James West

May include blinky lights. And cocktails.

Tag: cocktail

Agua de Valencia

Why wouldn’t you make a jug-full?

This is a refreshing jug of instant sunshine. You might think a mix of orange juice, gin, vodka and Cava is only a summer drink, but you’d be wrong. As a reminder of warmer weather on a dark winter night this is just the job, and as it’s so refreshing it might help if you over do it with the winter warmers.

Agua de Valencia is really easy to make. You’ll need a jug that’ll hold about a litre. Pour in a wine glass full of orange juice, add a little dab of sugar, 50ml1 each of gin and vodka and top up with as much of a bottle of chilled Cava that’ll fit in your jug. Pour immediately into wine glasses and get on with it. When you’ve served your first glasses you can top the jug up with any Cava that’s left in the bottle.

We first came across this on an episode of Travel Man when Richard Ayoade and Sara Pascoe enjoyed the drink in Valencia, and had to have a go at making it ourselves. It’s a lovely drink, and I’m sure we’ll also be enjoying this outside in the summer months.

Quick make: cocktail cabinet LED rainbow

We love our cocktail cabinet, bought at a vintage shop in Northallerton. But you can improve everything by adding LEDs to it, right?

Cocktail cabinet lights

After finishing my K9 build I’ve time to spend on a few smaller ideas I’ve had kicking around, like how to make the cocktail cabinet glow. I splurged on a Mote kit from Pimoroni and the pHat to go with it. I made a simple frame from some plywood that was in the shed and screwed the Mote strips to the outside edges. A Pi Zero W went in the middle and I threaded the cables through the gaps I’d left at the corners.

Mote sticks frame

A couple of screw eyes and some picture wire let me hang it on a picture hook behind the cabinet. I’ve just got one of the example scripts provided by Pimoroni running for the rainbow effect, but in the future I’d like to make the LEDs flash or change colour in response to a Twitter hashtag like #cocktailtime

I also think it’s time for that wallpaper to go, and paint a nice clean white wall instead.

Corpse Reviver no. 2

This weekend we stayed at Stow House, just by Aysgarth Falls in the Yorkshire Dales. We have history with the place, having been back several times since our wedding reception there in 2000.

In the last few years Stow House (built in the 1870s for Reverend Stow who was Rural Dean of Wensleydale and a keen photographer) has been brilliantly refurbished by Sarah and Phil Bucknall who aim to provide beautiful rooms, excellent service and punch-packing cocktails. On Saturday before we went out for dinner, Sarah made us one of those cocktails and it certainly lived up to the mission statement. Rather than offering a full cocktail menu, Sarah asks what you like as a base for your drink and then suggests something for you. We went with gin, and Sarah offered us the Corpse Reviver No. 2, adding that it was one of the drinks made by Harry Craddock at the Savoy, and recorded in his Savoy Cocktail Handbook.

The recipe requires equal measures of gin, lemon juice, Cointreau, and vermouth to be shaken with ice and strained into a glass that’s had a rinse of absinthe. Lots of the recipes online specify Kina Lillet – as used in James Bond’s Vesper – for the vermouth, but that’s not available now so I reckon you can use whatever you’ve got in the cabinet. If you’re short of absinthe I expect you could get away with using pastis for an anise flavoured rinse.

Sarah’s Corpse Revivers were delicious, with an orange-and-lemonyness not unlike Inamoratas. It’s a refreshing drink that we’ll definitely be mixing at home, but I’m not sure I’ve the strength of constitution to drink it as a hair-of-the-dog.

Inamorata

My mother-in-law read Veronica Henry’s “A Night on the Orient Express” which includes a recipe for a cocktail called the Inamorata. Knowing that we like a cocktail, she passed this on we’ve been regularly enjoying these ever since. The ingredients are inspired by the journey from London through Paris onto Venice.

  • 25ml lemon juice
  • 50 ml London dry gin
  • 25 ml Cointreau
  • Prosecco

The lemon juice, gin and Cointreau are shaken with ice cubes, strained into a glass and topped up with prosecco. It’s a delicious and refreshing drink that has entirely dishonourable intentions, and if you risk a second one it will try to take advantage of you.

Inamorata

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