November 11 is Singles Day. And while this new global ‘holiday’ is currently a Chinese phenomenon it’s predicted to be bigger than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined! (Could it be just a matter of time before everyone is celebrating?)
This holiday is NOT political or religious and started back in the 1990’s as a ‘tongue in cheek’ Anti Valentines Day event among university students in ‘celebration’ of their ‘singleness’. It was known as the ‘bare stick’ holiday in recognition of the date (11:11) and the participants.
Adopted by Jack Ma and Alibaba in 2008 it is now the world’s biggest online shopping day and a great excuse to treat yourself (and your friends) to something special. Or maybe get a head start on your Christmas and Holiday shopping lists.
Alibaba goes all out to make it an unique shopping experience too. From Hollywood stars, Chinese celebrities and a host of additional events on the day, participants will know that this is a day to spend big.
It’s been estimated that over 15 million products are expected to be sold in categories as diverse as cosmetics, technology and even automotive. And in 2017 shoppers will also be able to shop in physical stores with Alibaba’s partnership with over 50 shopping malls around China!
Is it time to have a look at your Holiday Shopping List? Don't forget to treat yourself too! Cocktails anyone?
We can’t decide on the best name for our latest cocktail!
Did You Know? – That a Vodka based Martini is also called a Kangaroo?! Neither did we until we did some investigating. It seems the name goes all the way back to the 60’s. Which is why we’re looking for an Oz name for this cocktail created for your summer entertaining menu!
Our inspiration was this beautiful Rainbow cake from @tastethelove_madewithlove at the Rose Bay Market.
We started with a reverse Martini and then decided to ‘even’ up the ingredients. Rather than Gin, we went with Vodka to let the Oz vermouth take centre stage. And of course we needed a Shrub. The Riberry was perfect for both flavour (a touch of spice) and colour.
The first 3 ingredients are equal in quantity and we finished with a flourish of Watermelon Juice with it’s delicate, and light and subtle sweetness. (This ingredient will be a Summer '17 favourite!) The result is a cocktail with style and flavour without being overwhelming. We’re sure it will be a summer favourite!
15 ml Alaskan Rock Vodka
15 ml Animal Spirit Vermouth
15 ml Riberry Shrub
60 ml H2 Melon Water
- Add all ingredients to cocktail shaker and shake to mix well.
- Pour into *‘well dressed’ flute.
*(Rim dipped into Riberry Shrub and then dipped into edible sugar beads to coat the rim. The sweet version of a Margarita presentation.)
Serve & Enjoy!
Jazz up your glasses in a Jiffy!
All it takes is a few minutes, 2 saucers, decorating sugar and a little planning to make your cocktails look spectacular.
We used our Riberry Shrub (a little extra from our upcoming cocktail recipe).
Prepare the saucers first so that you can work quickly. Pour a small amount of the Shrub or other liquid into a saucer. (We prefer the Shrub as it's thicker and we knew the sugar would adhere to its ‘stickiness’.) Dip the cocktail glass into the liquid to lightly coat the rim. Allow any excess liquid to drip back into the saucer. Then quickly dip the ‘rimmed’ glass into your selected trim of icing/sanding sugar or 100’s & 1,000’s, etc. Swirl the glass to give it an even coating.
Upright the glass (and admire). You may want to chill them to allow the sugar to set before you pour the cocktails. (This can be done up to several hours before the party.)
Just pour the drinks and take the credit for your glamorous presentation!
(Cocktail recipe to follow, promise.)
It’s Spring and time to start edging away from stews and casseroles into lighter menu options. Why not start with a simply 4C platter? Cheese, Crackers, Charcuterie and Chutney. They’re simple, easy and satisfy a multitude of appetites and tastes.
Think of these plates as ‘Cheese Plus’. Cheese may be the ‘biggie’ but all of the accompanying elements are just as important to round out the ‘platter’ flavours. The Crackers hold the cheese but they also hold the patè. And the Chutneys add a sweet and tart bite and point of difference to both the cheese and the ‘meat’ elements.
While big platters are great for big crowds here are two mini combos, made with NSW artisan goodies and our special Chutneys to get you started.
Are you a culinary traditionalist? Do you love a Ploughman’s Lunch with the traditional cheddar cheese wedge and cold meats? Here’s the 2017 Sydney market version, our perfect Traditional nibble platter:
Cheese: Harrigans Vintage Cheddar (The Hunter Valley Cheese Factory)
Crackers: Falwasser Rosemary & Sea Salt Crispbread
Chutney: Currong Comestibles’ Spicy Riberry Chutney
Charcuterie: Julianne’s Kitchen Duck & Currant Paté
Or would you prefer something different to nosh on for your afternoon goodies. Maybe something visually different to your traditional platter? What about this option with smoked fish swapped for the traditional patè and a soft goats’ cheese. Our Minimalist nibble platter:
Cheese: Willowbrae Chèvre (Goat) Cheese
Crackers: Falwasser Activated Charcoal Crispbread
Chutney: Currong Comestibles’ Rainforest Lime & Mango Chutney
Charcuterie: Brillant Food’s Ocean Trout Gravlax
What are your Platter favourites? Please let us know. (The first 5 answers will get our Chutney Duos for their Spring platters!)
*One of the great things about multiculturalism is that you grow up with a wider selection of words to fit occasions, situations, foods, etc. And the words aren’t just generational slang but rather words that have a history. So it is with ‘nosh’ which is Yiddish for a snack. PS: it’s always called a ‘little nosh’ despite whatever size platter it is. (It’s a grandmother thing!)
It’s September and time to officially welcome Spring to Oz! The last few weeks have been a roller coaster of weather, sometimes hot, sometimes cold. Well now it’s Spring and time to think positively about the longer days and warmer weather.
Our contribution to the new season is the G&T Muddle. Quick and easy (our mantra) it tastes fabulous! A touch herbal, sweet and tart it’s bound to put you into the right mood for this time of the year.
30 ml Poor Toms Gin (We love it’s light, fresh flavour and label)
15 ml Rainforest Lime Shrub
60 ml Tonic Water
3-4 Mint Leaves
3-4 Cucumber Slices
- Muddle Cucumber Slices, Mint Leaves and Rainforest Lime Shrub in cocktail shaker.
- Add Gin into cocktail shaker with ice and shake to mix
- Strain into glass with ice cubes.
- Top with Tonic Water.
- Add Cucumber and Mint to garnish.
What better way to say ‘Hello Sunshine’!