I am currently sitting right in lobby of my hotel in Lanzarote (sorry). I can’t figure out how to work the wifi in the room, so here I am. I’m totally useless with all things technical and even my almost teenage daughter, who is my travel companion on this much needed break, can’t help. I am enjoying some quality time with my first born, before she enters that dark hole of being a teenager and may not speak to me in anything other that grunts for the next 3-5 years.
Being dedicated to my blog, we have been sampling the lovely cocktails this island has to offer for this week’s Tuesday Top Ten. Saoirse is of course drinking the non alcoholic version, me, well I’ll let you figure that one out for yourself.
I’ve always loved cocktails, they are the ultimate in fun drinks, especially the sparklers, umbrellas and all the other exotic paraphernalia that goes with them. One of my favourite memories from my wedding, is at the party the day after, a group of my friends sat around my kitchen island working their way through a book of cocktails I had shamelessly liberated from a bar in Prague years before, for just such an occasion. Many guests drifted in and out of their little session, but only the die-hards got a seat stayed until the book was complete. I won’t name names, but you know who you are!
So, with that happy memory in mind and as Saoirse and I make new ones, this week I am looking at my to ten favourite cocktails. Some inspiration for the upcoming Christmas and New Year parties.
1. Mojito – an absolute classic. I was first introduced to this 15 years ago, when my husband, Mick, and I decided to go to Cuba for a dream holiday the year before we got married, whilst we still had money and no children. We attended a pool cocktail making session, actually in the pool. As Cuba is home to Havana rum, the core of this classic cocktail, the liquor was not in short supply. We caught on quickly how to make them and the rest is…………..well a bit of blur. Mick and I are now dedicated in our pursuit of finding a Mojito that matches our first effort, but we haven’t achieved it yet. We plan to make this the key mission of our retirement.
2. Porn Star – my gorgeous friend Emma introduced me to this passion fruit explosion. Being the sensational social butterfly she is, she has great taste. This is bliss in a glass, for those of you with a sweet tooth. I have tried a few, but the best by far was my first taste in SABA restaurant in Dublin, maybe it was so perfect because I had a group of my closest friends with me to celebrate my 40th birthday that made it so good.
3. Strawberry Shortcake – decadent desert in a glass. This cream dream first came to my attention in Tenerife, back when Saoirse was a baby (luckily Mick was in charge of the buggy that day,) We lunched in the gorgeous Monkey Bar, and as my desert was so fabulous it came with a 40 minute wait, so I kept myself busy sampling this divine delight. Whilst engulfing my taste buds, it also generated childhood memories, thinking of my favourite the toy of the same name, that smelled good enough to eat.
4. Baby Guinness – As I have gotten older, my tolerance for alcohol has reduced massively, plus with children, a hangover just isn’t worth it. With this in mind, I decided years ago that when a night out reaches the point of “lets do shots” it is time for me to make a quick exit, because this is the night out point of no return. But, there’s always a but! I will always stay around for one of these beauties. I have always felt Guinness tastes a bit like mud, but this mini lookalike of coffee liqueur and Baileys is a glass of the smooth stuff I’ll never say no to.
5. Sex on the Beach – I’ll know I’m truly a grown up, when I can ask the barman for one of these without blushing. This fruity delight is a must when out on a girls night and takes me back to my college days when we always use to go to Wall St on a Monday night, for half price cocktails and a bit of karaoke
6. Marguerita – Much like the perfect Mojito, Mick and I are dedicated to the pursuit of the perfect Mexican meal and always seek out a new Mexican restaurant whenever we travel. Our friends, Maggie and Gustavo, are from Mexico City and last year treated us to an amazing authentic Mexican meal in their home. Sadly, they have now moved to Barcelona, but we would gladly visit them for seconds! Of course you cannot eat Tex-Mex without a pitcher of Marguerita and as my poor husband suffers from brain freeze, I help him out and always finish his glass!
7. Amaretto Sour – I love all things almond, and this liqueur is no exception. I can drink it straight or as a sour. the taste and smell always take me back to Sunday afternoons at my Nana’s house, where the scent of her delicious homemade Bakewell Tarts would fill the air.
8. Blue Lagoon – the adult version of a raspberry freeze pop basically. In all honesty, I wouldn’t drink this now as it would just be too sweet, but it is in my top ten for the sake of posterity. This neon blue beauty transitioned me from my teenage years to the more sophisticated cocktails of adulthood. Just like a child eating chocolate, I always managed to end up with a bright blue moustache, although for some reason it was only ever on one side of my mouth! Maybe it was because drinking these potent cocktails always me a little lopsided!
9. Bellini – Mick and I travelled across Canada for our honeymoon and being the foodie that I am, I remember the food and drink as much as I do the scenery. I was introduced to the Bellini at a ‘buy one get one free’ night at our hotel in Calgary. They were divine and I was hooked.
10. Barrelstore Signature Gin and Tonic – G&T was definitely the drink of middle aged women in the eighties and like most trends, it has gone full circle and is now the signature drink of middle aged women once again. But as society has moved forward, so has the gin and now, just like gender, you can get one that fits you perfectly. I may be a little biased as the gin in this cocktail is produced in my lovely county of Leitrim, but Gunpowder Gin is without doubt the leader of the pack. Mixed with Fever Tree Elderflower Tonic and a slice of grapefruit. Apparently gin is a depressant, but I certainly feel very uplifted after a couple of these.
On that note, as I am on my holidays, I may partake in a cheeky mid afternoon tipple. Salud x