Cocktails O’Clock: Inspired by… France (#1)

The French Blonde


½ measure St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur

1 measure Dry Gin

2 measures Lillet Blanc

2 measures fresh grapefruit juice

3 Dashes Lemon Bitters

A Perfect French Cocktail…


  1. Using an ice filled shaker, shake together all the ingredients for about 30 seconds (or until the shaker is iced).
  2. Strain it into a Martini glass and garnish with a twist grapefruit peel.

This cocktail is a great way to introduce France to both you and your cocktails; Using 2 of Frances well known spirits/liqueurs, this cocktail oozes class and all the subtlety the French are famous for…

Combining the sweet and fragrant St. Germain and Lillet Blanc with the tartness of the Grapefruit; this cocktail is well balanced and even emits a rather subtle juniper taste on the palate (from the gin).

Try this cocktail out at home and experiment with different grapefruits (I find golden & pink grapefruits work the best, but it’s all down to your palate).

The Zombies are coming… And they are carrying Hangovers…

Yes Halloween is over, and yes I know you’re probably getting over your hangover as we speak but bear with me here and I guarantee this post will make your afternoon/evening/day/weekend.

Everyone knows that hangovers are caused primarily by dehydration as alcohol is a diuretic and can have that effect but also by the chemicals found in darker alcohols.

Free advice: Hangovers suffered after drinking just clear alcohol (Gin/Vodka etc.) is felt less* than one suffered after drinking just darker spirits (Dark rum/brandy etc.).

Now I won’t tell you that hair of the dog is a good idea, because it is not. It will make you feel a little better in the short term but only as it prolongs the hangover (yes, it makes you drunker quicker than normal). The best way to treat a hangover is to replace the nutrients you lost through urinating. Now the first thing to do is a have a nice relaxing shower and maybe a drink of water and feel clean and ready for your day, then follow that up with a light breakfast that includes fruit juice. Something like oats/multigrain cereal work well. As for the juices; go for orange, apple, cranberry and any ‘super-food’ or ‘super-berry’ juice (things like berry/soft fruit smoothies, blueberries etc.) as they replace the nutrients and minerals you need. If you feel like cheating find a

Free Advice: I love a good smoothie, making them fresh is brilliant but any premade product (like innocent/supermarket brands) will also work just as well.

So where am I going with this post I hear you shout, well listen to this: Cocktails don’t have to contain alcohol. Sure they taste better with some, but there is a whole library of ‘Mocktails’ out there that can help you out on a hung-over Sunday morning/afternoon.

Here are some of the best:

The All Rounder


100ml Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice

250ml Apple juice

100ml Peach Puree

10g Fresh Ginger, sliced/cubed

150ml Cranberry Juice

1 apple, 1 orange (peeled & seeded), 1 Banana*, handful of fresh berries (to taste).


1)      Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

2)      Serve straight away and enjoy with a grapefruit and some brown sugar.

This concoction is one of my very own recipes and includes some orchard fruits, which are always a handful when blending, which can be removed if you keep the juice. The fruits help boost your nutrient intake, and the ginger helps your body cope with any ethanol left in your system. The orange juice is a natural source of Vitamin C which is always handy, but can be removed if necessary.

This smoothie is not going to set the world on fire, but it is a pretty good all-rounder, perfect for batch making and has enough of everything you need for a fruit filled breakfast boost.


The Super Fruit


100g Blueberries

100g Raspberries

4 hulled, Strawberries

100ml Mango Juice

100ml Pomegranate Juice

200ml Milk

2 tablespoons honey


1)      Blend all of the ingredients until smooth.

2)      Pour into a glass and enjoy with some blueberries as garnish.

This Smoothie is all about helping you ‘be all you can be’. The fruits used are considered ‘super’ for their health boosting properties, not to mention the boost in nutrients and high calcium content of the milk. This is perfect for those who prefer milkshakes to juice smoothies.


Ultimate Hangover Buster, courtesy of ‘hip & healthy

330ml Cocoa Coconut water

1 Banana*

1 Kiwi fruit

1/3 Pineapple


1)      Chop up and blend until smooth.

2)      Serve straight away and enjoy.

Courtesy of Hip & Healthy this ultimate hangover buster contains the main nutrient lost due to alcohol ingestion:  Potassium. Almost all of the ingredients used in this drink contain high levels of the mineral, which means your body gets a huge boost to help you combat the hangover symptoms. The fruit juice contains high amounts of naturally occurring water easing that banging headache of yours and the nausea, well that should go once your body starts to break down the fruits.

The perfect choice for the morning after a heavy night! Make a few of these up in advance and store in the fridge and you’ll be the super-hero of the hangover curing world.


Fruit & Tea


3 tablespoons water

1 green tea-bag

2 teaspoons Honey

200g Frozen Blueberries

½ Banana*

180ml Vanilla Soya Milk

Super fruit + Green Tea = A very good start to the morning after…


1)      Boil the teabag for 3 minutes in a small glass/mug of water.

2)      Remove the teabag and add the honey and stir until dissolved.

3)      Allow to cool.

4)      Combine the berries, milk, banana, tea in a blender and blend (some blenders have a ‘crush-ice’ setting – use this, failing that use the highest setting).

5)      Blend until smooth, and pour into serving glasses.

For the more sophisticated hangover, this recipe is more across the board than the previous 2 recipes, but it does its job very well. Mixing the healthy green tea with the original super-food blueberries and a potassium pumped banana this recipe will have you up and about in no time.

Time consuming and best served fresh on the day, this recipe is probably the one that will have you working the most for the pay off, but it is ultimately worth the effort. The flavour combinations are surprisingly tasty, the nutrient boost is fantastic and the fact that this recipe is a little different (due to the tea) makes it something worth trying at least once. Again it is very easy to scale up for guests.

