You are what you eat & drink


Boris Johnson – a winner in Ukraine

Борис Джонсонюк
The name of a new dessert in Ukraine. He may have lost the plot in UK, but he's a winner in Ukraine for his unstaunched support of Ukraine against the Russian dictator Poohtin (indicating that he's a load of excrement).

Борис Джонсонюк Dessert – Image: The Star

“The cake, inspired by English apple pie and Johnson’s mop of blonde hair, consists of baked apple, vanilla custard, meringue and vanilla ice cream.” Stuff


I May… or indeed may not

I have been on a hiatus, my last post here was over seven years ago.

I have slowly returned to blog on Shit Happens, and have now seen a post that is worthy of resurrecting “Fizz”.

So, I may try to fix it, or indeed may not. Perhaps sporadic posts to whet ones appetite.

Catching the crabs was the first step in making Crab and Dumpling, Tobago’s signature dish.

Trinidad & Tobago is a country off the northern coast of South America near Venezuela.

It’s in the Caribbean, a delightful spot.

They have this dish called Crab & Dumpling

Now I’m not a fan of eating crab, messy fingers and sharp splinters of shell, but I do enjoy the taste of crab.

So Let’s start off with…

Tobago is a land of plenty, with astonishing biodiversity including more than 260 species of birds. It’s also home to the world’s oldest protected rainforest, which is where these unique freshwater land crabs live, scuttling along the forest floor and in mountain streams rather than the marine environment usually associated with crabs. While sea crabs are also abundant in Tobago, the sweeter land crab meat is preferred for the dish.

Crab and dumpling, Tobago’s signature dish, is sweet, salty, spicy – and messy to eat (Credit: Renee Tobley)

Looks delicious!

The complete post can be found on BBC Travel, so go there for a good read and some interesting blog links.

Reyka Designs Innovative Martini Machine To Guarantee The Perfect Serve

Machines for everything…


Reyka Martini Dispenser

The UK Ambassador for Reyka, the premium Icelandic vodka, has invented a Martini Dispenser that delivers perfect, ice cold Reyka cocktails every time.

Fuelled with a mix of Reyka vodka, vermouth and limited edition Reyka bitters; at the push of a button the Martini Dispenser pumps the cocktail through flash coolers that chill the liquid down to -18 degrees Celsius before neatly dispensing it from a brass tap into your martini glass. All that’s needed to perfect the cocktail is a final red grapefruit zest garnish.

Joe Petch, UK Brand Ambassador for Reyka, commented: “With several events on the horizon, I’ve been looking for a way for guests to serve their own perfectly cold Reyka Martinis. The machine we came up with reflects the inventive culture of Iceland, where people do things a little bit differently but also in a resourceful way – reinventing unwanted or unused objects to fulfil…

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The Best Delicious Traditional Bulgarian Food Dishes

International Bellhop Travel Magazine

Traditional Bulagrian food in front of a chimney

Bulgarian cuisine is the culmination of all of the greatest traditional dishes in Southeastern Europe, incorporating hints of Russian, Middle Eastern, Greek, Turkish and Serbian flavors and ingredients. Bulgarian dishes are decadently rich and yet simple concoctions of spices and fresh raw ingredients that are found in abundance in the region.Bulgaria -- MapBulgaria’s diverse and delicious dishes come from its location at the literal crossroads of the modern world in Southeastern Europe. With Turkey and Greece to the south, Bulgarian dishes often reflect classic Greek flavors such as olive oil and a hearty use of feta cheese, while the Turkish influence is seen in the grilled meats and stuffed pastries that are commonly cooked in large gatherings. The delicious cuisine and traditional dishes of Bulgaria are hearty, warm and inviting… and we invite you to learn about some of our favorite traditional Bulgarian dishes here:



We have to begin with…

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Be Better With Gin

Be A Better Bartender



There are two legal classifications of London gin – ‘Gin’ and ‘Distilled Gin’. ‘Gin’ is a flavoured spirit with a minimum strength of 37.5% abv with the main flavour being juniper. A ‘Distilled Gin’ must be made by a process in which the juniper and other natural flavourings are distilled with the spirit in a pot still.
There is also an Appellation around Plymouth Gin in that it must be made in Plymouth.


Brief History

Gin has a long and dark history starting in Italy in the 11th Century, when monks were flavouring distilled spirit with juniper.

The first recognizable ancestor of gin is credited to a Professor of medicine at Holland’s Leyden University called Dr. Sylvius.

British soldiers fighting in Holland during the 17th century found the spirit, which they called ‘Hollands’ and may have brought it home. It is the ‘Hollands’ that gained…

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10 Reasons Wine is better than Beer

A good post, some tongue-in-cheek.


