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

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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.

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What is the Collective Noun for Unicorns?

Alex Volkers for Bane + Antidote reviews Morning Gloryville – the early morning rave sensation that is taking the world by storm.

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When I first heard about Morning Gloryville last year I’m afraid I got the wrong end of the stick. It must have been the effect of encountering the words ‘morning rave’ and ‘East London’ in one sentence. Clammy handed flashbacks of a base seeker’s AM adventures bowled me over, as I remembered regional treasures such as Public Life and Aquarium with the glorious trepidation of hindsight. I had shut said terms firmly in the ‘Shoreditch poser’, ‘drug haze’ and ‘awkward techno’ files of my brain. And I thought nothing more of it. Until I found myself grumpily cycling through the rain in the dark at the god-awful hour of 6am, bound for Morning Gloryville London #20, to do the research for this piece.

My reluctance doesn’t last long. Upon my rain soaked arrival I am immediately accosted by a spandex-clad wing-bearing angel, and treated to a lengthy bear hug in spite of my soggy state. This angel’s name is Sean and he is one of the Morning Angels, he proudly tells me (as he strums on his ukulele). It’s their mission to ease people into the day with joy, and send them off to work blissed out, limber and open hearted. As I stop to accept a few lashings of glitter from one of Sean’s feathered colleagues I am overtaken by someone in a dinosaur onesie. Then two strapping men clamber out of a taxi to my left. The one with a huge beard is wearing a tiny nighty. His friend is sporting a neon tutu and I suddenly realised I’ve been caught off guard; ‘painfully cool’ is nowhere in sight. This crowd seems comfortable with silly.

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As I climb the external stairs of the Oval Space the picture is familiar enough: smokers’ draped over warehouse railings that rattle to a beat from within. But as I open the doors and am blasted by a cloud of sweet chunky disco funk my face bursts with an enormous grin, and I lay my eyes the delightful reality of Morning Gloryville London. There is not a sweaty palm or shifty gaze in sight. This huge, light, airy space is teeming with bright-eyed ravers and they all appear to be having the time of their lives. They are quite literally having it. There are grannies and babies, unicorns and narwhals, fairies and Yodas, yoga bunnies and stiff shirted businessmen, all bouncing in unison to the most spectacularly chunky yet playful disco set I have ever heard. That’s Plump DJs someone tells me, rendered sublime by the empowering loved-up rhymes of MC Angel, and done justice by a surprisingly impressive sound system (authors note: it takes a lot for Bane + Antidote commend a sound system).

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Lining the walls are purveyors of all things delicious and healthy. I warm up with a free massage and yoga session. After moving on to cacao and a croissant I work my way into the tightest, sweatiest nook on the dance floor that I can find. The vibes will be optimum here. All around me random bursts of swing and breakdance erupt. This is exuberance and exhibitionism on a massive scale and there’s a cynic in me that wants to object, yet it all a strikes me as extremely genuine; infectious, in fact. The stage is crammed with an eclectic mix of beautiful weirdoes, of all shapes and sizes, in varying states of disarray. They are populated by a preponderance of unicorns and all have one thing in common – they can seriously bust a move. Surrounded as I am by 700 people who are dancing like nobody’s watching, it’s near impossible not to follow suit. As I lose myself in the delights that The Loose Cannons and DJ/unicorn Miles Metric have to offer, my thighs start to burn and the sweat pours and I’m not even high. I want to know more.

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Dajana (one of the founding team members) tells me that two years ago this was just an idea. An idea that Samantha Moyo and Nico Thoemmes came up with after searching in vein for the euphoria of a club vibe without the inextricably linked communal drug and alcohol consumption. They liked to have fun but needed to find a more sustainable way of raving. And so Morning Gloryville was born. 150 people attended the first rave, most of them Samantha and Nico’s friends, but word soon got out. The elation that the frontiersman left with was enough to light the fuse. This was something that people wanted; needed, even. And with a mentor of the calibre of Felix from Basement Jaxx behind them, it’s little surprise that things got so big so fast. Morning Gloryville now happens in over 19 cities worldwide through regional Glory Agents (Dubai was the most recent metropolis to follow suit). Each is culturally attuned – in Tokyo it’s all gym gear, Paris too.

