Tag Archives: gin

Food & Drink: Adding A Twist To Classic Cocktails With Thebar.com

Posted on August 15, 2017

Hi Guys!

thebar.com recently got in touch and asked me to share my favourite classic cocktail recipe from their site, but with an added personal twist – and hopefully this will inspire you to make your own cocktails at home this summer!

I’m a big fan of cocktails, and love anything that’s particularly sweet in flavour. On the odd occasion where I do get to try a cocktail, I would usually go for a vodka or gin base, with sweet, fruity juices and flavourings. After looking at all the cocktail recipes on thebar.com, I actually found it quite hard to whittle it down to just one to try out! It was a close call between the classic Pimms and Lemonade, and the gin based English Garden cocktail. In the end, English Garden just won by a hair as I thought this was the one I’d be able to have the most fun experimenting with.

The English Garden cocktail, in case you’re not familiar with it, of course contains gin as I’ve just mentioned, as well as sweet juices, sugar syrup, mint and cucumber, combined together to make the perfect summer patio drink. I’ve been thinking how I can add my own twist to this – after trying out the original cocktail (which I love) it was quite hard to think how I could make it any better! After racking my brains thinking what I could possibly add to this that would ‘go’ with the current ingredients and also (hopefully) taste nice. I came up with a few ideas –

  • Elderflower
  • Blood orange
  • Grapefruit
  • Blackberries
  • Lemon
  • Pineapple juice
  • Edible flowers (for decoration)

So armed with my list, I took to the shops to pick up all the ingredients – I couldn’t wait to start experimenting! First of all, I couldn’t find any blood oranges, so I had to cross this off. I could have gone with normal oranges instead but I didn’t feel they were quite fancy enough so I decided to just pick up the other ingredients.

Next up was grapefruit – I’m not the biggest fan of grapefruit on it’s own, but I have had it in both cocktails and soft drinks and I’ve really enjoyed it in the past. Now this is my second fail, where you’ll be able to tell that I’m really not used to making cocktails – so I bought an actual grapefruit. Not grapefruit juice, a whole massive grapefruit. I’m not sure what was going through my head when I was in the supermarket, but I just saw it, though ‘ah I need grapefruit’ and off I went on my merry way. Once I was home and realised my error, I thought I might as well use it, so I tried mushing it up. Well as you can imagine this didn’t work out, and let’s just say the whole thing was a disaster!

So, on to the rest of the ingredients… after adding pineapple juice to the cocktail (nope this just wasn’t right) and then a splash of lemon juice (this wasn’t too bad, but just felt neither here nor there really) it just seemed like nothing was really working so far – until I tried the elderflower…

I love Elderflower cordial any way, and it just seemed like the right type of flavour to go with a gin cocktail – plus at this point I was really running low on options – so luckily, after trying a few different combinations, the obvious winner was Elderflower. I used about 20ml of my other half’s extremely tasty handmade elderflower cordial that he made a few months ago (you can pick this up cheaply at most supermarkets too) I know this isn’t the most ‘out there’ twist I could have gone with for this cocktail, but it really did taste great so I was more than happy with the outcome. I also added a sprinkle of flowers from the garden, including jasmine and daisies to really make the drink look special!

I had so much fun experimenting this weekend! If you’re a fan of cocktails yourself, definitely check out the large selection of recipes available at thebar.com for some fab summer cocktail inspiration. I hope you enjoyed my post xxx

This post is sponsored by thebar.com

Valentine’s Gift Guide for Her

Posted on February 9, 2017

Hi Guys!

Valentine’s day is almost upon us, and this is the first of three gift guides I have for you – the others will be coming up either later today or tomorrow morning. This gift guide is ‘for her’ and I’ve included loads of gorgeous bits and pieces that pretty much anyone would be happy to receive. There’s gift items in here, chocolates, alcohol, makeup and fragrance. I hope you enjoy!

I have to start this guide with one of my favourite recent fragrance launches – Jean Paul Gaultier Classique Intense EDP (£61.00 for 50ml at Boots) – Jean Paul Gaultier’s Classique fragrance really is a ‘classic’ – it was one of my very first, and favourite scents many years ago, and this this brand new intense version is just stunning. It’s very similar to the original, but heavier and more sensual. I know for a fact that fans of the original Classique will love this.

  • Top Notes: Pomegranate, Tiare Flower.
  • Heart Notes: Orange Blossom, Jasmine, Rose.
  • Base Notes: Patchouli, Vanilla.

Another new fragrance which is perfect for Valentine’s day is Agent Provocateur Pure Aphrodisiaque (£51.50 for 40ml at The Fragrance Shop) This is a romantic, floral fruity and musky scent. I was actually expecting something a lot heavier, but this is quite light and flirty, yet still very feminine and seductive. There are a few different gift set options available for this fragrance too which are perfect for Valentine’s day.

  • Top Notes: Mandarin, Anjou Pear and Rum.
  • Heart Notes: Jasmine, Wild Orchid and Indian Sambac.
  • Base Notes: Woods, Skin Musk and Amber Creme.

