Saturday, 13 December 2014

Christmas Martini

Even though my bar-tending days are behind me I still love mixing up alcoholic concoctions, and Christmas is the perfect time to get experimenting - you'll have lots of willing test subjects too! 

I've always been a fan of the classic gin martini. I love the balance of flavours plus the punch of the alcohol. But, I've never been very keen on vodka - any vodka, its just not my bag. That is until I discovered the art of making my own flavoured vodkas. With this I have transformed what I see as liquefied hair spray into delicious beverages and bases for many a cocktail. 

This is how I made my spiced cranberry vodka, plus how to put it to good use in a Christmas Martini




The Vodka:

1 750ml bottle of vodka (I used Absolut because it has the cleanest flavour in my opinion)
300g fresh cranberries
200g sugar (use caster sugar if possible)
2 tbsp water
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom (if you can ground it yourself from the pods even better!)

  • In a large saucepan combine the sugar, the cranberries and the water together. Sprinkle in the spices and stir through.
  • Leave on a low to medium heat and occasionally stir to make sure its not sticking to the bottle of the pan.
  • Once most of the berries have split your syrup is ready. Take it off the heat and leave to cool slightly but not completely as it will be too thick.
  • In a large airtight container pour all the vodka and syrup mixture, and stir together.
  • Leave in a cool, dark place for 7-10 days. Stir once a day or when necessary to shake up the sediment.
  • Strain into a bowl/large jug. I found that I could still get more juice from the berries so I gave them a little mash and pushed the liquid through the sieve.
  • Pour into a sterilised bottle (I saved the Absolut bottle and just washed out with boiling water).
The vodka should be sweet enough from the syrup to just serve over ice, but if not add a splash of lemonade or tonic water.

The Martini:

50ml of spiced cranberry vodka
20ml of dry vermouth
1 dash of Angostura Bitters.

  • Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker
  • Add a good amount of cubed ice (about twice as much as the liquid or half the shaker)
  • Stir until diluted (depending on the heat of your surroundings this could take 10 seconds, it could take a minute. It always does well to test a little as you go along using a straw to pinch some up)
  • Strain through a fine strainer or sieve into a traditional martini glass or coupette.
  • Optional garnish of a slither of orange peel to really boost the Christmas scents.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Sunglasses, Ice Cream & Hotdogs

That is mostly what my weekend consisted of!

What a glorious weekend of sunshine and friends I had! It made me really remember how amazing summer is in this country, and I can't wait to spend it in my new East Anglian home.

Ipswich doesn't have much in the way of vintage clothes shops or lifestyle things, apart from some pretty decent bands, so I was chuffed to hear Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair was rolling into town. Myself and my friends pootled down to the fair to check it out, and were pleasantly surprised. Recently we in the vintage community have seen a bit of a, how do I put this, decline in actual vintage at the fairs, but it was great to see lots of 1960s clothes on Saturday as well as some modern reproductions of mid-century things. Even the boys had some things to look at - a true rarity nowadays!


Got snapped at Judy's!

I got myself some sunglasses (cat eye, obviously!) from a lovely stall - forget the name, sorry - that was selling prints and knick knacks. Kayla also got herself some sunnies as well as a bowling shirt. Rick picked up a Hawaiian shirt ready for my shindig at the end of the month and I think the other lads got some delights too.


As an Ipswich newbie I had yet to experience Ra Ra's Ice Cream parlour until this weekend. We must have looked a right sight all trooping into there - maybe a little movie set-ish aha! Anyway, the ice cream was delicious, as were the milkshakes and they do root beer! Yum! Now...if only they could so some more food, I think we'd make it a frequent haunt of our's!

That brings me neatly onto my next little segment. What is a summer Saturday without a few pints in the pub? We spent the rest of the afternoon and into the evening sat in a pub garden, drinking cider and eating hot dogs (well I stole chips from Rick's plate). Regardless of the odd yelp from the crowd watching the football it was a lovely evening!

After my little taster, I can't wait for summer to be in full swing!


If you liked this post, why not join me on Facebook and Twitter?


