Ginuary 28th: the Twenty-Eighth.

I had another plan for tonight, but then it was a beautiful, rainy evening and I wanted somebody else to do the work for me. So I texted my pal Barnes and went down to say hi to him at South Seas Cocktail Lounge. The name ‘Barnes’ may ring a bell—he made me a beautiful Beetroot Collins at Ash & Bester’s last Ginuary. Between then and now he’s opened this new tiki bar. Funnily enough, it’s still a tiny, dark space, like A&B… I should talk to him about that; maybe he works best in the dark!

South Seas is coming up on its first birthday in Hobart and it’s such a joy to have it. It’s honestly tiny, only fitting a maximum of 25-30 people (and even that’s cosy). It’s also very well hidden, close to Salamanca but far enough away that you have to want to go to South Seas, and South Seas alone. It’s a tiki bar, yes, but the cocktail menu ranges from zombies to classics to bowls to new creations. There’s something for everyone!

I had originally planned on having a Suffering Bastard, but when Barnes said he was whipping up something just for me, I wasn’t going to dispute that luxury!

  

I got to name it, and historically I have a very numeric approach to drinks of Ginuary. My bespoke bottle of gin made at McHenry last year was named Ginuary 10. This bespoke cocktail made of Tanqueray, Aperol, Dolin bitters, lemon and grapefruit, topped with crushed ice and soda? This is the Twenty-Eighth. Fresh, summery and desperate to be drunk on a beach somewhere, this drink is my jam. Thanks, Barnes. 

Ginuary 26th: Sloe Pimm Fizz.

Today was a national public holiday in Australia, so like all good Australians I… worked a full day for public holiday penalty rates. My drink choice was based around a couple of Aussie (Tasmanian, to be exact) favourites I could throw in! Originally found on instagram, thanks to @haywardgary.

Sloe Pimm Fizz

  • 22.5ml gin (I used Bombay Sapphire)
  • 15ml sloe gin (I used McHenry Distillery)
  • 30ml Pimm’s No.1
  • 15ml fresh lemon juice
  • 1 egg white

Shake well with ice for a minute or so (dry shake first to emulsify the egg if you like—I did like).

Strain into a highball glass, leave to settle and then top (VERY) carefully with ginger beer.

Garnish with expressed lemon peel and discard.

 

Henry’s and McHenry!

Watch out folks, this one is SUPER fizzy! Lots of fun. No extra sweetening in here, just the sugar from the sloe gin and the Pimms, so it’s definitely a sassy drink full of flavour. I really enjoyed sipping this down and continuing to top up with ginger beer as I went.

Now to finish the leftover ginger beer (my favourite!) with a meat pie for dinner, cos Straya.

Ginuary 19th: Sloe & Sour @ Teatro Southbank.

What a day I’ve had! I could have gotten away with using what I spent the majority of my day doing as my gin of the day, but I think I’ll save it for the finished product. I’ll probably post the work in progress to Instagram, though…

On with today’s gin!

I did have to squeeze in a gin cocktail at some point today, if only to enable my new friend Amy to reacquaint herself with gin. We were off to see a music gig and just managed to score an hour up our sleeves to find something near to Hamer Hall in Melbourne to fill our bellies and wash it down. 

I am likely a pretentious jerk at times when it comes to food, and I’ll admit that the riverside Southbank restaurants in Melbourne wouldn’t be my go-to, but they were close and we were hungry on a timeframe. Teatro was a pleasant surprise. Amy and I split a pizza between us (it was fresh, with beautiful melted cheese and a chewy, woodfire-bubbled crust) and grabbed a gin-based cocktail each from the list. 

  
My Sloe & Sour was Plymouth sloe gin, chambord raspberry liqueur, peach (chunks, evidently), lemon and pineapple juice. The description mentioned that “this is a great cocktail even if you’re not a gin lover” which I mean, of course, it’s sloe gin. It’s essentially gin with a heap of berries and sugar added, and everyone loves sugar. The combination of chambord and pineapple juice even turned a little blackcurranty on the tongue, which was interesting!

Teatro saved me from having to venture out after the gig in search of a drink (I was willing but anticipating exhaustion). Of course, I could have still done that (and even used it for the 20th once the clock struck past midnight!), but with a 6am flight the next morning looming, I opted for traipsing back to my pal’s place, reorganising my bags and having a little nap before the morning alarm. 

See you next time, Melbourne! Miss you already. That was way too quick.

Ginuary 18th: Sage Advice @ Boilermaker House.

Ah, Melbourne! I do love drinking in you but gosh, I don’t have much time on this fly-by trip. I was grateful that my pal was happy to grab some dinner and a cheeky gin in town before we headed out to the Dandenongs! Dinner just happened to be right near a newish little bar that piqued my interest… 

Boilermaker House are purveyors of malt whisky and craft beer, first and foremost, so I actually felt quite chagrined enquiring after a gin cocktail. It was certainly no doing of the staff I spoke with, who were lovely—I suppose as someone who happily drinks whisky and beer as well, I put that feeling on myself. The House does have a short but sweet cocktail menu, and once I was aware that they are the younger sibling of Melbourne’s famed Eau de Vie, I knew ordering off that wasn’t going to be a problem for me.