Berry & Almond

250ml Almond Milk

1 banana

65-80g mixed berries (try using forest fruits here, including blueberries & blackberries)

½ teaspoon Cinnamon

½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Attractive and fruity this smoothie will pick you right up…


1)      Blend all the ingredients until smooth.

2)      Serve in rocks glasses.

This recipe is for those of you who are Lactose intolerant. Utilising a relatively new product on our UK shelves; Almond Milk, this recipe also combines a warming cinnamon with the fragrant vanilla and mixed forest fruits. High in healthy nutrients and high in Calcium (not to mention the rather different flavour) this recipe is great for settling your stomach early in the morning and having instead of a bowl of cereal.

Studio 72 House Smoothie

1 Kiwi,

½ Lime,

75g mixed berries (include blueberries)*,

50g Acai berry,

100g pineapple chunks,

250ml water


1)      Blend all of the ingredients until smooth.

2)      Serve in a tall ice filled glass.

This is also one of my own recipes and it’s more of an afternoon smoothie. A mix of potassium high fruits, nutrient rich berries and the super Acai berry this recipe will both quench your thirst and boost your body’s system and help pep you up a bit.

It might seem silly to put an afternoon recipe in here but if you combine it with any of the other morning recipes then you’ll find your hangover not only goes quicker but you’ll feel much better long into the night.

Free Advice: please be aware that some people are allergic to bananas, oranges, strawberries etc. so make sure you ask before making these drinks. All these drinks are mixable without the relevant allergens, just substitute in fruits the person of note is able to eat.

So there you have 6 hangover helpers that will make the difference to a wasted day and a quick recovery. Sure they might not work instantly, but the point is to rehydrate and replace lost nutrients. Experiment with the fruit you have at home, with milk or water, and even use vegetables if you like. Chin up and get on with your day!

So after a few too many daiquiri’s and Martinis fill your morning with fresh fruit smoothies and light, energy boosting foods and you’ll be ready by lunchtime!

Drink well and prosper folks!

Links to websites used:

Hip & Healthy

Lifestyle 1

Lifestyle 2



Bon Anniversaire…

What it feels like to know someone, anyone (other than your own mother) likes your work…

I finished work early today, and when I did my customary stat check on the blog and I was met with a notification symbol, the likes of which I’d never seen before. It was in the shape of a cup, not a tea cup, but one of those ‘takes two people to lift it’ football sized trophy cups…

Anyway I immediately clicked on it to find out what sort of prize awaited me, some glorious honour from my fellow bloggers? No? What about a special delivery, a message or gift from some famous alcohol company? – Too good to be true! Instead I was met with this message:

“Happy Anniversary with!”

And then:

“You registered on 1 years ago!

Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging!”

Now to me nothing says happy anniversary like a nice bottle of Havana Club, or a sneaky ‘pushing the boat out’ bottle of Prucia Plum Liqueur. But whilst this message is a bit of a ‘well done old chap’ tap on the back, it does lead me onto a reflective train of thought…

It’s been a whole year since I signed up to my blog, granted I did take a couple months to publish the first blog, but I’ve still come a long way.

White Arrow: You are here…

I started out with the small hope that I could grow my online presence and help get the UK more enthusiastic about cocktails (by celebrating ingredients, cocktails and bars wherever I find them!). Now having looked back at the stats, I’ve been blown away at just how many people have actually read a post on my blog. Let me share a few figures for you:

1)      Total Views since I started (and counting):                                            6,430

2)      Total months I’ve been posting not including this month (august):             10

3)      Total months where the blog has grown in views                                     10

4)      Top 3 Countries by views:

  1. United States of America:                                                                        2,508
  2. United Kingdom:                                                                                      1,397
  3. Canada:                                                                                                       226

5)      Total Countries reached:                                                                           108

6)      Number of spots on a leopard:                                                                    176


Ok so that last one was a red-herring (ha-ha I’m full of animal puns today), but just look at the countries reached: 108… Now when I set out that was a number that hadn’t even crossed my mind. I was aiming to hit the U.K. solely and start my way on the U.S.A. at a later date. As it turns out, the North Americans (USA/Canada) are up there in my top 3. The only other places in the world I wanted to hit this early on were Australia and New Zealand (both of which are inside the top 20 (with 149, and 43 respectively).

Now I hope you can understand that to me these figures are mind boggling! I would never have dreamed that over 6,000 people would’ve read my blog, not to mention commented on it.

And this is where we move onto my followers…

I have 30 WordPress followers (as well as 200+ on twitter and Facebook) and, well to be totally honest, I don’t think I’d be where I am today without you all. Thank you all for reading/sharing/re-posting the contents of my blog. I’d like to think I could call a couple of you pals. Something I certainly never thought would happen!

At least I’d like to think some of you guys are at least on common speaking terms: here’s looking at you;

LordsOfTheDrink & ThingzThatFizz… among many others!

My last post: ‘The Fervent Shaker’s Top 10… Liqueurs’ was an apt blog on which to have this little number follow. University for me was as much about discovering cocktails and furthering my love for them as it was about getting my degree in Geography & Geology.

Hang on I hear you say, a student that drinks? Surely not! Well I can tell you that I did further my knowledge of cocktails, the best way anyone can: by consuming them in vast quantities over the course of a few years…

Well, finally let me end this emotional drivel and just say; I intend to commemorate this 1 year’s anniversary by continuing my blog as it is now. Fear not for you shall continue to see Recipes, alcohol specials, event specials and my general musings for many more years to come! (Hopefully).

Again thank you all, and if you ever need a recipe for any cocktail, you know where I am!


The Fervent Shaker.

Oh, should anyone want to send me a few of these babies, then please do… (I reckon 1 for every post should be enough) haha. Peace out!