February’s Punch of the Month

Boy do we have a Valentine’s Day cocktail for you – a recipe so loaded with aphrodisiac ingredients, just one sip and you’ll be ready to explode…

Drink my Fire, What’s Your Desire?

By guest blogger Slava T Gordon

After a brief hiatus in the Punch of the Month column, in keeping with “dry January”, we are determined to return this February with a cocktail positively worthy of your time. Needless to say, the process of guaranteeing that our offering be truly top notch required a fair amount of experimenting and tasting, making the tail-end of our January not so dry after all. Oops…

Bane + Antidote friend Marshall Altier, a sought after mixologist and author of How to Booze: Exquisite Cocktails and Unsound Advice, suggested his favourite sexy aphrodisiac concoction to set the night on fire. The I’m Your Venus is fiery, sweet and perfectly sour – all told it’s decidedly moreish, and as intoxicatingly multi-faceted as Venus herself.

I’m Your Venus by Marshall Altier

photo (16)

Photography and styling by Jane Hodson

We are all familiar with Venus as the Goddess of Love but she might be more accurately described in today’s terms as the goddess of multi-tasking, as she is also attributed with sex, beauty, fertility, prosperity, desire and victory – a whole lot of responsibility for one lady deity. In this day and age of wanting to be, do and have it all, it is quite befitting that we guzzle a namesake tipple which hits so many notes.

A quick refresher in nutritional therapy: chocolate contains serotoninphenylethylamine and theobromine – three compounds that lower blood pressure, enhance circulation, amplify general feelings of well being and provide energy. The perfect foundation for a long night of fun.

Chilli contains capsaicin, a substance that physically turns up the heat. Its effects are felt far beyond the burning in your mouth. Raised body temperature brings a flush to your cheek and a swell to your lips making them ever so much more plump for the kissing. Chilli peppers are also known to heighten nerve sensitivity adding an extra frisson to amorous pleasure. WARNING: Remember to wash your hands well after handling chillies, you do not want to be responsible for any undesired burning.

Mint is a lesser-known and more subtle aphrodisiac. It leaves those who eat it with a calm body and mind, while stimulating a lusty appetite. Such are its hidden charms, Aristotle famously advised Alexander the Great to keep his warriors from eating mint when at war.

These three strong natural aphrodisiacs: chocolate, chilli and mint, plus booze (arguably the fourth) ensure that this cocktail packs a mighty punch. The I’m Your Venus will make for a potent tool in your V-Day arsenal.

I’m Your Venus by Marshall Altier 

  • 2 ozs Rye or Bourbon whiskey
  • 4 lemon wedges
  • 1 tspn sugar
  • 2 de-seeded chilli pepper rings
  • small handful of mint leaves
  • ½ oz of dark chocolate (finely grated on a plate)
  • ice cubes

Glass: 

  • Frosted martini glass (chilled in the freezer)

Garnish:

  • Grated dark chocolate rim

Instructions: 

  • Muddle sugar, chilli, mint and lemon wedges together in a shaker.  Add the booze and ice. Shake well while shimmying in anticipation.
  • Take the frosted martini glass out of the freezer, dip the rim in the chocolate and set on the side.
  • Strain the concoction into the frosted martini glass.
  • Best followed by a Faust’s Potions Hangover Cure health shot.

For more tantalising tips on nutritional aphrodisiacs and how to use them, read The Devil’s Guide to Valentine Gorging & Stamina Maintenance.

How to Throw an Alcohol-Free Dinner Party

Alcohol-free dinner parties needn’t be boring, as proved by these titillating teetotal recipes for mocktails so healthy they’re practically mind-altering.

Dry January, Octsober, pregnancy, recovery, Lent. There are moments in all of our lives when abstention becomes the name of the game. You may have honed your ‘Oh, you brought me 0% beer’ face down to a T, but stoicism is so last century my friend. Who says teetotallers can’t get their kicks too? Below are Bane + Antidote’s favourite craft recipes for mocktails that pack a punch. These exquisite artisanal concoctions, loaded with health benefits, would make for an impressive alcohol free dinner party, or a thoughtful yet self-interested gift for any host.

Why not add a Faust’s Potion Health Shot into the mix too? Your night will be a nutritional rave!

Time Intensive Brews…

Homemade Ginger Beer by The Roasted Root

how_to_make_ginger_beer_1

Prep time: 3 days.