Sage Advice is a combination of Beefeater gin, peach brandy, fresh sage and ginger, and lemon juice. It comes served in a glass made from an old wine bottle cut in half, full of crushed ice to the point where it’s spilling over the sides. Fresh sage, lemon slices and cherries serve as garnishes, and you can bet I ate those cherries. Delicious. The drink itself is complex and absolutely delicious, herbal and fresh and I wanna do it again. 

 

Sage advice: try this drink. You’re welcome.

 
Maybe next time I return I’ll get a whisky chaser, too.

Ginuary 16th: the Ophelia.

My brother got married today. Hooray! There were no spirits on offer at the wedding so I got the chance to do my own signature cocktail for their nuptials. It had to be simple enough for me to throw together on the night but still be interesting and delicious.

My brother lives in Perth, WA, and one thing I’ve noticed here is that rosemary hedges are a thing. I’ve never seen a rosemary hedge just hanging out like I’ve seen in Perth! I like to run my hands along hedges as I’m walking (I like their blunt tops) but in Perth you have to be careful doing that because sometimes you’ll end up with the smell of rosemary lingering for a good hour or two. Still, it made it very easy to narrow down an appropriate drink recipe.

The Ophelia

  • 45ml gin (I used Sipsmith)
  • 22.5ml fresh lemon juice
  • 22.5ml rosemary simple syrup
  • soda/mineral water to top

To make the syrup, mince 1/4 cup of fresh rosemary and bring to the boil with 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water. Bring off the heat and leave to infuse for a further 45mins. Double strain and bottle.

For the drink, fill a Collins glass with ice and add gin, syrup and lemon juice. Stir. Top with soda, garnish with a sprig of rosemary and a lemon wedge. 

Wedding adjustments.

I was using a much smaller glass as that’s what was wedding-ready, so I downsized the measures (a bit… well, ok… I mostly freestyled them) and went sans fresh garnish wedge but apart from that I was all systems go. (Thanks to my mother for ferrying my ingredients over to the reception venue for me.)

I was very happy with my choice! A beautiful, fresh cocktail for a warm summer wedding; I think they paired together very nicely. Now I’m off to do some more celebrating.

Ginuary 15th: Cool Hendrick’s @ Cott & Co’s Beach Club.

Sometimes the best laid plans of mice and men aren’t actually that well laid and your energy’s diverted by the swell surrounding you that’s all focused on the fact that your brother’s getting married tomorrow and you’ve been helping to set up and entertaining family all day and you just have to find the nearest available gin drink at a beachside pub and drink it in order to continue to successfully maintain your weird passion project.

  
The Cool Hendrick’s is a mix of Hendrick’s (SURPRISE!), lemon, lime, fresh mint and sugar syrup. Shaken, served up. Fresh and fruity and passable. 

Now please excuse me, I have to finish my prep for what I’ll be drinking at the wedding reception tomorrow, then I need to get as much beauty sleep as possible, because as Miss of Ceremonies I gotta be on my game.

Ginuary 11th: Gin Genie.

Oh, no. Don’t say it’s true. 

It’s with a pretty heavy heart that I do this one.

Gin Genie

  • 30ml gin
  • 30ml sloe gin
  • 15ml sugar syrup
  • 30ml fresh lemon juice
  • 8 mint leaves

In a highball glass, lightly muddle the mint leaves. Add the gin, lemon juice and sugar syrup and stir well. Add crushed ice and stir again. Top with more crushed ice and the sloe gin.

:'(

Of course I had something else planned for today but the news hit while I was still at work and hearts across the world broke. David Bowie was a unique piece of magic and we are all so lucky to have existed in the same lifetime as him. The stars look very different today. 

Cheers to you, Ziggy.

Ginuary 8th: Chilli Cucumber Cooler @ the Glass House Hobart.

I’ve been working down at Brooke Street Pier in Hobart over the past couple of weeks and it’s made me very weak at resisting the urge to drink and dine like a lady of leisure. Luckily, Ginuary is a wonderful excuse, and a very long work day today ended at the Glass House.

I love how many options are available in Hobart these days for good cocktails. When I moved down here just over three years ago the options were limited and, speaking as someone who had only just kicked off her Ginuary adventure, that was very upsetting. Each time a new venue has opened since then, a little bit of my broken heart has mended. The Glass House has been one of the most exciting openings, with a beautiful location right at the end of the new pier.

Looking out over Sullivan’s Cove from the bar.

