.

Tonight I needed a comfort drink that would get me through the Parenthood finale. This one filled that quota exceptionally.

Kinda cool, this one. You’ve heard of a Brandy Alexander, I’m sure. Even if you don’t know the drink and its contents, you’ve at least heard the phrase (Feist’s song—and Ron Sexsmith’s song in response—is just great). Here’s the thing… it’s an offshoot of the gin grandpappy beverage. Gin is the original. That’s a sentence I like.


  • 45ml gin (I used Hendrick’s)
  • 45ml creme de cacao
  • 45ml pure/single/thin cream

Shake all ingredients with ice and fine strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Sprinkle with some nutmeg.


Can you tell I used cinnamon instead? Misplaced nutmeg. Decent sub.

This tastes like a Brandy Alexander but with gin instead of brandy, so… better.

Most recipes I’ve found call for a London dry, but I stubbornly decided that the sweeter notes of Hendrick’s would go well with this drink that is clearly a dessert beverage! I think I was right? Who knows. I had to try two differently measured versions too, but in the end I’m awarding this to the original 1:1:1 split. Plus it’s easier to remember.

Ginuary 29th: Smoky Martini.

Smoky Martini

  • 75ml gin (I used Tanqueray No. Ten)
  • 5-10ml (a splash) of scotch whisky

Add both ingredients to a mixing glass and stir with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

Welcome to a very dry martini but with scotch instead of vermouth. I had other plans for today but got a bit sidetracked—plus, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this one ever since Jenn did it during Ginuary 2014. My brain gets stuck on certain things in weird ways.

Make sure you pick a wonderful gin (they’re all wonderful, aren’t they?) and a particularly smoky scotch. I used Glenfiddich 12, because that’s what I had in the house. I could have used this drink as a good excuse to buy a bottle of Laphroaig but I resisted. Good girl. My wallet is happy with me. (The drink would have been better with it, I’m sure of it.) STILL GOOD, THOUGH. Lots of gin with some more gin and a sneeze of scotch.

Plus, look at that twist. Still got it.

Ginuary 28th: Sloe Gin Fizz.

Since acquiring some sloe gin earlier this month, all I’ve done is make a ridiculously delicious dessert with it, so tonight I thought it time I address a classic, while also giving a quick educational spiel on sloe gin.

See, the thing is, sloe gin isn’t technically gin. Well, kind of. Look—it is, but technically it’s a liqueur: it’s gin, but that gin’s been flavoured with sloe berries. Sloe berries are the small fruits that come from blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) shrubs. They’re a relative of plums, but the berries are a lot smaller and in the same way that cumquats are the smaller, tarter cousin of mandarins, so are sloes to plums. That’s my analogy and I’m sticking to it.

When I say the gin is “flavoured” with these berries, what actually happens is that the berries are soaked in the gin for months, with some sugar to help extract the juice from the berries (and let’s face it, it also helps to sweeten the liqueur).

Most sloe gins are homemade, at least in areas where hedgerows are native. There are a few commercial sloe gins produced across the world… and, as far as I’m aware, the only one produced in Australia is right here in Tasmania, by McHenry Distillery. It’s not that surprising that down south’s where it’s at—Tassie is the corner of the country with a climate most fitting for blackthorns to grow. I have it on good authority that Bill McHenry’s sloe berries are all authentically foraged, too… and I was pleased as punch to get to stir a soaking vat of sloe on my visit to McHenry’s earlier this month.

Sloe Gin Fizz


Add all the ingredients except the soda to a shaker and fill with cracked ice. Shake, and strain into a chilled highball glass (no ice). Top with soda, making sure you get a decent fizz out of it—splash it in there!


My mistake was to use ice in my glass, but that’s always the way when you rush around trying to settle on one of many different recipes out there. Ah, the joy of a real classic that nobody can quite agree on. What should be easy enough to agree on is that fizzes should be sans ice in the glass, and historically were a morning drink—a hair of the dog, if you will. Get fizzed and you’ll be right for the day, if you’re picking up what I’m putting down.

I didn’t have any issue causing a proper fizz with the soda water I used. This was my first time playing with Daylesford & Hepburn’s wares and it was a real treat—beautiful fizzy water that was up to the task. I’ve got some more lovely bottles to play with if I can squeeze them in to the rest of Ginuary, too. Fingers crossed!

Now pick up that fizz and slam it down. No time for mucking about.

Ginuary 27th: Army Barrel.

WELP, this wasn’t supposed to happen. But it was delicious, and that’s always the end goal, so here’s to wonderful mistakes.

Army Barrel

  • 60ml barrel aged gin (I used Four Pillars)
  • 40ml fresh lemon juice
  • 20ml orgeat syrup


Shake all ingredients over ice, then strain and serve in a cocktail glass with a dash of Angostura bitters floating on the top.


A delicious mistake.

A delicious mistake.

Looks good, right? Sounds good too, yes?

Cocktail buffs, have you spotted yet what I’ve done?

Let me give you the answer in any case, because I’m not going to leave you hanging. Funny story. A few weeks ago I went searching for some cocktails that used navy strength gin, because I wanted to make the most of the fact that I have some in the cupboard this year. I found this blog post and pinned it, and once I got some orgeat it was back in the game. That there is a recipe for the Army & Navy cocktail—a cocktail that was first printed around 1948 but existed who knows how much longer before that. But it’s not the common recipe you’ll find around the traps, speaking of 1948. That drink looks more like 60ml gin, 15ml lemon and half that orgeat—but it’s also not specifying navy strength, so maybe the Four Pillars guys took that into consideration when altering the recipe. I’ll reckon so.

But none of that really matters anyway, because after a very long day at work today I grabbed the Four Pillars Barrel Aged instead of the Four Pillars Navy Strength, and I guess I made an Army Barrel instead of an Army & Navy.

But it all worked out well in the end because how could it not be delicious when it’s so nice and simple? And the world needs more ways to play with barrel aged gin anyway. I’d be inclined to play around more with the measures in the future, but at the same time, this really was tasty, so would I really? Would you?

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