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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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

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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