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 10th: the Bloodhound.

I’ll be honest here, I had much more exciting plans for today but then I picked up a shift at work and my free time became significantly reduced. Bless a Ginuary to-do list.

The Bloodhound

  • 45ml gin (I used Plymouth)
  • 22.5ml sweet vermouth
  • 22.5ml dry vermouth
  • 2-3 muddled strawberries

Shake ingredients with ice and double strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with another strawberry or three. 

 

Simple. Easy. A strawberry perfect martini, I suppose. This drink will depend on the quality of your strawberries and mine may have been a bit beyond ripe, but still… still good. 

It’s been a big day, I don’t have any other floral words. Enjoy!

Ginuary 9th: G+T iceblocks.

Hot dang, am I glad I made these up last night or what! This afternoon was warm, and I couldn’t think of anything I wanted more. I polished one off for the photoshoot and then strolled to work eating a second one, because summer is here.

G + T Iceblocks

Or G + T Popsicles. Or G + T Ice Lollies.

  • 2 cups of tonic (I used Blood Moon Tonic)
  • 30ml gin (I used Hendrick’s)
  • a handful of cucumber slices
  • juice of 1/4 lime

I had eight moulds that this amount fitted perfectly for, but it’s very easy to adjust for more (or drink leftovers). Set your slices in the moulds (they won’t stay, they’ll float, but let’s pretend they’ll stay) and mix the liquids together before pouring into each mould.

Freeze overnight, at least. Just chill out. Enjoy on a hot day.

I was honestly going to save these for a little later down the track but today they hollered at me so loudly I couldn’t resist. Frozen cucumber sure has an interesting texture! It’s fine, it’s fine. I love these. Grown-up iceblocks for grown-ups. No real sweetness to them (unless you class tonic as sweet, I guess it’s got its own weird sweetness), literally just a frozen gin and tonic. If you can resist drinking your gin as soon as it hits glass, I highly recommend freezing it. Because of the booze, the iceblock is still that crunchy, shattering kind of frozen… which, I’m gonna be honest, is absolutely my favourite kind of frozen. Apart from the Disney movie. Let it go, Mem, just finish the post. Ok.

Ginuary 7th: gin-pickled zucchini rainbow salad.

More food! What can I say, I’ve got a lot of gin food recipes up my sleeve at the moment and they’re the ones I’m most excited for this year (or week, at least).

Gin-Pickled Zucchini

  • 3 zucchinis
  • 1 Tbsp gin (I used Tanqueray)
  • 1/2 thumb sized piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • a generous pinch of sea salt

Finely slice the zucchini (a vegetable peeler will work). 

Toast the cumin seeds in a dry pan for a couple of minutes, until fragrant. Transfer to a mixing bowl and muddle the seeds (or you could do this bit with a mortar & pestle to be fancy). Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl (apart from the zucchini) and mix well. 

Add the zucchini to the bowl and lightly toss through the mix. Leave to pickle for at least half an hour. 

HEALTHIEST GIN EVER?

Then add to this salad.

Ok, yes, there’s a bit more to this recipe! I just didn’t want to take things too overboard in the recipe list. This pickled zucchini isn’t as stand-alone tasty as the fridge pickles from the other day, I think it needs a fresh salad to balance it out. 

The rainbow salad is very simple and easy. Just chop up a quarter of a small (YMMV) red cabbage nice and fine, combine with a segmented orange, another sliced up zucchini, and half the seeds of a pomegranate. The dressing is simple too! Half a cup of natural yoghurt, the juice of half a lemon, a Tbsp of EVOO and some sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. 

After your pickling time is up, toss the pickled zuke through the rest of the salad, then plate up with a drizzle of dressing. Garnish with the rest of the pomegranate seeds and a sprinkling of toasted almond slivers. These quantities will make around 2-3 decent servings. Double your salad (but not necessarily your dressing or pickled bits) for a larger audience.
Today was the first time that I, as a thirty-two year old adult, de-seeded a pomegranate. I think that may have been one of the main things that drew me to this recipe actually—an excuse for pomegranate. I’ve always loved it in salads but never brought one home. I found an easy trick for de-seeding, which is just to slice the fruit into quarters and then hold a quarter at a time underwater in a bowl and pull the fruit apart. The seeds all sink and the skin floats. Skim the skin off, strain the bowl and voila! Oodles of delicious pomegranate seeds! Now I know that trick, I can’t be stopped.

This honestly felt like the healthiest day of Ginuary I’ve ever done. I had to photograph the salad near something green because it just felt right. It was crunchy, fresh and tasty, and the gin-pickled zucchini added an interesting welcome element to the mix.

Plus I’ve now got lunch for tomorrow. 

Ginuary 6th: gin & lime cake.

Here it is! What I meant to post yesterday, but it was literally still baking at 10:30pm last night (like I said yesterday, I was a fair bit birthday lazy) and you gotta let a cake cool to ice it, so instead of birthday cake last night I had birthday cake for breakfast. Living the dream. Bless you, Ginuary.

Gin & Lime Cake

  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 3/4 cup castor sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp freshly zested lime rind
  • 1/4 cup gin (I used Hendrick’s)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • juice of 1 lime

Preheat oven to 175°C. Mix flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside.

Cut the butter into chunks. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium speed for a couple of minutes, until creamy. Add in sugar and beat on medium-high speed until fluffy (about five minutes). Add in each egg one at a time, making sure each is mixed in well before adding the next. Add in vanilla and lime zest, and mix.

With the mixer on low speed, add in half of the dry ingredients. Add in gin, milk and lime juice, mixing until combined (always scrape the bowl!). Add remaining dry ingredients and beat until just combined.

