Tag Archives: Food Inspiration

How To Be….A Low-Key, Gin-Guzzling Fabulous Host

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I know we are all sick and tired of Happy New Year’s BUT, today I thought I would share a little recipe and a bit of my Frugal New Year with you!

It is my strong belief that New Year tends to be something of an anti-climax for anything that’s overplanned.  I’ve done the pub crawls, house parties and over-priced nights out; this year we wanted low-key and channel flicking with Jools Holland.  This sort of half-nod to celebrating any kind of event cannot be argued with; good food, good drink, good company, good…God is it really 2014???

The key to a Frugally Fabulous celebration is, really, the company.  A fancy bar or club is only as good as the people in it and, trust me, I’ve had some great nights and some really awful ones.  Luckily for me, my best chum BFA, lives about four minutes away from us, so the three of us traipsed over for an American Diner-inspired evening with sparkling cocktails, homemade burgers and a homemade sign – my little ode to the sexiest best programme on TV; True Blood.

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Using authentic sesame-seeded baps (6 for 99p), lean mince and ‘plastic cheese'; we made gorgeous farm-assured lean beef burgers served with a little salad, a little relish AND traditional curly fries (£1.50 for 2KG bag).  Mr J had his with some of the leftover Christmas wine, BFA knocked back a few ciders and Daisy, bless her, slept through the entire evening!  I chose to try some gin cocktails – it had been a while since I’d indulged in a gin and tonic and I wanted to make something tasty, but not so tasty I would forget my parental duties and wobble off to the nearest nightclub, demanding Sylvester’s You Make Me Feel (Might Real) on loop.  The result was sweet, tasty and trickled down the throat just nicely, smooth as Jools’ Jazz jams themselves!  Topped off by serving in old, recycled jam jars with a little zesty orange and sugar frosting decoration, they are bound to please the cocktail-drinkers among your guests.  So, if you’re thinking of hosting a little something similar, here’s the recipe…

Ingredients (To make 4 Tall Jam Jars)

Approximately 4-8 shots of Gin (I used Bombay Sapphire – on offer at the time for £20 – and believe me, as a mother of a young child in practical hibernation, this is a going to go a looooonnnggg way)!

2 Litres of Tonic OR Basics Sparkling Water (approximately 39p for 2 Litre bottle)

4 Oranges

2 long Sprigs of Fresh Rosemary (plus extra for stirrers – any extras are great for flavouring that Hangover Roast)

4 tbsps Sugar

Method: In a saucepan, over a medium heat, bring about 500ml of water to simmering with the sugar – this creates the syrup.  Once the sugar has completely dissolved into the water, remove from heat.

Meanwhile, using a squeezer, squeeze the juice of the oranges into the saucepan and add the skin to infuse with the syrup.  Add your sprigs of rosemary and leave until the mixture has cooled.  Strain orange peel and rosemary before adding to the serving jars.

Once the syrup is cooled completely, fill 4 jam jars or glasses with ice to about a third full and pop your shots of gin in each jar.  Equally add your syrup and top up with sparkling water/tonic water accordingly.

Et Voila! Serve with Rosemary Sprig Stirrers and Orange Peel decoration, smudge a little bit of sugar around the top of each jar for a sweet hit.  Do kick back, do do a little bit of stupid dancing to Lady Gaga’s Telephone, do enjoy watching other, more drunk people failing at Guitar Hero and do enjoy your Low-Key, Sparkly, American-Diner-Shoehorned-Themed Low-Key celebration!

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Stay Peachy x