Thursday, 10 April 2014

Miss Vintage UK

Hello guys and dolls! I'm here to ask a favour really...

You know how I like to enter quite a few modelling competitions? And you know how I love all my readers so much? Well...

I would absolutely love to win Miss Vintage UK with Twinwood Festival, but I need your votes to get through to the next round! The top 20 girls and top 10 guys from the voting round will be put through to the judge's round where they will be whittled down to the top 10 ladies and top 4 gents who will be finalists at Twinwood!

So far I am in 13th place (oooh unlucky! Let's get me out of that one!) but need more votes to really secure a place so could you please give this link a click and then 'like' the photo? Because that would be fantastic!




Voting ends 17th May!

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151941298107657&set=a.10151925997677657.1073741832.30797112656&type=3&theater


Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Major Life Update.

Hello you lot! Did you miss me? I have been very busy with well...life! Yes, I finally got one!

Since I last spoke to you at the end of January I have upped sticks and moved to Ipswich! That's a bit random, I hear you cry. Well, not when you consider that my boyfriend as well as lots of friends live in the town and surrounding area. Oh, and that little fact that I landed a dreamy job that has put me on the first rung of my career in heritage! Yippee! I am now the Visitor Services Trainee (aka, intern) at the Museum of East Anglian Life; I am training in all the behind the scenes things that go on at museums that make the experience the best it can be for the visitor, and also help plan and run the events. I'll keep you all updated (she says...hopefully...) with goings on in that aspect, especially about the very exciting Blues Festival which I am sure y'all will want to know about!

What else have I done to fill my time? Well I've done lots and lots of modelling, even some paid work! I'm really glad I kick started that again as I love doing it, but now since the move it looks like I'm going to have to get to know a whole new bunch of people! My favourite shoot I did was with Paul Good, and I've put a few photos from that below because I love them so much!





March rolled around and saw me at Bedlam Breakout again. I may have gotten far, far, far too drunk on Friday night - that sort of drunk where you don't remember anything and it's not enjoyable, but you wake up with bruises - but the rest of the weekend (minus the Saturday hangover) was great! Even got the bus back with the guitarist from Frantic Flintstones! Work depending, I hope to be back there this September too.




So that is pretty much it but as you can see, life was a little bit hectic and up in the air for a few months! I've got a few blogs planned for the next month or so as it is Mid Century Market time as well as the start of weekender season - Atomic first, yay!

Catch you soon!


Wednesday, 22 January 2014

A Mid Century Marvellous Market!

So, you may remember that I mentioned Bettina Scarlett's Mid Century Christmas Market in a previous post? Well this is what I thought of it! (Hint: I thought it was swell!)

After a little journey to London, a long walk down the wrong road and many confused looks at my map, I found the location. Stepping inside I was greeted by Bettina, who was looking like a swan in water gliding around in a gorgeous Bernie Dexter dress, and I signed up the raffle - sadly I did not win, boo!

But, I did certainly come away with some bargains anyway! I had had my eye on a hair ornament (I say ornament because they are far more than just a flower!) from Rosie Alia, so when I saw a trio of silver glittery poinsettias I had to have it! It was pride of place in my hair on Christmas day. Sticking with the sparkly things I got my hands on a late 1950s/early 1960s gold top from Miss Turnstiles. I picked it up off the hanger and immediately fell in love, never did I think it would fit me, but alas it was perfect! I wore it with a pencil skirt to my parents friends' soiree and everyone admired the sparkles like little magpies! My last buy was a pair of bauble earrings; sadly no photos of those, but I loved the novelty of them!

Look at it's beauty!!
It was perfect with my poodle!

It was such a lovely excuse to go to London, and I spent the entire day with friends from all over the south who I didn't think I would get to see again until at least the springtime. Bettina had put so much work and effort into the day, and I'm so happy that it came off swimmingly for her. As London's only Mid Century market it is a refreshing take on the vintage fair that is often plagued with what I think of as charity shop fodder.

Catch Bettina Scarlett presenting her next market on 12th April, at Hammersmith Club, W6 9DH - just in time for Easter!