Ginuary 1st: Happy Monday!

Hello, world! I’m so ready for Ginuary the fifth! I’m pumped! I’m firing on all cylinders! I think counting down on my new instagram account really helped to get me into gear this time around—I may not actually be more organised but I feel more organised, and that’s the important thing.

I celebrated this new year the same as the last, at my friends’ house perched high on the hill with a beautiful view of the city. This year I had it lazy, though. Last year I had to bring along all the bits and pieces to make a fancy post-midnight punch to welcome in Ginuary, but this year we had cocktail maestro and alchemist Chris presiding in the kitchen and keeping everyone’s cups full all night. I unfortunately had to largely abstain because I’m at work today, but from the enthusiastic responses to every drink handed over, I was quite jealous. Still, once midnight had passed and the fireworks were over, I asked Chris if he’d come up with a cheeky gin-based drink for me.

Happy Monday!

  • 45ml gin (Chris used Beefeater)
  • 30ml Aperol
  • 15ml sugar syrup
  • juice of half a lime
  • 2 barspoons of cherry juice (preferably fresh)
  • 1 egg white

Shake through ice, serve up and top with soda (around 60ml).

 

Happy Monday! Plus Codewords.

Happy Monday! Plus Codewords.

The name comes from something that very quickly became an in-joke. Allow me to explain. As the countdown finished and we all cheered, my friend Bryce got a bit confused in his excitement and instead of rolling with “happy new year” along with the rest of us, went rogue with “HAPPY MONDAY!” Maybe he just really likes Mondays? I mean, it isn’t even Monday today. It’s Friday. Well done, Bryce.

Chris is a cocktail alchemist but doesn’t do the naming, so once this drink was created and sampled, the naming was thrown to the table. There was only one name for it, as far as we all were concerned, and thus the Happy Monday! was born. It’s a little bit tart, a little bit sweet with a splash of beautiful fresh Tassie cherries, and it was a wonderful way to ring in the new year. So wonderful that once it existed, Chris had to make it another ten or so times.

Happy new year, happy Monday apparently, and happy new Ginuary. To your health!

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.
 
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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 26th: Pavlova Gin Fizz.

So this is the second year in a row now I’ve spent my 26th of Ginuary up at my friends’ place, celebrating us all having a day off and yet not being particularly patriotic because I don’t think Australia Day is entirely appropriate. Anyway. This isn’t a political blog, it’s a gin blog.

This year I found what I thought was going to be a slightly ridiculous and potentially kinda gross recipe.

Pavlova Gin Fizz

  • 45ml gin (I used my Bespoke gin)
  • 10ml lemon juice
  • 10ml lime juice
  • 5ml sugar syrup
  • AND A CHUNK OF LEFTOVER PAVLOVA

 

Add all ingredients with a heap of ice to the shaker and shake until you are blue in the face. Literally – as hard and as long as at least two people can handle. Gotta emulsify that pav, fellas.
Double strain into a glass full of crushed ice and top with about 20ml soda water.

 

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HELP ME. THIS WAS DELICIOUS. I WAS AND CONTINUE TO BE OVERWHELMED BY HOW TASTY THIS WAS.

The pavlova is a fairly iconic dessert for Australia, despite its origin being New Zealand and its name being Russian. Hey, for those who’ve come across the seas, right? This was actually the first pavlova I’ve ever made (read: decorated; I totally used a store-bought base after discovering that was A Thing only last month). I was very excited about it. Look at it! It’s lovely.

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Passionfruit was drizzled just prior to serving. Good first effort?

You can only ever make a pav when you know it’s all gonna get eaten, because they don’t keep. So the pavlova gin fizz is a perfect way to use up your leftover pav and TASTES LIKE HEAVEN. I opted to fill a jar I’d been drinking from earlier, leaving some muddled fruit in the bottom and covering that with crushed ice before straining the drink in.

I’m still having a lot of feelings, thinking about that drink. I think I’ll hope for leftover pav every time pav makes an appearance in the future. Because oh my.

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Dear pavlova, who knew you could become something EVEN MORE magnificent!?

 

Ginuary 25th: Navy Four Christmas.

Ok, I’m going to post today’s recipe with the minor tweak that I made, to give myself a bit of confidence. That’s exciting!

Navy Four Christmas

  • 30ml navy strength gin (I used Four Pillars)
  • 15ml Campari
  • 15ml Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
  • 15ml sugar syrup
  • juice of half a lime

 

Shake all ingredients together, strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with your favourite fruit and a single lovely ice cube because this is a strong one.

 

Too hipster? Or just hipster enough?

My only tweak* was to swap out standard gin for navy strength, because I wanted to use Four Pillars but I didn’t want to open my precious remaining Batch No_1 Rare Dry bottle (I’ve already drunk the other one, of course). I do have an open bottle of Gunpowder Proof, though. So I changed the measurement from 45ml gin to 30ml navy strength, just in case. TASTES GREAT.

