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Home-made Tonic Water

Until not so long ago I did not even know that making your own tonic water was possible. With all the brands of Tonic water available these days you might be happy to stick to the shop-bought stuff.  Give this a try though.  You might just be converted! Home-made tonic water is slightly bitter, but much less sweet, and also lower in kilojoules. When used to make a G&T they allow the flavor profile of the gin to come through.

Home-made Tonic Water

Be sure to read my post The Gin Revolution for more info on the history of tonic water.

The ingredients in the photo are as follows: (clockwise from left to right) lemongrass, allspice, cardamom pods and chinchona bark.

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Essential Barware

To make cocktails like a mixologist, you need a few basic bar tools. Below is a list of a few essential tools with their uses.   All of the items on the list is available from The Spirit Merchant Trading Company. Be sure to read this post for more info on this exciting company who stocks more than 100 quality hand sourced bar products. Their motto “by bartenders, for bartenders”, says it all!

Continue reading Essential Barware

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Mango, banana and berry smoothie

This smoothie is tasty and healthy and will be a hit with young and old.  The Aloe vera plant is probably most known for treating minor burns and skin wounds. Aloe water, more commonly known as aloe vera juice, is frequently studied for its use in treating health conditions. Drinking aloe vera juice provides health benefits for a range of ailments:

  • it aids in weight loss, digestion, blood sugar levels, immune function, etc.
  • it contains more than 10 vitamins and close to 20 minerals
  • it regulates blood pressure, improves circulation and oxidation of the blood and lowers cholesterol

1 ripe banana (preferably frozen)
2 pitted dates
250 ml fresh or frozen mango chunks
180 ml Aloe Vera Juice
125 ml fresh or frozen blueberries or mulberries
60 ml vanilla yogurt

  1. Purée all the ingredients in a blender until smooth.
  2. Pour into chilled gasses and serve immediately.

2 servings


Aloe Vera Plant
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Pink Lemonade

This refreshing recipe for pink lemonade is the perfect drink to serve at any time!

250 ml white sugar
250 ml water
250 ml fresh lemon juice
125 ml ice-cold cranberry juice
750 ml ice-cold water
2 lemons, thinly sliced crosswise, for garnish

  1. Combine the sugar and first quantity of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.   Stir until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Transfer the syrup to a jug with a 2 liter capacity and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  4. To serve, add ice cubes to chilled glasses and garnish with lemon slices.

6 servings

Omit the cranberry juice for plain lemonade.