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Spinach-pear-lime smoothie

16 Jun

Spinach-pear-lime smoothie

We were relatively late to the Nutribullet party. But once I submitted to pester power and bought one, and we made up for lost time.

Nothing was safe from being blitzed into a drinkable state. Fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables, nuts, seeds, juice, avocados, oatmeal, ginger, yogurt, herbs, cold coffee, chickpeas, rice… they’ve all been taken for a spin.

Some combinations were a success; others left us gasping at their horribleness.

Eventually, I hit on a smoothie combination that works for me –  spinach-pear-lime smoothie has become my go-to smoothie. I have it at least twice a week, and I haven’t tired of it yet…

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Margo’s martini

25 Jan

Margo's martini

With only two ingredients to worry about, you’d think it would be a straightforward matter for a bartender to make a decent martini.

But the number of crummy martinis I’ve been served over the years are proof that this isn’t the case.

Happily, we are in the fortunate position of having two good friends who are known for their skill with martini shaker. Continue reading

Rosemary gimlet

19 Aug

Rosemary gimlet

Cutting back an unruly rosemary bush that was over-reaching itself in the garden has left me with an abundance of fresh rosemary. Besides incorporating it into our last few meals, I made a bottle of rosemary syrup to drizzle over apple-based desserts, and use to glaze my next rosemary loaf cake.

I then got the idea of making a rosemary-based cocktail… An internet search turned up this rosemary gimlet on David Lebowitz’s website.

Having tried it his way, I decided that I prefer mine with a higher proportion of lime juice and rosemary syrup to gin. That way you can have two…;-) Continue reading

Lemon mint

11 Apr

Lemon mint

We spent Easter in Bahrain visiting friends, where we were introduced to a drink called lemon mint. One glass and we were hooked, ordering it at every opportunity.

Lemon juice and fragrant mint are blended with ice to make a lovely, refreshing pick-me-up. The key is not to over-sweeten the mix – add just enough sugar to take the edge off the lemon’s sharpness. Continue reading

French 75

19 Dec

french75

We won’t be repeating our twelve cocktails of Christmas extravaganza this year, but we did want to mark the start of the holiday season with something festive.

The French 75 (or Soixante-quinze) is apparently named after a field artillery gun, because of the punch it packs. Adam sees it as a gin and tonic for the Christmas season, a time of year when you do things like substitute champagne for tonic water…;-)

I recognise it as the inspiration for last year’s A Cocktail of Two Cities, which had the same London/Paris-gin/champagne thing going on.

A simple, elegant drink, the magic of a French 75 is in the balance of ingredients: gin, lemon juice, sugar and champagne. I went for a 2 to 1 ratio of the gin/lemon mixture to champagne.

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Scott’s martini

24 Jun

Scott's martini

There are a lot of strong opinions about what makes a great martini. Personally, I’m pretty flexible. I’ve enjoyed them with gin and vodka – dry, wet or dirty. I’m happy with olives, lemon peel or a cocktail onion (though actually I think that’s a Gibson).

Two essentials for me: A great martini must be icy cold. And it must achieve a satisfying balance between its elements. Otherwise, it’s just a cold glass of gin…

I’m in the happy position of having two good friends who make great martinis. As Scott is visiting from Canada this week, I’m featuring his version here (with permission).  Continue reading

Manhattan cocktail

29 Mar

Manhattan cocktail

I’ve been taking things easy on the drinks front since our cocktail-tastic Christmas. But as the end of a busy work week loomed, the thought of a TGIF cocktail was pretty tempting.

The Manhattan has only three ingredients – rye whiskey, sweet vermouth and bitters. As a Canadian, I have a nostalgic fondness for Canadian Club, but there are a lot of rye whiskeys to choose from these days, and bourbon works as well. Continue reading