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.

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

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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

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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

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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.

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.

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

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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

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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