The Glass House is technically an extension of the Islington Hotel, opened as a location to send hotel guests for a drink (as I said, options in Hobart have been on the smaller side). It also serves as a showcase for the local Tasmanian products that one of the Islington’s owners exports to Hong Kong. 

Both food and drinks can be found at the Glass House—the food menu is inspired by Japanese and Korean cuisine, and the cocktail menu revolves around classic stirred and shaken drinks (with occasional minor variations to incorporate Tasmanian products).  There are two cocktail lists—the fundamentals list was put together by Alex Watson, the Glass House’s general manager, and the seasonal list is more evolutionary, made up of things the bar staff are into right now.

Kafka and Clifford making magic.

It was a drink on the current seasonal menu that piqued my interest when doing Ginuary planning—the Chilli Cucumber Cooler. A true summer beauty, from the looks of it, and bartender Kafka—the drink’s creator—was happy to whip one up for me. And one for another patron while she was at it.

Double trouble.

The playbook for the Chilli Cucumber Cooler, after some refinement, is as follows: Poltergeist gin, Ancho Reyes chile liqueur, ginger liqueur, lime & chilli bitters, lemon and cucumber, and topped with a splash of ginger ale. This is a kicker of a long drink, cool and refreshing on hot summer days. 

The lineup.

 
The flavour took me by surprise when I first tried it—I was expecting something sweeter, but as soon as my palate adjusted, I was sold. That’s Kafka’s hand showing. Less of the sweetness, more of the complexity. The drink came about from trying to find a fun way to use the chile liqueur, and with summer just around the corner Kafka went for something longer and cooler to combat the heat.

Mid-make.

 
Let’s be real here—she nailed it. Not only that but I think this drink pairs really nicely with the fresh seafood options from the food menu. Imagine a serve of fresh salmon sashimi with a drink like this. Done and done.

Thanks to Alinta, Clifford and Kafka of the Glass House Hobart for enabling today’s gin. A refreshing tipple in a beautiful location, what more could you ask for?

Chilli Cucumber Cooler.

Ginuary 5th: Cherry Pop.

Happy birthday to me! I was super lazy today (and rightly so, birthday rules)—so lazy that what I’d planned for today’s gin ended up a bit… delayed. Luckily I had a fridge full of fresh Tassie cherries and this recipe on hand!

Cherry Pop

  • 60ml gin (I used Tanqueray)
  • 15ml maraschino liqueur
  • 30ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 15ml simple syrup
  • 3 pitted cherries

Muddle the cherries and the sugar syrup in the bottom of the shaker. Add the other ingredients and shake with ice. 

Strain into a chilled rocks glass filled with crushed ice and garnish with a cherry!

 cherry poppin' daddies 

This is a tasty, tasty sour, and I love a rocks glass with crushed ice! 

I have recently acquired the PDT Cocktail book, where this recipe comes from, but it was the Gin Queen’s post that brought it to my attention right in time for cherry season. I try to do at least one cherry gin day each year because of Tasmania’s amazing cherries, so I pocketed that link and was glad to have it on hand tonight. Those cherries in my fridge aren’t going to eat themselves, after all… any other good cherry options out there? Let me know.

Maraschino liqueur has been a very handy investment to have in my home bar. I’d recommend it to any gin lover wanting to expand their bar, because it’s come in handy for so many drinks. I’m just about done with my first bottle, so it really goes the distance too.

Anyway, I’ve got a new Bachelor episode to watch and tomorrow’s gin to finish preparing, so, gotta zip!

Ginuary 2nd: the Time Traveller.

One downside to spending the last four months recapping on Instagram is that now Ginuary is finally here again, I’m out of habit. I’ve gotten used to updating IG once a day (sometimes with a recipe) and looking back fondly on that day… but not actually drinking it. I’m all out of content! I gotta create new content! Bless my organisational skills this time around: I was ready to roll even when I didn’t finish work until 9pm.

The Time Traveller

Stir the gin, mint leaves (I spanked and tore mine) and the pulp of half the passionfruit in a tall glass. 

Top with ice and the blood orange mineral water, and garnish with the other half of the passionfruit, floated on top.

 Ginuary 2nd: the Time Traveller 

I’ve diligently hung onto these tasty mixers after having some gifted to me toward the end of last Ginuary. Ok, I’ve hung onto most of them. This one’s got 12% fruit juice and boasts no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives—after storing it in a cool, dry place for almost a year, I had to shake the bottle lightly as there was a bit of separation. Which was awesome, actually. The mineral water isn’t overly fizzy, either. It’s just lovely. The original recipe was found on Schweppes’ Cocktail Revolution and so called for Agrum but this substitute was almost too easy.

To stop sounding like an advert, YUM GIN YUM this drink is a feel-good hit for the summer. I’d love to be sitting on a sunny deck drinking more of those, but that’ll have to wait until Ginuary’s over. Twenty-nine ways of gin are yet to come. And I can’t wait!

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