Saturday, 13 December 2014

Christmas Martini

Even though my bar-tending days are behind me I still love mixing up alcoholic concoctions, and Christmas is the perfect time to get experimenting - you'll have lots of willing test subjects too! 

I've always been a fan of the classic gin martini. I love the balance of flavours plus the punch of the alcohol. But, I've never been very keen on vodka - any vodka, its just not my bag. That is until I discovered the art of making my own flavoured vodkas. With this I have transformed what I see as liquefied hair spray into delicious beverages and bases for many a cocktail. 

This is how I made my spiced cranberry vodka, plus how to put it to good use in a Christmas Martini

The Vodka:

1 750ml bottle of vodka (I used Absolut because it has the cleanest flavour in my opinion)
300g fresh cranberries
200g sugar (use caster sugar if possible)
2 tbsp water
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom (if you can ground it yourself from the pods even better!)

  • In a large saucepan combine the sugar, the cranberries and the water together. Sprinkle in the spices and stir through.
  • Leave on a low to medium heat and occasionally stir to make sure its not sticking to the bottle of the pan.
  • Once most of the berries have split your syrup is ready. Take it off the heat and leave to cool slightly but not completely as it will be too thick.
  • In a large airtight container pour all the vodka and syrup mixture, and stir together.
  • Leave in a cool, dark place for 7-10 days. Stir once a day or when necessary to shake up the sediment.
  • Strain into a bowl/large jug. I found that I could still get more juice from the berries so I gave them a little mash and pushed the liquid through the sieve.
  • Pour into a sterilised bottle (I saved the Absolut bottle and just washed out with boiling water).
The vodka should be sweet enough from the syrup to just serve over ice, but if not add a splash of lemonade or tonic water.

The Martini:

50ml of spiced cranberry vodka
20ml of dry vermouth
1 dash of Angostura Bitters.

  • Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker
  • Add a good amount of cubed ice (about twice as much as the liquid or half the shaker)
  • Stir until diluted (depending on the heat of your surroundings this could take 10 seconds, it could take a minute. It always does well to test a little as you go along using a straw to pinch some up)
  • Strain through a fine strainer or sieve into a traditional martini glass or coupette.
  • Optional garnish of a slither of orange peel to really boost the Christmas scents.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Sunglasses, Ice Cream & Hotdogs

That is mostly what my weekend consisted of!

What a glorious weekend of sunshine and friends I had! It made me really remember how amazing summer is in this country, and I can't wait to spend it in my new East Anglian home.

Ipswich doesn't have much in the way of vintage clothes shops or lifestyle things, apart from some pretty decent bands, so I was chuffed to hear Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair was rolling into town. Myself and my friends pootled down to the fair to check it out, and were pleasantly surprised. Recently we in the vintage community have seen a bit of a, how do I put this, decline in actual vintage at the fairs, but it was great to see lots of 1960s clothes on Saturday as well as some modern reproductions of mid-century things. Even the boys had some things to look at - a true rarity nowadays!

Got snapped at Judy's!

I got myself some sunglasses (cat eye, obviously!) from a lovely stall - forget the name, sorry - that was selling prints and knick knacks. Kayla also got herself some sunnies as well as a bowling shirt. Rick picked up a Hawaiian shirt ready for my shindig at the end of the month and I think the other lads got some delights too.

As an Ipswich newbie I had yet to experience Ra Ra's Ice Cream parlour until this weekend. We must have looked a right sight all trooping into there - maybe a little movie set-ish aha! Anyway, the ice cream was delicious, as were the milkshakes and they do root beer! Yum! Now...if only they could so some more food, I think we'd make it a frequent haunt of our's!

That brings me neatly onto my next little segment. What is a summer Saturday without a few pints in the pub? We spent the rest of the afternoon and into the evening sat in a pub garden, drinking cider and eating hot dogs (well I stole chips from Rick's plate). Regardless of the odd yelp from the crowd watching the football it was a lovely evening!

