The Afternoontini

It’s been a quiet couple of months on this blog.

I have been getting my house in order as my love and I prepared for a fifty percent increase in the size of our family. Our little boy Otis turned up a week ago and I’ve been able to think of little else since.

My soon to be sister in law visited today, and asked for something cold, without any alcohol. I’ve made more than a few drinks that deliver on flavour without relying on liqour of late, so this is what I whipped up.

The Afternoontini

60mls Earl Grey Tea, 30mls cloudy apple juice, 30mls fig syrup, 22.5mls freshly squeezed lemon juice, 6 drops Boker’s Bitters. Shake over ice and double strain into a iced tea service. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary and serve with tea and tiny cakes.

If you’re in Sydney, the figs are cheap and plentiful. Macerate 6 or 7 through a large strainer and combine with 500mls of simple syrup. Bottle and store in your fridge.

I have an enormous backlog of things to write about, and am judging the Gentleman’s Drink round of World Class in Sydney this month.

Stay tuned.


Marvelous Mocktails: The Blood Orange Nojito

About ten weeks ago, I found out I am going to be a dad. I couldn’t be happier at the prospect of having a wee one to teach, nuture and love, but it has bought to light a bit of a hole in my entertaining repertoire. What do you serve to someone who is not drinking? As I’ve been making quite a few of these creations, you can probably expect them to become a regular feature until mid-March, next year.

The first bit of theory, I think I’ve nailed down, is that even though my fiancée is going for a non alcoholic option, the drink should still look good. Second, as her tastes change, what was a hit yesterday is not necessarily going to be a hit tomorrow, so you might need to change the measure of sugar to taste. The recipe I’ve put down here balances the sweet and sour, but you could quite easily forgo sugar and use mint as a garnish.

The Blood Orange Nojito

Cut two thin wheels of blood orange and insert one on each side of the glass, then fill the vessel with ice. Pour 20 mls of mint syrup over the ice and top with soda, finish the drink with 20 mls of blood orange juice.

Mint syrup can be made a number of ways, but I find adding three peppermint tea bags to 250 ml of water and leaving them to steep for ten minutes and the dissolving 500 grams of sugar is the best way to get a minty and silky result.