Ginger twitch? Yup.
Campari bite? Present.
Navy strength punch? Holler.

Garnished with a white flesh peach, one of my many favourite fruits, and a delightfully wonderful choice considering the colour that the shake resulted in!

I also had to name the thing, because I got the recipe from Four Pillars’ twitter account back on Christmas eve, where it was just referred to as “our xmas day cocktail“. So I’ve called my tweak the Navy Four Christmas, and if you say it out loud, it lines up beautifully and phonetically with “day before Christmas”, and that happened accidentally. So cheers, and because I have work to do, I’m going to have another one.

*A slight lie, but my only other tweak was to use 7.5ml of 2:1 sugar syrup instead of 15ml 1:1 because I have a batch of that in the fridge. Forgive me.

Ginuary 23rd: Foolproof.

So excited that my orgeat syrup finally arrived today, after dreaming of it all month. Each year I seem to fixate on one particular ingredient: this year is the year of the orgeat. Orgeat (pronounced or-ZHAHt; it’s French) is a non-alcoholic syrup made from almonds, sugar and either rose water or orange flower water. You can make it yourself but it’s a detailed process and during Ginuary, time is precious. (Excuses, excuses: I’m also just lazy.)

Foolproof

  • 30ml genever
  • 30ml triple sec
  • 7.5ml orgeat syrup
  • 2 dashes angostura bitters
  • 2 dashes orange bitters
  • 10ml absinthe

 

Chill a mixing glass with ice and the absinthe. Strain out and discard the absinthe before adding the other ingredients. Stir until chilled and strain into an ice-filled rocks glass.

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This drink is but one of many on the orgeat to-do list—I was surprised to find how quickly that list grew when I was coming up with possibilities for this year (hence why I had to get my hands on some). The Foolproof was also on the genever list, something else I’ve badly been wanting to play with for a while! And yet it wasn’t too complicated: a rinse and a stir and drink it up.

And by gosh was it sweeter than expected. So sweet. SO sweet! YEESH. I’m glad that I drank it, but it was far too sweet for me to return to it.

Ginuary 22nd: Gin & Jam.

I’m finally on the upswing from this darn head cold, so much so that today was my first day back at work. Not enough so that I could handle a full day… I was ready to pass out about three hours before the end of my shift. Ah well. Maybe tomorrow.

That meant that tonight’s drink needed to be simple, because I’ve been ready for bed since I got home. Luckily, I just picked up some awesome new jam while I was out at Bangor the other day.

Gin & Jam

  • 60ml gin (I used Tanq No. Ten)
  • 30ml lemon juice
  • 15ml sugar syrup
  • 1 tsp raspberry jam (& spoonful for garnish)

 

Shake all ingredients with ice, and strain over crushed ice in a double old fashioned glass, or something of that ilk.
Top with a spoonful of jam, and stir it in while you drink.

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For some reason I thought there would be some soda water top up or something involved with this, but NOPE! Simple and delicious and straight forward. I love a classic booze/sugar/lemon/FUN hit. So many possibilities. And yet still simple. Perfect choice; just what today needed.

Ginuary 15th: Breakfast Martini.

This year is the first year of Ginuary where I’ve been presented with some fairly well-known gin concoctions, done a quick check to see if they’ve been already ticked off the list, and discovered that they haven’t been. Unblogged territory. The gin sour on the 5th was a startling discovery, and more recently I realised I hadn’t yet done a breakfast martini yet, either.

But thank gosh for the latter, because had I already done one, it surely would have been with a lesser marmalade. You see, I’ve only just procured a jar of joy and wonder. What am I talking about? I’m talking about Four Pillars Gin’s Breakfast Negroni.

 
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What’s up with this marmalade? Does it have gin in it? Not exactly, no—but that’s part of the beauty of it. Breakfast Negroni is made from the oranges that Four Pillars use in their distillation for their delicious Rare Dry Gin. Yep, whole oranges make up one of their ten botanicals! And the guys got very “waste not, want not”… and Breakfast Negroni was born. Now, it’s named so because it does contain a splash of Campari, and I guess technically it contains gin, if the distillate had to pass through the oranges-cum-marmalade to become gin.

But it didn’t seem right to just have marmalade on toast for a day of Ginuary (though I won’t lie, I would have totally done this if I could have justified to my brain that this was absolutely a gin product, not a byproduct…). Then I narrowed my eyes, did a quick search through the site, and—baffled and yet delighted—made myself a breakfast martini.

Breakfast Martini

  • 60ml gin
  • 22.5ml fresh lemon juice
  • 22.5ml Cointreau or triple sec
  • 1tsp orange marmalade

 
Shake ingredients with ice and double strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a coin-sized piece of orange rind or a strip of zest, first squeezed over the drink. (I also quickly rimmed the glass with the squeezed rind.)