After my little taster, I can't wait for summer to be in full swing!

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Thursday, 10 April 2014

Miss Vintage UK

Hello guys and dolls! I'm here to ask a favour really...

You know how I like to enter quite a few modelling competitions? And you know how I love all my readers so much? Well...

I would absolutely love to win Miss Vintage UK with Twinwood Festival, but I need your votes to get through to the next round! The top 20 girls and top 10 guys from the voting round will be put through to the judge's round where they will be whittled down to the top 10 ladies and top 4 gents who will be finalists at Twinwood!

So far I am in 13th place (oooh unlucky! Let's get me out of that one!) but need more votes to really secure a place so could you please give this link a click and then 'like' the photo? Because that would be fantastic!

Voting ends 17th May!

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Major Life Update.

Hello you lot! Did you miss me? I have been very busy with! Yes, I finally got one!

Since I last spoke to you at the end of January I have upped sticks and moved to Ipswich! That's a bit random, I hear you cry. Well, not when you consider that my boyfriend as well as lots of friends live in the town and surrounding area. Oh, and that little fact that I landed a dreamy job that has put me on the first rung of my career in heritage! Yippee! I am now the Visitor Services Trainee (aka, intern) at the Museum of East Anglian Life; I am training in all the behind the scenes things that go on at museums that make the experience the best it can be for the visitor, and also help plan and run the events. I'll keep you all updated (she says...hopefully...) with goings on in that aspect, especially about the very exciting Blues Festival which I am sure y'all will want to know about!

What else have I done to fill my time? Well I've done lots and lots of modelling, even some paid work! I'm really glad I kick started that again as I love doing it, but now since the move it looks like I'm going to have to get to know a whole new bunch of people! My favourite shoot I did was with Paul Good, and I've put a few photos from that below because I love them so much!

March rolled around and saw me at Bedlam Breakout again. I may have gotten far, far, far too drunk on Friday night - that sort of drunk where you don't remember anything and it's not enjoyable, but you wake up with bruises - but the rest of the weekend (minus the Saturday hangover) was great! Even got the bus back with the guitarist from Frantic Flintstones! Work depending, I hope to be back there this September too.

So that is pretty much it but as you can see, life was a little bit hectic and up in the air for a few months! I've got a few blogs planned for the next month or so as it is Mid Century Market time as well as the start of weekender season - Atomic first, yay!

Catch you soon!

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

A Mid Century Marvellous Market!

So, you may remember that I mentioned Bettina Scarlett's Mid Century Christmas Market in a previous post? Well this is what I thought of it! (Hint: I thought it was swell!)

After a little journey to London, a long walk down the wrong road and many confused looks at my map, I found the location. Stepping inside I was greeted by Bettina, who was looking like a swan in water gliding around in a gorgeous Bernie Dexter dress, and I signed up the raffle - sadly I did not win, boo!

But, I did certainly come away with some bargains anyway! I had had my eye on a hair ornament (I say ornament because they are far more than just a flower!) from Rosie Alia, so when I saw a trio of silver glittery poinsettias I had to have it! It was pride of place in my hair on Christmas day. Sticking with the sparkly things I got my hands on a late 1950s/early 1960s gold top from Miss Turnstiles. I picked it up off the hanger and immediately fell in love, never did I think it would fit me, but alas it was perfect! I wore it with a pencil skirt to my parents friends' soiree and everyone admired the sparkles like little magpies! My last buy was a pair of bauble earrings; sadly no photos of those, but I loved the novelty of them!

Look at it's beauty!!
It was perfect with my poodle!

It was such a lovely excuse to go to London, and I spent the entire day with friends from all over the south who I didn't think I would get to see again until at least the springtime. Bettina had put so much work and effort into the day, and I'm so happy that it came off swimmingly for her. As London's only Mid Century market it is a refreshing take on the vintage fair that is often plagued with what I think of as charity shop fodder.

Catch Bettina Scarlett presenting her next market on 12th April, at Hammersmith Club, W6 9DH - just in time for Easter!