The Wine Wankers

beer wine wanker Craft beer – for those that have not seen it 🙂

Over at the Wine Wanker’s head office we are very committed to promoting the virtues of wine, but we don’t often criticise the alternatives. This blog therefore corrects this glaring omission from our line-up of posts, and demonstrates the superiority of wine over it’s poorer cousin beer. Why beer? Well in Australia anyway (Downunder for our American friends), it is the most consumed alcoholic beverage, and as such some ground needs to be made up by the wine fraternity to correct this travesty.

We have a craft beer revolution going on here at present and it has been interesting watching beer swillers becoming refined craft beer nerds. Conrad and Neal recently went to a craft beer brewery that has sprung up in Enmore and it was hilarious watching this cultural shift. Deadset there were beer wankers everywhere. Good idea…

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Some great ideas for squash and pumpkins


A few weeks ago I purchased “all the squash.” I wanted to do something fun with each of them, and I think I accomplished just that. Below are the random creations I came up with for five different types of squash. I don’t have recipe measurements because I usually just throw things together, but this will give you an idea of different flavor combinations to experiment with!IMG_3039-0You’ll see I used the outer “shell” of each squash as my bowl. Eating directly out of the squash shell is almost more fun than tormenting small children. Almost.

Spaghetti Squash

Named for its string like consistency, this squash is a fun substitute for noodles.


In the mix: olive oil, nutritional yeast, pepper, jalapenos, broccoli and cauliflower.


Butternut Squash

The squash with a funny name and an equally funny shape. Borderline inappropriate for both…


In the mix: Sauteed kale, cubed/roasted butternut squash, cranberries, cashews, olive…

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Rediscovering Merlot

Personally, I like Merlot…

The Wine Wankers

A scene from the movie "Sideways" Merlot hate?   A scene from the movie “Sideways”

Poor Merlot!

With just one line “I’m not drinking any f*cking Merlot!” the movie “Sideways” is believed to have delivered a hiding to the quality producers of wine from this noble grape.  For some strange reason, a lot of wine consumers took this line as meaning that Merlot was now uncool and not really all that good after all.

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The Japanese Sunrise

The Creative Bartender

One of my first cocktails I was proud of: The Japanese Sunrise.  It is one of those dangerous, deceiving concoctions, those that you cannot “taste the alcohol” yet struggle to find your bedroom after a few! Deliciously fruity, with a healthy balance between the sweet Midori and fresh lemon juice.

The well established, modern day mixologist might find a reason to attack my blog, stating that Midori and Malibu is far from craft cocktails and fresh ingredients, and perhaps they are right, nonetheless it doesn’t change the facts it was the first cocktail that I was proud of, and still a favorite amongst my local customers; so why change a bad habit?!?

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A fun collection of wine chalkboards

Some of these are hilarious!

The Wine Wankers

After the success of our previous collection posts like An inspiring collection of wine quotes and A collection of fun wine images I’ve decided to put together a compilation of wine related chalkboards that have come our way via Instagram and Twitter.


100 percent chance of wine wankers

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Hang over? Fernet about it!

Good advice

As cocktail enthusiasts, you should know by now that writing and research is just an excuse for us to drink and try new cocktails, but like everyone else, the morning after can be tough. While the “hair of the dog” for many people consists of a Bloody Mary or Mimosa, we swear by a combination of the following two ingredients: Fernet Branca and ginger.

Like most cordials, Fernet was originally concocted for medicinal purposes.  The combination of headache-curing and stomach-settling herbs include anise, camomile, cardamom, rhubarb, myrrh, and eucalyptus.

It’s no secret that the other component, ginger, is traditionally used for all types of ailments as well. This is where our family differs the most; whether it is Domaine De Canton, ginger ale, ginger syrup, or fresh ginger, we all agree that the combination of Fernet and ginger is the best remedy for a hangover.


While Ryan may throw back…

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200-year old bottle of booze found in shipwreck near coast of Poland

Lords of the Drinks

The oldest drinkable mix drink in the world. The oldest drinkable mix drink in the world.

Archaeologists have made a stunning discovery in a shipwreck near the coast of Poland; a 200-year old bottle of booze. But wait, it gets better. After running some tests they claim that the content of the stoneware bottle is still drinkable. It’s also the oldest mix drink on the planet, since we are dealing with a mix between hard liquor (vodka or jenever) and water. Maybe not the best cocktail recipe you ever heard of, but with an alcohol percentage of 14 this one liter bottle might still give you a nice buzz.

