Dining

TGIF Green Fairy Applesinth Cocktail

Perfect for any summer occasion, signature serve ‘Applesinth’ is a refreshing mix of Green Fairy, cloudy apple juice and lemonade garnished with a lemon wedge. The history and intrigue of absinth continues to play a prominent role in any absinth cocktail and this signature serve is the perfect mix of tradition and innovation.

RELATED: TGIF Champagne Margarita Recipe

Derived from botanicals including wormwood, absinth was originally used for medicinal purposes dating back to Ancient Egyptian times before it became associated with witchcraft.

With many absinth recipes destroyed during 15th century European witch hunts, the strong revival of the spirit wasn’t until the late 19th Century during the French Revolution. Absinth was adopted by the wealthy who survived the turbulent rise of the poor and was drunk by the French Foreign legion as a symbol of patriotism.

Throughout history many prominent creative figures were renowned absinth drinkers including Vincent Van Gogh, Oscar Wilde and Ernest Hemingway. Hemmingway’s passion led him to develop his own absinth cocktail ‘Death in the Afternoon’ and all of these creative thinkers firmly believed that absinth was responsible for allowing their imaginative brilliance to flourish and create artistic and literary masterpieces.

In 1915 absinth was banned across much of the world due to myths about hallucinogenic qualities. Green Fairy Absinth was the first legal absinth containing thujone available in Australia since the ban on absinth was lifted only recently.

A timeless beverage continued to be enjoyed the traditional way, from a glass fountain trickled over sugar cubes, it is time for a new generation to experience Green Fairy. The Applesinth cocktail is the perfect reintroduction to this mystical spirit.

January 23, 2015

Outdoor Dining Inspiration & DIY Tips For Summer

With the warm weather headed for Australia, it’s time to bring out the outdoor furniture, clean off the patio and dust off the picnic basket. There are no excuses to stay inside and forego the summer sunshine this year.

RELATED: How To Design An On-Trend Space That Won’t Date

When you’re eating outside, a rustic or eclectic style is fitting. If you have an outdoor space, like a patio or a backyard, all it takes is some minimal sprucing to set up a comfortable and chic dining area, whether it’s just you, your family, or a gathering of friends.

Simple, budget-friendly DIY tips

Whether you’re in a rush, on a budget, or you want to keep your sprucing simple, these quick tips are for you!

Furniture and dishes

Dining outside doesn’t require fancy furniture. Previously used indoor furniture can be repurposed and used as outdoor furniture with a fresh coat of paint or some added cushions. Even a wheelbarrow with a board on top or an old workbench can be used as a table.

In place of a tablecloth, use brown (or any colour) paper. It’s easy to clean up, you won’t ruin a tablecloth by using it outdoors, and it adds to the rustic, outdoor vibe. Using one color allows you to keep your tables looking uniform, even if they’re mismatched.

To keep the paper tablecloths from blowing away, use real dishes with some weight. They don’t need to be the same; any dishes in summery colors or floral patterns will add to the eclectic style of the outdoors.

If you need to seat a lot of people, opting for a bench in place of individual chairs can allow you to fit more people. Benches can also be used for multiple purposes – sit them next to a table for a meal, or around a fire pit for cocktails or cooking on the fire.

Antique outdoor furniture is often made of metal, and can be spruced up with a fresh coat of paint, and made both comfortable and modern with an added pillow or cushion.

Privacy and ambiance

If your outdoor space lacks a private patio or yard, or if it doesn’t have the style you want, you can build yourself a private, shady sanctuary with a few simple tools.

A large umbrella not only provides shade from the hot sun, it will also add a pop of colour and inject some of your personal style into your yard.

If you have a yard with neighbours nearby, or a patio that backs up to your home, planting a row of trees, bushes, or potted plants with some lattice can provide a privacy wall without installing a complete fence around your yard.

Sometimes, the heat and sun of the day is intense. Take advantage of the cooler evenings, and instead of running your air conditioning, head outdoors! A string of paper lanterns hung in the trees, or citronella candles can create the ambiance you’re looking for without attracting bugs. Battery operated candles may be a better option if you’re serving cocktails, but citronella candles or a fire may help ward off bugs.