And lastly for fragrances I have Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely EDT (£11.00 for 30ml at Debenhams) which is a great option for those on a budget. The inspiration behind Sarah Jessica Parker’s first scent ‘Lovely’ was her love of layering scents. What became of this inspiration is a feminine and timeless signature scent for woman of all ages.

  • Top Notes: Bergamot, Lavender and Apple Martini.
  • Heart Notes: Patchoile, Paperwhites and Creamy Orchid.
  • Base Notes: Cedarwood, White amber, Sultry Woods and Musk.

On the subject of good deals, I also wanted to include the Skinchemists Rose Quartz Youth Facial Oil (£99.00 at Skinchemists) as this is currently on offer for £24.00, plus I have a discount code, so if you input TSNCBLOG at the checkout it will bring this down to £19.99 – what a bargain!

Skinchemists Youth Facial Oil is infused with a blend of hydrating, nourishing and protecting actives, to provide essential vitamins and minerals for the skin to leave the complexion illuminated, hydrated and refined. It contains Rose Otto Oil to help restore the moisture balance in the skin, Vitamin E to reduce skin damage, and Almond Oil to provide deep hydration and nourishment. The perfect product for increasing skin radiance, just 2-3 drops of this wonder oil are needed to cover the face and neck.

And what would valentine’s day be without a little tipple? Warner Edwards Rhubarb Gin Tin (£19.50 at Drink Finder) is a great choice for Valentine’s day as it tastes amazing, and it’s also pink! This gin is best served over ice and with a splash of tonic or ginger ale, to enjoy authentic British craft at its best.

And I had to include the Beauty Bakerie Lip Whip in ASOS Nude (£16.00 exclusively at ASOS) – this liquid lipstick has literally just arrived and I have to say I think I’m in love! Beauty Bakerie have two exclusive ASOS shades, one in Red and one Nude, and they dry down to a lovely matte finish that literally won’t budge all day.

Moving on to jewellery, I have these super pretty Vamp London Silver Spike Earrings (£55.00 at Browns Family Jewellers) which are Inspired by the Gothic architecture of Venice. They are from the Hidden Mask Collection, which is very 50 Shades-esque. It’s all about glamorous decadent parties, hushed whispers and intimate encounters. Considering these earrings are only £55.00, I think they’re incredibly pretty and delicate, and would make a wonderful gift.

Hopefully you can see at the back right hand side of the table, there is what looks to be a box of biscuits. But this is in fact Belgian Chocolate Biscuit Chocolates (£9.95 at Prezzybox) – these chocolates look exactly like some of your favourite biscuits. There’s jammy dodger in there, a pink wafer, and a party ring to name a few – but they’re all made of dark, milk and white belgian chocolate!

The NARS True Story Set (£35.00 exclusively at ASOS) is a stunning palette of four limited edition blushes in shades: Devotee, Myth, Unwritten, Outlaw. It also includes a Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in shade Mysterious Red, which is the perfect colour for a true red lip.

I’ve also recently been trying out some of the new Burberry Liquid Lip Velvet Lipsticks, and I’ve really been enjoying their super thick and creamy formula. I won’t go onto too much detail as I’ve already posted about them – but you can see my original review here.

For the person that has everything, what about this super sweet Silver Love Heart Trinket (£14.95 at Prezzybox) – this is an exact replica of a love heart sweet – the same size and everything, with a lovely silver plated finish. It’s a cute little keepsake gift to show someone how much you care.

This little Heart Trinket Dish (£6.95 at Prezzybox) is another fantastic bargain gift. It’s small enough to hold in the palm of your hand, and just the right size to keep small jewellery items like rings and bracelets together. The ‘Love You to the Moon and Back’ quote is a lovely touch for Valentine’s day.

Another stunning jewellery item is this Milan City Bracelet Stack (£155.00 at Annie Haak) – this super dainty stack of five sterling silver bracelets has a selection of tiny charms hanging from them, and can also be customised with an initial of your choice.

For something fun, what about this Red Face Purse (£15.00 at Emma Lomax) – this cute little fabric purse is adorned with striking lips and eyelashes, and comes in either red or pink. It’s also just the right size for carrying your cards and change.

I also wanted to include this Napoli Red Leather Journal (£32.99 at Pen Heaven) perfect for those that like to keep a written journal, or for someone that’s always writing down notes, this handmade leather jour name features a wrap-round cover, traditional gilded pages, and a heart symbol has been embossed in gold leaf in the bottom right corner, making it an ideal romantic gift.

And lastly of course, the amazing Love Carnival Light (£27.50 from Find Me a Gift) – this would make such a fun and unusual gift for someone who’s into home accessories. I love how the bright red stands out so much, and I think this is going to end up living in my conservatory 🙂

So there we have it! I hope this has given you some inspiration whether you’re buying or hoping to receive this Valentine’s day. Please also keep your eye out for my next two gift guide posts which will be coming up very soon.

I hope you enjoyed my post xxx