Health benefits:

  • Lemon – contains vitamin C.
  • Ginger – is anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, used to ease nausea, aid digestion, combat colds and flu, improve circulation and provide energy.

Ingredients

  • 9 cups spring or well water
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar*
  • ¼ cup fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice**
  • 1 cup cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast***

Homemade Tonic by The Bojon Gourmet

n.b. If pregnant avoid this recipe (see below).

tonic

Prep time: 2-3 weeks.

Health Benefits:

  • Lemons and limes – contain vitamin C
  • Quinine – antimalarial (warning: potentially unsafe to consume during pregnancy)
  • Lemongrass – is used to relieve headaches, speed detoxification and aid digestion.
  • Verbena – aids joint function, muscle recovery and boosts the immune system, is an anti-depressant and is used to treat respiratory conditions.

Ingredients:

  • 2 limes
  • 1 lemon
  • 37 oz Mamà brand quinine (cinchona) bark pieces
  • 1 cup chopped lemongrass
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon balm or lemon verbena leaves (optional)
  • 6 tablespoons citric acid
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups sugar
  • Soda water

We recommend adding alcohol-free bitters like Nature’s Answer Alcohol Free Bitters with Ginger to your homemade tonic water for an added health kick and flavour boost.

Strawberry Basil Kombucha by The Roasted Root

Kombucha

Prep time: 8 days.

Health Benefits:

  • Basil – is anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory
  • Kombucha – is a fermented beverage that is used to aid digestion, weight loss and detoxification, and is an energy an immunity booster.

Ingredients

  • 1-2/3 gallons homemade kombucha
  • 2 heaping cups ripe strawberries, chopped
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 ounces fresh basil, chopped (1 cup)

Rose Petal Iced Tea by Um Safia on Food.com

rose petal ice tea

Prep time: 10 hours.

Health benefits:

  • Rose – rich in vitamin C, polyphenols and other antioxidants and is known to ease menstrual cramps.
  • Lemon – contains vitamin C.
  • Green tea – is used to aid weight loss and healthy cell regeneration, to improve circulation and lower cholesterol.

Ingredients

  • 3 large roses (petals only, white bases removed)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons rose water
  • 1 drop pink food colouring 
  • 3 green tea bags
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar

15 Minutes or Less…

Cucumber and Mint Limeade by So Lets Hang Out

cucumber-mint-limeade-BLOG2303

Prep time: 15 minutes.

Health benefits:

  • Lime – contains vitamin C.
  • Mint – is used to help digestion, speed weight loss, improve memory, and to combat fatigue, colds, flu and headaches.
  • Cucumber – rehydrates, flushes out toxins and contains skin-loving minerals.

Ingredients

  • 1 large English cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 4 sprigs of mint, de-stemmed
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp course sea salt
  • 3 1/2 cups filtered water
  • 1 cup ice
  • cucumber spears, mint leaves and lime wedges to garnish (optional)

Green Tea Mojito Mocktail by Imbibe

recipe_greenteamojito_249x300

Prep time: 10 minutes.

Health benefits:

  • Lime – contains vitamin C
  • Mint – is used to help digestion, speed weight loss, improve memory, and to combat fatigue, colds, flu and headaches.
  • Matcha – contains antioxidants and L-Theanine (induces relaxation without drowsiness, is a mood enhancer and improves memory), is an energy and immune booster, a detoxifier AND a calorie burner!

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp. powdered matcha green tea
  • 3 oz. hot water
  • 6 mint leaves
  • 5 tsp. lime juice
  • 2 tsp. simple syrup
  • 2 lime wedges
  • Soda water
  • Ice cubes

Quick Fixes…

20 Infused Water Recipes by Style Me Pretty Living

infused water

Prep time: 2-3 minutes.

Health benefits:

  • Rehydration and detoxification.

Ingredients

Matcha Tea Lemonade by Lauren of The Perfect Pear

matchalemonade3

Prep time: 5 minutes.

Health benefits:

  • Lemons – vitamin C.
  • Matcha – contains antioxidants and L-Theanine (induces relaxation without drowsiness, is a mood enhancer and improves memory), is an energy and immune booster, a detoxifier AND a calorie burner!