If you have room in your yard or on your patio, a small fire pit or a chiminea can provide light and heat while providing more protection than an open bonfire.

The portable outdoor meal

Whether you’re traveling, short on time, or haven’t updated your outdoor space at home, picnics are a great way to have a portable outdoor meal anywhere, at any time. All you need is a blanket, a bag or basket, and a few simple tools and easy meals.

Remember: Enjoying the summer outdoors are about having fun! Your personal style and DIY spirit is all you need to share a meal with your loved ones out in the fresh air.

By Marcus Fulker, the managing director of Great Aussie Patios, Perth’s leading patio builder and design company since 2000. Connect with Marcus on Google+.

Image via Flickr.com

December 10, 2014

Top 5 Entertaining Ideas This Summer

As the mercury rises and the days get longer, embrace the balmy summer weather by bringing friends and family together for chic get-togethers, long lazy lunches and fabulous dinner parties. Be inspired by the following food and décor ideas for entertaining this Summer. Here’s our top 5 entertaining ideas:

Alfresco dining

Take advantage of the beautiful weather and dine outdoors either on the patio or out in the garden. For evening events, add your favourite beautiful candles and fairy lights to create an enchanting atmosphere. Engage the timeless essence of the English countryside creating a clean, fresh and captivating atmosphere in your home with the Summerdown Mint Candle (RRP $59.95) andReed Diffuser (RRP $49.95) which features aromatic mint and lemongrass. All Summerdown Mint products are free from sulphates, parabens, PEGs, petrochemicals or artificial colourings. For more information and stockist enquiries please visit www.sunpots.com.au.

entertaining, parties, summer

Family-style share platters

Perfect for get-togethers where everyone may not have met before, family style share platters are a great way to break the ice and get everyone mingling. A greater diversity of dishes can be served and guests can choose exactly what and how much they want of each dish, minimising the chance of food wastage and guests going home hungry. Make sure to display food in charming bowls and plates that add to your existing décor theme.

Pick a destination theme

Take yourself and your guests on a culinary journey throughout your favourite gourmet destinations. Invoke gastronomic hotspots like Spain and Italy by tailoring your menu and décor to reflect the chosen location.  Be transported to the Spanish countryside with the authentic, hand painted Sun Pots Pintado collection and be inspired by the old world charm of Italy, with the Sun Pots Fascino Antico collection, which is crafted in a Southern Italian factory. With prices starting from RRP $12.00, the Sun Pots collection transforms your home into a colourful oasis while bringing the warmth and charm from Italy and Spain. For more information and stockist enquiries please visit www.sunpots.com.au.

entertaining, parties, summer

Bright colours and patterns

Indulge in dining and serving ware that feature bright and cheerful colours and patterns that reflect your personal style and home décor. Neutral tones, such as white, grey and black may be versatile, but summer calls for inspiring shades that match the sunny weather and holiday vibe. Try pairing bold plates and bowls on top of a crisp white dining cloth to make the colours pop, or create a laid back, vintage aesthetic by ditching the table cloth and serving up on a rustic wooden table.

Mismatched décor

Avoid using matchy matchy dining and serving wear that can seem dated and overly formal, and instead opt for a mix of vibrant patterns and colours that bring a stylish but relaxed feel to your event. An added benefit is that it also resolves any potential dramas over not having enough matching sets for the number of guests you are inviting.

December 10, 2014

Some Al Fresco Dining Tips

Even with the weather turning cooler it’s nice to spend an evening eating al fresco. Don’t do it like the old backyard BBQ, do it will style and comfort.When you’re laying an outdoor table, it’s lovely to do it very formally, with starched linen, candelabra, and as much silver as you can find. I’ve done this and it looks fantastic. Don’t forget to add small vases of flowers.Garden furniture can be rather ugly and is often really uncomfortable. So rather than sitting in discomfort upholster your garden bench. Get a couple of really squishy cushions made and put them on all your garden chairs. This will allow your guests to recline in comfort.

Don’t opt for the plastic seat option we’re all grown ups and aren’t going to spill our drinks. There is nothing worse either when your legs stick to the seat or worse when the seat ‘farts’ as you sit down!

Beat the cold when you’re outside with outdoor heaters. Go to any good hardware for these. Coal burners don’t have to look ugly!

April 1, 2000