The Cool House: drinking
Showing posts with label drinking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label drinking. Show all posts

Friday, August 20, 2010

Martinis & Mutts

Since we deconstructed i.e. ripped out the bar in the den I've been searching for the perfect cocktail cart for our house. We also repurposed Polly's dog bed space in the kitchen and I need to find her another napping place before winter comes. This is an ingenious solution but I'm think this might prove problematic with our hyperactive, allergy-prone itchy dog. I forsee martinis up the wall and olives behind the sofa.
BowHaus Modern Pet Crate by Den Haus via Allmodern. Also available in ZenHaus and TownHaus styles.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


It's still officially Spring so I'm going to forgo Nature's burst into bloom* and let myself be seduced again by green, or more precisely, chartreuse. A mix of yellow and green, chartreuse is bright and peppy almost like the new growth on the weeping juniper tree.


The difficulty is finding a shot that will truly reflect the color on the screen. In the yard these hostas are edged with a perfect chartreuse. On the mac? Not so much.

Chartreuse is elusive -  at first glance it's everywhere but through the camera lens the lime-tinged conifers outside the kitchen window are just pale green.

This shrub held promise but the yellow turns out to be insipid not inspirational; wishy-washy, or simply washed-out.


It's a colour that's hard to define exactly; the paint chips lean to more muddy yellow hues while the hex designation on the web is an equal mix of yellow and green that results in an acid tone. I was so obsessed with Chartreuse that when we painted the kitchen I tried many variations on the kitchen walls from Anjou Pear to Sweet Pear and every chartreuse inspired pea shade in between. Sadly none of them replicated the color that I find in my yard... or the one in my imagination.

Perhaps the problem is that chartreuse is such a saturated hue it needs a contrasting colour to set it off- a smoky blue or a stone grey,

a soft silver green or a bluey-purple?

Why the fascination with chartreuse, apart from the mellifluous sound of the word itself? Because, every so often I'm reminded that once in my sophisticated youth there was a fondness for liqueurs. I was a Benedictine girl but my drinking companion loved Chartreuse and asked for one in a country pub atop a lonely hillock in the wilds of Cumbria. She got what she deserved. The bartender laconically replied: We ain't got no green but we got som o' that yella. Our faux urbanity dissolved in a fit of giggles and henceforth "som o' that yella" was used to describe any delightful but possibly pretentious and overpriced item.

Not at all like the gorgeous chartreuse green of the new leaves on this azalea or the flecks of colour inside the white blossoms.

*(I fibbed because I couldn't leave you without one shot of the yard in bloom).

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I'm using the iphone as a portable, pictorial list-making device so next time I go to the liquor store I can remember the name of the delightfully smooth yet smokey single malt we are adding to hot water, lemon and a cane sugar cube to ward off the evil effects of the damned cold virus that's plagued as for the past 10 days. Yes, I know that's no way to treat a malt from the Islands but we're too sick to go get any Famous Grouse. It's called making do.........

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Buenos Aires: Cocktail time

Sadly inflation hit BA in the early 2000's so the $5 cocktail is now a $10 cocktail, but that didn't stop us hitting the bar every evening, especially as drinks come with great nibble - chips, almonds, cheese, savory biscuits and smoked salmon appetizers. That held us until dinner time, which as in Spain, tends to be served around 10 pm. Really, though, who needs dinner after all that? Well, we do, of course. Anyway, here's my favorite

The Plaza Bar Tango Martini

2 oz. Gin
1 oz. Cointreau
1 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
1 oz. fresh squeezed orange juice
Pour into a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake and serve.

The most refreshing Martini I've drunk. The barman also invented a new cocktail for me which was very tall and pretty and pink but rather more Verity's thing as it was reminiscent of a Mojito but gin based:

2 oz. Gin
Simple syrup
Pink grapefruit juice
Muddle the mint into the sugar. Add ice cubes, gin and top with pink grapefruit juice. Stir and serve.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Hangover: Cause and Cure

It may not amuse everyone but I think it's worth a post. This is the door of my freezer: half-empty bottles of alcohol and lots of ice packs. What else would you need for the holiday season?
Why, full bottles, of course.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday night special: The staying in version

Friday night is cocktail night but as it's also Hallow'een and I really don't want to think of a theme and go sit in a bar dressed up, I thought I'd throw my cocktail on some beef and make Martini Brisket instead. Yes really, brisket and onions in a beefy tomato sauce, finished with vodka, vermouth and olives. What could be better? The ice cold shaken martini that will go in my chilled glass, obviously.
And while I'm happily assembling the ingredients maybe you'd like a little Friday afternoon hiphop with MC Yogi?

Remember Vote for Hope

Friday, August 22, 2008

It's Cocktail Time (again)

The quintessential British summer drink: Pimm's. There should be Borage but I can't find any on the Island so I'm making do with cucumbers. And they're not even proper English cucumbers but something called a Mediterranean cucumber. Looks like a pickle to me. This is some bastardized version of a beloved summer drink.

Why is Polly gazing down the garden path, you ask? She can see the road from there and she's hoping someone will come along to share the cocktail. I hope they're bringing food, too.

One non-authentic but nevertheless perfect* Pimm's
1 part Pimm's No.1
3 parts 7UP or Sprite
sliced cucumbers
sliced lemons
pared lemon peel to dangle over the rim of the glass in a fancy way (optional)

*I actually don't feel this is strong enough to qualify as a real cocktail so I add a measure of my new favourite gin, Miller's, which tastes more of cucumbers than even Hendricks, to each glass. Drink responsibly!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Where there's life there's....

... a Belgian takeover of one of the icons of American popular culture. Allez les belges!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

An orange, orange scones and a goldfish

Marilyn at Simmer Till Done had a mouth-watering post on Orange Chocolate Chip Scones that sent me straight to the kitchen. But I'm a purist. I like my chocolate in bars or occasionally in the form of pralines with creme fraiche, but never in the form of chips. What to do? Substitute the choc chips for ginger of course. Except when I got to the store cupboard I was out of crystallized ginger. But I did have orange flavored cranberries, hee, hee.

Her recipe is here. All you have to do if you want to make my scones is replace the words chocolate chip with dried cranberries and viola. Couldn't be simpler, could it? See that gorgeous mesh of grated orange zest? It smells as good as it looks and it leaves the rest of the orange for you to make something else with that we'll get to in a minute.

Marilyn makes beautiful scones, in triangles. Go back and look at her photos. That's what they are supposed to look like. I make odd shaped squares

and circles; but they still taste great, not English scones but American scohnes, not too sweet and full of flavour.

Remember that orange I zested earlier?
Cut the orange in half and juice it, cut a lime in half, cut a slice from the middle and reserve, then juice the two lime halves, too. Take a highball glass and half fill with ice cubes, or if you are British, use the two ice cubes you are allowed under rationing rules, add a measure or two of gin to the glass, pour over the juice, top with tonic water, stir. Garnish with that reserved slice of lime. Delicious, refreshing and full of vitamins.
The goldfish? It was decorating the glass swizzle stick and I dropped it, snapping him off. I have a few of them now and I'm thinking of using them as table decorations next time we have people to dinner.....