Ingredients

  • One lemon
  • Desired amount of sugar
  • Matcha green tea powder
  • Ice and water

Health Shots by Faust’s Potions

potionpack

Prep time: 0 minutes. Would complement all of the above beverages.

Health benefits:

  • The Awake Potion contains electrolytes, green tea, guarana, ginseng, B vitamins and vitamin C. It acts as a pick-me-up and an immunity booster and would be the perfect way to greet your guests on arrival.
  • The Asleep Potion contains honey, 5-HTP and electrolytes. It acts as a sleep aid and a detoxifier. It would be the perfect party favour to send your guests home with at the end of the evening.
  • Both can be purchased online from the Faust’s Potions Shop.

The Best Mixology Trend of 2014 – Herb Infused Cocktails

The year is drawing to a close… which means you have three sleeps to continue relishing the joys of excess before that ghastly New Year conscience kicks in and it’s all, ‘I’ll have a mung bean and alfalfa sprout smoothie please’. What better time to reflect upon your favourite mixology trend of the year gone by?

For us at Bane + Antidote 2014 was all about herb infused cocktails, as they represent the epitome of intelligent imbibing. Not only do these delightful concoctions provide a long overdue alternative to the banality of ‘variations-on-sweet’, many contain a hearty dose of medicinal properties, and represent a world of creative hosting opportunities to boot.

While every great dinner party begins with a cocktail, only an exquisite dinner party begins with a cocktail designed with the health needs of the guests in mind, or interjects with half-time cocktails that reflect and enliven the dishes being served. Below are our favourite herb infused cocktail recipes, with information on the properties and flavours of each. Enjoy! You have three days. GO!

Chamomile


Properties: Chamomile is used as a sleep aid, to calm the nerves, speed digestion, and to treat anxiety, fevers, colds, and stomach ailments. It also has anti-inflammatory properties.

Taste: Flowery, mild.

Chamomile Hot Toddy by Honestly Yum

chamomile.hot_.toddy_.recipe.10.1

Recipe:

  • 1 1/2 oz bourbon
1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz chamomile honey syrup
  • 4 oz hot water
  • 
lemon wedge and chamomile flowers for garnish

Chamomile Honey Syrup:

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/8 cup hot water
  • 1 tablespoon dried chamomile

Ginger


Properties: Anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal. Ginger is used to ease nausea, aid digestion, combat colds and flu, improve circulation and provide energy. A great all-round health booster.

Taste: Spicy, peppery, earthy.

The Jim Dandy by Mike Lewicki of The Boys Club

jim dandy

Recipe:

  • 2 oz (60 ml) spiced rum
  • 3 oz (90 ml) of ginger beer
  • 1 oz (30 ml) of pear nectar
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 tsp (5 ml) fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/2 oz (15 ml) chai tea, cooled
  • 
2 dashes of bitters
  • infused ice cubes
  • pear slices, to garnish
  • lime quarter, to garnish

Lavender

Properties: Calming, uplifting, analgesic and antiseptic. Helps ward against coughs, colds and flu.

Taste: Floral, spicy.

Vodka Lavender Lemonade by The Effortless Chic

Vodka-Lavender-Lemonade-The-Effortless-Chic-11

Recipe:

  • 6 white sugar cubes
  • 2 ounces cold water
  • 
4 ounces fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 ounces vodka
  • ice
  • 
four stems of lavender

Lemongrass

Properties: Lemongrass is widely used to relieve headaches (making it a perfect hair-of-the-dog ingredient). It is also believed to speed detoxification and aid digestion.

Taste: Fragrant, pungent, sharp.

Grapefruit Lemongrass Cocktail by Lauren Kathryn of Swooned

lemongrass

Recipe:

  • 1 handful of fresh Thai basil
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass
  • 1/5 ounce of rum
  • 1/2 grapefruit, juiced
  • 3 ounces of water
  • 
Dash of bitters
  • 3 tablespoons of brown sugar

Mint

Properties: mint is used to help digestion, speed weight loss, improve memory, and to combat fatigue, colds, flu and headaches.

Taste: Fresh, peppery, tangy.

The Ivy Gimlet by Cupcakes and Cashmere

ivy gimlet

Recipe:

  • 3 oz. of your favourite vodka, chilled
  • Juice of 1 fresh lime
  • 1 tsp. superfine sugar
  • 
8 fresh mint leaves, muddled

Thyme

Properties: Antibacterial, a strong antiseptic and a powerful antioxidant. Thyme is an expectorant and is believed to help fight cancer.