Pour into a greased dish (9×13 baking dish recommended), bake for 40-50 minutes depending on what your oven is like—you’re looking for a golden top and no jiggles in the centre.

Remove cake from oven and immediately poke holes over the top with a toothpick or fork. Pour over the gin glaze (1 3/4 cups icing sugar, 5 Tbsp gin and the juice of one lime) and then let the cake cool completely. Once the cake is cooled, ice with a mixture of 2 1/2 cups of icing sugar, 2-3 Tbsp gin and a drop of vanilla extract.

N.B. you can sub tonic water in for the gin/milk portion of the recipe if desired.

 

GIN CAKE

Best accompanied with a G&T.

Ok, I’m no baker, but this was… a piece of cake (I went there). I still made some errors, like my oven was (I think) a bit too hot and maybe (I think) I cooked the cake for a bit too long—the edges of my cake are a little brown rather than golden. I think it’s mostly because I went rogue with the tins, actually. I recently threw out the baking dish that would have likely been perfectly sized for this recipe, so I was left with a loaf tin and a round cake tin. I reckon I poured a bit too much into the loaf tin and not enough into the cake tin. There is a fair bit of rise in this batter, particularly noticeable in the loaf tin! I burnt the cake’s butt a little bit and the loaf lost a bit of its butt (so many butts), perhaps we blame my shoddy grease job or perhaps we blame the baking duration (I tend to overcook rather than undercook), but either way, it’s on me and not the recipe. The batter was epic. So fluffy and delicious! I totally 100% licked the bowl clean, I’m not even going to try to deny that.

It’s true that I had a piece for breakfast, yes. It was still delicious, despite my minor overcooking (I actually enjoy a cake crust, mmm yeah) and the glaze definitely helped to soften it up. As far as booze goes? GIN! I do somewhat regret using Hendrick’s, despite the original recipe poster advocating for it, because Hendrick’s isn’t going to dance with your lime flavours quite as amazingly as a punchy London Dry will. I ended up using Tanqueray in the icing for this reason, because by that stage I’d thought about it a lot. Cake. Speaking of the original poster, they call this a gin and tonic cake, but I’m not prepared to do that unless there’s actually tonic in the cake, and I stuck with the original recipe and used milk. Plenty of gin, though. Buckets of gin. Ok, not buckets, but yes… if you don’t notice the gin in this, maybe you have a problem and maybe you should talk to a professional about it.

So yes, I baked my own birthday cake this year. Then I realised I didn’t have anyone to share it with at home, so I brought in pieces for my workmates. They haven’t texted in dead to work yet so I think the cake must have been ok? I’m looking forward to eating the rest of it (ok maybe just another slice, let’s savour this) when I get home tonight. Because cake.

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 4th: Gin & Tonic Fridge Pickles.

All day in a beautiful location in Tasmania… with no ice. What was I going to do? I couldn’t just wait until I got home to do my daily gin, I needed to get The Shot. It was time… to crack open the fridge pickles.

Gin & Tonic Fridge Pickles

  • a handful of small cucumbers
  • 1 Tbsp juniper berries, lightly crushed
  • 3/4 cup gin (I used Gordons)
  • 30ml tonic syrup (I used Blood Moon Tonic)
  • juice of one lime
  • 2 Tbsp lime cordial
  • soda water

Wash and trim the stem tips from the cukes. Slice in half lengthwise and half again. Trim to the length of your jar (hopefully you have perfectly sized cucumbers you don’t need to do this with, or maybe I’m just super lucky)—you want the cukes to be completely submerged in liquid once you’re finished.

Mix the gin, tonic, lime juice and cordial with a splashing of soda.

Fit the pickle spears into your clean glass jar. Fill the jar but don’t cram the pickles in too tightly!

Add the crushed berries, then the liquid mixture. Top off with soda water to fill the jar and make sure the spears are completely submerged. Cap the jar tightly, give it a li’l shake, then refrigerate!

N.B. Let the pickles do their thing for at least a couple of days before eating. They will keep for at least a month in the fridge.

gin and tonic fridge pickles @ maria island national park

Pickles on location!

These pickles were the first proper Ginuary prep I did, almost a month ago! I just happened to see the perfect pile of baby cukes at Woolworths and I couldn’t resist snatching them up—the rest was too easy.

I’m not a huge fan of pickles, I’ll admit it right now. When I was in New York a couple of years ago, a couple of times we got burgers and they came with a big chunky pickle like these and I tried it for the sake of it but I wasn’t too stoked. I was one of those kids that always pulled their pickles off their Maccas burger (and once got caught flinging one at a window at Maccas, and was rightly told off). I’ve grown more fond of them in my adult years but not to the point where I’ll actively seek them out.

So I had my doubts about these. I wasn’t even planning on eating them this soon, I was going to save them for a lazy day! But I forgot about my sister and my voyage to Maria Island National Park, leaving at the crack of dawn and trekking over the beautiful island all day. I knew I wanted to take my Ginuary treat with me, but I’d left it too late to prepare anything else easily packable… and the pickles were right there in the fridge… so I threw them in my bag.

I cracked them out at lunch time, to go with the chicken and mayo sandwiches my sister had prepared for us (“NO WONDER YOUR BAG WAS SO FLIPPING HEAVY,” she proclaimed, staring at my full jar of pickles). I remained hesitant… right up until I slapped a pickle on top of my sandwich half and bit into the combo.

UM, YUM.

HOW WILL I EVER BE ABLE TO EAT A CHICKEN AND MAYO SANDWICH WITHOUT A G&T PICKLE TO GO WITH IT? BECAUSE I DON’T EVER WANT TO, EVER AGAIN.

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!

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.
 
image

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?

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