 

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For a drink with no sugar syrup, the breakfast martini is surprisingly sweet, but also nice and tart on the tastebuds. It doesn’t have to be a brunch cocktail, and yet because of the marmalade ingredient it’s often on brunch cocktail lists. I’m not complaining. I had to stick to this trend and have mine with breakfast (marmalade on toast, of course).

Ginuary 12th: Lemon Lavender Fizz.

There’s this lavender bush that I walk past every day on my way home and sometimes I’ll grab a sprig or two of lavender to carry with me. Sometimes I shove them in my hair. In Ginuary I shove them in a drink.

Lemon Lavender Fizz

  • 60ml gin
  • 40ml fresh lemon juice
  • 20ml lavender sugar syrup*
  • sparkling mineral/soda water

 

Pour gin, lemon juice and lavender syrup into a glass and stir. Top with soda, add some ice and garnish with a lemon wheel and a sprig or two of lavender.

*To make the lavender sugar syrup, just add around 1tbsp dried lavender buds to 200ml sugar/water as you’re making it.

 

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Isn’t this one as pretty as a picture? Yes, that’s “foraged” lavender… thanks, neighbour!

I originally stumbled across this recipe on a Pinterest trawl, where I found Bakenoir’s take on it. Their fancy-looking glass confused me but also excited me but also seemed to go against their actual recipe, which calls for a top-up with soda water. I wanted to do the pretty, fancy version though, so I did.

And darn it if I didn’t find it a bit too sweet. Good for a sweet tooth, probably, but the equal parts syrup and lemon weren’t hitting it off for me. So I went back in for round two, going for more of a long glass approach a la the original recipe from Saveur, but ignoring their measurements—which called for a higher syrup to lemon ratio! Nope, nope, nope…

I made a half-strength with 30ml gin, 20ml lemon and 10ml syrup… and I’m happy to say that’s bang on the money for me, but I think the important thing to take away here is that it’s a nice simple drink you can start with less syrup on and then just adjust to your personal preference. Because whee, lavender sugar syrup!

Yeesh, I just had the last mouthful of v.1 after making v.2 and it’s close to sickeningly sweet. Horses for courses. Glad I went ahead with v.2. Go your own way!

Ginuary 11th: the Cherry Fling.

The berry influx continues with today’s recipe! On my birthday I bought 2kg of the juiciest and most delicious cherries in the world (I will fight you if you dispute this) from the Huon valley down here in Tassie, and I knew I had to turn some of them into a cocktail. Teamed with finally having a bottle of genever to play with this month, I stumbled across this recipe that oozed with potential.

The Cherry Fling

  • 60ml genever
  • 30ml fresh lime juice
  • 7.5ml sugar syrup
  • 4-6 sweet cherries

 

Muddle the cherries in a cocktail shaker. Add the other ingredients and ice. Shake and then fine-strain into a chilled flute. Garnish with a big fat cherry.

 

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Full credit to Putney Farm for the creation of this one, and you can read about that creation story right here. Check out the red of my finished drink compared to theirs! Not bragging, just interesting. This is one of the reasons I love using fresh ingredients, because regionally and seasonally the results can be different in interesting ways.

CHERRIES. Also I like the name of this one, for reasons.

This was a delicious way to end a working Sunday, with the flavours coming together nicely (cherry and lime is always a winner) and the sugar not overbalancing but equalling out the lime and genever just nicely. Yes, delicious. I wonder if I have enough cherries for another. First I have to do some prep for coming days… me? Organised? Not really, don’t worry.

Ginuary 9th: Genever Blue.

I’ve got a bunch of fresh berries kicking around in my fridge right now, so I’m going to do what I can to shove them into some drinks, because summer! Ginuary in Australia is pretty tops, and far better than a cold Ginuary in the northern hemisphere would be, I imagine. Huh. I’ve never really thought about that before. Sorry, northern hemisphere.

Genever Blue

  • 60ml Genever
  • 22ml lemon juice
  • 22ml sugar syrup
  • some blueberries
  • fresh ground black pepper to garnish

 
Gently muddle the blueberries. I threw about a dozen in, because blueberries, but YMMV. The amount you use will depend on how large they are and how sweet they are. Add the rest of the ingredients (apart from the pepper) and shake with ice, then double strain into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass. Garnish with a sprinkle of the pepper!

 

Artistic window shot.

Artistic window shot.

This one is good enough for me to have made a second one (though also because Friday night). Funny that it’s called Genever Blue when it comes out quite pink. Blueberries, pinkberries, you know what’s up.

Finally, I’m going to leave you with this earworm, because it won’t leave me. IT’S ALL OVER YOU, GENEVER BLUE.

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