Taste: Tangy, warm, lemony.

Blackberry Thyme Sparkler by The Effortless Chic

Blackberry_Thyme_Sparkler_1-660x990

Recipe:

  • 1 c. blackberries + 8 more for garnish
  • 1 c. Water
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 bottle of champagne
  • 4 ounces or 1/2 c. gin
  • 4 long sprigs of thyme
  • 1 c. ice
  • gold baking sugar for the rim

December’s Punch of the Month

The Blackberry Thyme Sparkler by Jen Pinkston of The Effortless Chic.

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November was about heartwarming hot toddies and heavyweight #cocktails that reduced the winter chills to oblivion. Perhaps that is why this post is so late. December, however, requires a tad more finesse. Craftwork and care is the name of the game this month. A herb-and-seasonal-berry-infused Champagne in gold sugar rimmed flutes it is then.

Catch up on the last Punch of the Month here.

Recipes for a Grown Up Halloween Dinner Party

Halloween has always been my favourite celebration of the year, but even I can’t stand the sickly sweet rendition of All Hallows Night that our neighbours across the pond have infected us with. It almost seems as though if you do not have a child and you’re not ruled by high fructose corn syrup then Halloween is not for you. I beg to differ. All Soul’s Night is a time to gather together, look death in the eye and raise a glass to all things dark and decrepit with brazen joviality. Below are my favourite recipes for an unnervingly stylish Halloween dinner party.

Click through for full recipes and instructions.

The Centrepiece: A Pineapple Jack-O-Lantern

By Victoria Hudgins of A Subtle Revelry

pf pineapple

In celebration of the left-field.

The Cocktail: The Black Heart

By Kelli Hall of Julep

FP black heart

1/2 ounce Black Vodka (like Blavod)

1/2 ounce Fig Vodka (like Figenza)

1 1/2 ounces Creme de Cassis

Dash of Dry Vermouth

And keep them coming.

The Canapés: Avocado and Wasabi Devilled Eggs

By Laura of Family Spice

FP Devilled eggs

4 eggs

1 cup blueberries, frozen

1/2 avocado, seeded and peeled

1 tsp wasabi, paste

1 tsp lemon juice

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp sesame seeds, black

Le Plat Principal: Pumpkin Ricotta Gnocchi with Pancetta and Seared Radicchio

By Alanna Taylor-Tobin of The Bojon Gourmet

fp gnocchi

(This recipe is gluten free)

For the gnocchi:

1 cup (8 ounces / 225 grams) roasted winter squash puree

1 cup (8 ounces / 225 grams) whole-milk ricotta

3 large eggs

1/4 cup (1.25 ounces / 35 grams) grated Parmesan

1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea or kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 cup (3 ounces / 85 grams) potato flour (not starch)

1/2 cup (2 ounces / 55 grams) millet flour, plus more for rolling

1/2 cup (2.75 ounces / 80 grams) sweet rice flour, more as needed

To finish the gnocchi (makes 2 servings):

1/3 of the pumpkin ricotta gnocchi

olive oil, as needed

3 ounces (85 grams) pancetta, diced

1/3 small head red radicchio, leaves torn into 1-2″ pieces

1- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, plus a few pretty leaves for garnish

a few large sage leaves, sliced

1 tablespoon lemon juice

black pepper

parmesan

The Sidecar: Bloody Sesame Beetroot Salad with Chia Dressing

fp beets

You’re going to have to off-road with this one as the recipe link is dead. It just looked so evocatively innards-like and yet so delectably healthy that I had to include it.

The Pudding: Death by Chocolate Pear, Spiced Red Wine and Chocolate Tart

By JJ of 84th & 3rd

fp tart

For the Pears:

1 Tbsp whiskey or brandy

100 g 85% dark chocolate, broken into small pieces

1/2 tsp sea salt

150 g butter

100 ml red wine

1 1/4 c raw sugar

For the Cake:

1 cinnamon stick or 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 1/2 c red wine

1 1/2 c water

4 firm pears

For the pears:

2 large eggs

1/2 c buttermilk

1/2 c [35 g] cocoa powder

1 c unbleached white flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

Follow my Pinterest board HALLOWEEN PARTY for many more grown up yet ghoulish party planning ideas.