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Morning Gloryville is clearly making waves. So much so that founder Samantha Moyo was recently asked to speak at TEDxEastend (see the talk at 1:56 here). I can see why. Over the course of two hours I have smiled and laughed more than I have all week. The sweat flows in torrents (I really went for it) and my stiff and rather intelligent looking hat (fit for journalist on assignment) has melted and now drips limply across my face alerting me to the fact that this is more exercise than I’ve had all year. I have met some wonderful people. I have reconnected with at least 5 friends I hadn’t seen in years. I’ve consumed delicious and potent snacks. And I lost myself in the music, in the movement, in the heaving throng in a way I never thought would be possible without a basic level of intoxication. But it’s more than that still. Samantha, when addressing her TEDx audience on the topic of Society Beyond Borders, really brought it home. This is about playfulness and physical connectivity. We are playful, physical creatures. And when we connect through play and physical contact all the other crap just falls away. ‘Take it with you as you go,’ a Morning Angle tinkles as she writes me a sick note for work. And I do, for a time. As my jellied legs carry me down the stairs I bump into Anneke, an old friend, now a unicorn. ‘The collective noun for unicorns is a fabulous’, she tells me, and Morning Gloryville is their heartland.

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Things to Look Out for @GloryvilleHQ: 

  • Guest DJs – on top of mind blowing residents, Morning Gloryville pulls in some serious guest jockeys. Basement Jaxx recently played to 1000.
  • Regional Morning Gloryvilles – around the world in 19 early morning raves.
  • Summer – at Morning Gloryville London there is live music and yoga on the terrace for low-key ravers.
  • SleepoversMorning Gloryville London recently held a sleepover for 150 lucky flannel clad Londoners complete with cacao ceremonies, storytelling, massages and an early morning rave.
  • The Fabulous of Unicorns – these hooves for hire are professional sparkle spreaders. Catching a glimpse of them is an auspicious happening… keep your heart open and your eyes peeled.

How I kept Dancing for 3 Hours Before Breakfast:

morning gloryville

With a Faust’s Awake Potion health shot.

Thanks to Nicole Cataldo-Davies for the above image of Faust’s Potions keeping in real on the dancefloor.

Thanks to Sam, Dajana, Tegan all the Morning Gloryville for making this review so much fun and for being so fabulous.

Bane + Antidote Reviews: Wonderfruit Festival 2014

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Sunset over Wonderfruit 2014

We love festivals. We love summer. But the downside of the summer festival season is that we have to cram a year’s worth of show-pony exhibitionism and toe-tapping exuberance into just three short months. Such syrupy, highly concentrated antics require superhuman feats of stamina. And then it’s nine depressing months before your next disco unicorn reaches full-term, and after a lengthy tutu rebirthing/mending process, it can all thankfully begin again.

You can therefore imagine our excitement to learn about Wonderfruit, which took place for the first time from the 19th to the 21st December 2014. Wonderfruit festival is brainchild of the great minds behind Secret Productions (the wizards responsible for Wilderness festival), who have exported their secret formula for fun to the sunny, smiling land of Thailand. Wonderfruit is the first festival of its kind to hit South East Asia, so we were careful to manage our expectations. This was no small feat Secret Productions were attempting. There were bound to be teething problems and challenges to overcome. It is notoriously difficult for foreigners to set up projects in the region, and it must have been especially so for an innovative project such as this.

Boy were we surprised, and in the best possible way. In a nutshell, Wonderfruit was a glorious cross between Secret Garden Party and Burning Man, with a sprinkling of Wilderness’ refinement. Voila! One Wonderfruit steak well done…

Imagine a sandy lakeside beach fringed by palm trees, nestled by a tiki bar, with bikini-clad beauties dancing barefoot to a thumping sound system under thatched parasols. Imagine a badger-set reinvented, The Quarry, the funkiest, chunkiest place to dance until dawn under a stunning Andrew Cross of AN Architects bamboo superstructure, strewn with disco balls, with luxurious daybeds and hammocks under dappled shade for disco weary souls the morning after. Imagine delicious and appetizing food stalls amidst rice paddies, serving to-die-for organic coconut pancakes and the best Thai street-food around (yum), with giant tropical crickets serenading you as you dine. Imagine flamboyant naughtiness, a cabaret cocktail tent where magestic drag queens strut, Cirque du Soleil pole dancers twirl, dwarves strike a poses in wrestling outfits and kinky 1920s porn projections tie everything together. Imagine a compelling crowd consisting of young and hip Bangkok locals, a cosmopolitan Singapore and Hong Kong set, and the diehard UK loyalists for whom no time zone is too far when it comes to a party of Wonderfruit’s calibre.

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The Quarry by Andrew Cross, built using local techniques and materials

If there were teething problems, they didn’t show. We fell for everything that the Wonderfruit shmorgasbord had to offer. It was mouth-wateringly tasteful, incredibly well thought through AND there was no litter. The bar staff were competent and there was no shortage of ice (even on the Sunday morning). The portaloos were exceptionally clean and staffed by a hoard of joyfully enthusiastic ladies. And the security guards were friendly and smiling. Thai hospitality certainly makes for a refreshing variable in comparison to the shaken-warmly-by-the-throat British kind.