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Spotlight: The Rockabilly Girl Next Door

This is a first for this blog, and I am very excited to include this lovely lady on my page. Who am I talking about? The Rockabilly Miss Next Door of course! I have been a keen reader and fan of her blog for over three years now so it was a great privilege to be asked by Nadia to do a spotlight post on her blog, and feature her on mine. So without further ado here is the little interview!


My name is Nadia, I am 24 years old and I live in Norway! I am engaged to my boyfriend of 3 years. 
I am a qualified teacher, and I work as a substitute teacher in a primary school. I'm also a student, and I am studying Norwegian as a second language. In addition to that, I am a rockabilly blogger and I blog over at The Rockabilly Girl Next Door. 

1. Why did you start blogging? 

It was 2010 and I started blogging because I wasn't happy with myself. I was not a girly girl at all, and I never felt pretty. I saw these pinup and rockabilly girls online and wanted to be one of them. Through the blog I could be the person I wanted to be, without anyone judging me. I got to live the life I wanted through the blog, and slowly I started gaining the confidence to actually be the person I wanted to be in real life as well. 

2. Favourite blogs?

That's a tricky one, I read a lot of different blogs. I do however love Dolly Cool's blog, and of course Roxie Roulette's :) 

3. Favourite post?

I wrote a tribute post to my favourite teacher this Summer. He passed away to cancer, and I was so upset about it. He meant the world to me. (Here's the link to the post: )

4. Best thing about blogging?

The best thing about blogging must be getting the chance to work with awesome companies. I never in a million years thought I'd be involved with Sourpuss or Classic Hardware when I started out blogging as an insecure young girl. It's also made the world smaller, I feel like I have friends all over the world thanks to blogging.

5. Describe your style

Although I call myself a rockabilly girl, I don't always dress that way. I usually wear clothes that I find comfortable and cute. My overall style is quite normal I guess, but I always add a touch of rockabilly to whatever I wear. I wear a lot of leopard print, stripe and polka dots. I wear Converse pretty much all the time, and I like cardigans to go over cute tops. When it comes to the non-clothing part, I have super red hair and big Bettie bangs, and I usually wear my black cat eyeliner every day :) 

6. Where do you buy your clothes/shoes/accessories?

I rarely buy clothes online, because of taxes in Norway. It's very expensive to get things sent here, and I often have to pay twice the amount just to get my stuff out of the post office. I also like trying the clothes on before buying, and since I can't do that online I shop at random stores in Norway. I go to average stores we have here (they're kinda like H&M), but I'm not afraid to walk into any other random store if I see something I really like. 

7. Who inspires you?

When I first started off in this rockabilly world, I was inspired by burlesque dancer Frostine Shake. I thought she was so beautiful, and I wanted to be like her. I still love her style, but nowadays I take inspiration from many different people. I spend a lot of time on Instagram checking out awesome rockabilly girls and let them inspire me. And who can forget John Water's rockabilly rebel Wanda Woodward?

8. What were your highlights of 2013?

One of my blog highlights must be when I worked with Classic Hardware. That was awesome! Personal life highlights must be finishing arts&crafts in uni (it was horrible) and teaching myself how to run again. I have a serious ankle damage, and haven't been able to run for 7 years. I started working out, and suddenly one day I ran. I couldn't believe it! It was also amazing to go back to Cyprus after 8 years. I've missed my friends and family there so much, and it was great to stay with them for a week. 

9. What are you looking forward to in 2014?

I'm looking forward to see what life brings for me and my boyfriend. I will also finish my very last year in university, so I guess I'm looking forward to finding out what job I'll end up with! I don't want to grow up just yet... 

10. One random fact about yourself.

I can understand 5 different languages; Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, English (duh) and Irish/Gaelic. I can speak all five of them to some extent, some better than others 

For more The Rockabilly Girl Next Door follow her blog, 'like' her Facebook page and follow her on Twitter