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Smiles and chunky tunes

Just one last gloat… to top it all off, the legendary DJ Swamy of Burning Man/Robot Heart fame created the ultimate palace of iniquity in the form of the Solar Stage, from which he proceeded to play fabulous chunky sets all weekend. Can you honestly imagine a better way to prepare for the Christmas glutfest than getting an envy-inducing tan while enthusiastically dancing all weekend in the heat, your hardest decision being whether to have another swim or a coconut and rum to cool off? We can’t. And we hope we never have to ever again.

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Delicious food

We feel privileged to have been there for the first run and are very excited to have found a midwinter solution to our annual sparkle-hibernation period. Thank goodness it’s only a skip-hop-and-jump away from our winter base in Hong Kong. But even if you’d have further to go, we thoroughly recommend the journey. The inner festie beast must be satisfied! Otherwise those first summer outings can get ugly. We know you know what we mean.

We salute you Jo Vidler, Dickie Cohen, Ben DeVere, Tess Acheson and all the Secret Production team for seeing through this vision. We thank you deeply Pete, for opening up your beautiful piece of paradise to the public and for battling the red tape and bureaucracy that must have blocked the path at every turn. Guys, we have no idea how you managed to pull this one out of the bag. But you did. And it rocked.

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Until next year… and our next Wonderfruit Festival Review!

New Year’s Eve Vegan Turmeric Hangover Curing Recipe

NYE Vegan Turmeric Hangover Curing Recipe

Prepare a vat of this before you lunge at your New Year’s celebrations. Reheat and consume upon returning. We promise you won’t regret it.

This soothing vegan bed-time drink contains nearly everything your body needs to help it recover from an evening’s over-indulgence. If accompanied by a Faust’s Asleep Potion natural hangover cure, you’ll rocket out of bed in the morning.

Honey and cinnamon help rebalance blood sugar levels, and speed the elimination of toxins from the liver post celebratory imbibing. Ginger will help ease nausea, boost circulation and replenish energy levels while you sleep. Turmeric has powerful healing properties – in addition to boosting liver function the root is known to ease respiratory ailments thereby helping to combat winter coughs and colds. Cloves ease a troubled digestive tract, and have strong analgesic properties that will soothe a pounding head.

However, to really destroy the hangover gremlins and begin 2015 with a clear head this Vegan Turmeric Milk should be accompanied by a Faust’s Asleep Potion. This natural hangover cure contains hearty doses of 5-HTP (to combat the depressive and sleep disrupting effects of alcohol consumption), N-Acetyl Cysteine (a powerful antioxidant that neutralises Acetaldehyde, the toxic byproduct of alcohol breakdown), and electrolytes (to aid rehydration). This natural remedy works best when followed by an Awake Potion the morning after.

It’s New Year’s Eve! ‘GO FOR IT’ we say! Just remember that the true party animal looks after their secretly mortal vessel… It’s the clandestine trick to becoming the life-and-soul.

New Year’s Eve Vegan Turmeric Hangover Curing Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup organic almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 tsp organic local honey

Recipe:

Place the ingredients in a saucepan and bring up to a simmering temperature. Do not allow to boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, and then strain out the solids. The ginger absorbs some of the liquid so be generous with your almond milk. Consume immediately, or allow to cool before storing in a fridge. This mixture will keep for at least a week, so you can make a litre or more of it in advance and enjoy this delicious detoxifying treat every evening with ease.

How to Craft a Crafty Christmas Fox

Happy Boxing Day from Bane + Antidote!

If your festive enthusiasm has been teetering on the brink of excess for the last week(s), as ours has, you’ll be in need of an afternoon activity that keeps your cocktail compulsive hands well clear of the drinks cabinet. Check out this amazing video tutorial, How to Make a Fox Mask with the Masketeers, for inspiration. We love this crafty Christmas fox and the mischief he inspires in those who wear him. He’d be the perfect addition to any thoroughly raucous New Year’s Eve celebrations.

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The Masketeers & Oscar Wilde say, ‘Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.‘ Explore the world of this incredible mask crafting collective and keep abreast of their upcoming events, 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

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In celebration of the left-field.

The Cocktail: The Black Heart

By Kelli Hall of Julep

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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

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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

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(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

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The Sidecar: Bloody Sesame Beetroot Salad with Chia Dressing

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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

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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.