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Disaster in Britain

Pubs closing at rate of 31 a week

Camra blames planning loopholes for accelerating disappearance of British institution, of which fewer than 55,000 remain

‘Pubs are increasingly being targeted by those wishing to take advantage of the absence of proper planning control.’ Photograph: David Sillitoe for the Guardian

The rate at which British pubs are closing down has accelerated to 31 a week and 3% of pubs in the suburbs have shut in the past six months, the real ale group Camra has warned.

Campaigners are calling for an urgent change in the law to make it harder for pubs to be demolished or converted to supermarkets and convenience stores.

The peak closure period was between January and June 2009 when 52 pubs ceased trading every week, and there are now 54,490 pubs left in the country.

At the start of its annual Great British Beer Festival, Camra has launched a campaign calling for a planning application to be required before a pub is demolished or converted to another use.

Pubs can currently be converted to a range of uses without planning permission. Camra says that in most cases communities have been powerless to save their locals.

Tom Stainer, head of communications at Camra, said: “Popular and profitable pubs are being left vulnerable by gaps in English planning legislation as pubs are increasingly being targeted by those wishing to take advantage of the absence of proper planning control.

“It is utterly perverse that developers are able to demolish or convert a pub into a convenience store or many other uses without any requirement to apply for planning permission. It is wrong that communities are left powerless when a popular local pub is threatened with demolition or conversion into a Tesco store.”

Source: TheGuardian Read more

What beer be this?

Summer Shandy


Normally, I wouldn’t include a shandy here, but the label says ‘lemonade flavoured’, so I guess it qualifies.

Wednesday Whine

I had a wine ready for review today, but I drank it.

Finishing the bottle at the botequim, I forgot to bring it home… I had hoped to get another, but haven’t been out of the house for the cold.

It was French, red, good… Not plonk. Name started with a B, not Burgundy.

Heres the blurb I wrote on the day of the crime:

“Yes, today, weinerschnitzel; all crumbed and ready to go. Boiled potatoes and buttered peas and cauliflower cheese on the side. French Bordeaux in the offing… 

Oh, I know how to do it on a Sunday.”

I’ll do better next time.

I really must stop drinking wine before I’ve featured it here, but I am such a weak person.

Dirty Tricks

Sneaky tricks of the restaurant trade and how to avoid forking out too much

During the summer, smart restaurant owners put cunning tactics on the menu to boost profits

Restaurants can try every trick in the book to make you spend more. Illustration: Dale Edwin Murray

Ever found yourself unexpectedly drinking expensive French wine in a restaurant while Edith Piaf’s La Vie en Rose plays in the background? Or perhaps you’ve unintentionally parted with a hefty tip after being touched on the shoulder by your waiter? Oops. You might well have succumbed to two of the restaurant trade’s sneaky ways to get you to spend more money without realising it.

And never are these subtle strategies more employed than during the holidays. Recent figures from the Post Office show that more than 40% of parents are worried about how much they are going to spend on family meals out during the summer.

So, while smart restaurant owners have a number of clever ways to boost their profits, learn their tricks and you could make considerable savings.

The menu

How much we spend on a meal hinges on the way the menu is presented. Everything – from the listing of the dishes to the language of the descriptions – has been designed to appeal to your senses.

While you would assume that we read a menu from left to right, studies show that our eyes gravitate toward the upper right-hand corner first. This is often where the “anchor” – or the most profitable item – is located.

But this particular ploy is more cunning than simply getting you to buy the most expensive dishes: typically, having this usually quite costly dish listed will make everything look reasonably priced in comparison.

“Having an outrageously expensive item is both likely to get publicity for a restaurant, and will also get people to spend more,” says Charles Spence, experimental psychologist at the University of Oxford and co-author of The Perfect Meal: The Multisensory Science of Food and Dining.

“People think ‘I wonder if anyone ever orders that?’, without realising that its true purpose is to make the next most expensive item seem cheaper.”

Conversely, research suggests that diners look at the bottom left of a menu last, so this is where the least expensive dishes will be positioned.

Even the way the food and drink is listed can subconsciously influence our spending.

Many diners will order the second least-expensive bottle on wine in an attempt to avoid looking cheap. Knowing this, restaurants place the highest markup on that very bottle.

Diners on a budget will often scour the menu and choose one of the three cheapest dishes, but the restaurant industry is fully aware of this and takes steps to ensure bumper profits.

“Restaurants will centre-align a list to make it more difficult to compare prices,” says Spence. “If you right-justify items, customers can more easily compare and will be less likely to go for more expensive items,” he says.

And watch out for those pound signs – or lack of them. A study from American university Cornell found that guests given a menu with only numbers and no currency symbols spent significantly more than those who received a menu with prices either showing currency symbols or written out in words.

Source: TheGuardian Read more about their sneaky tricks.

Ethiopian wine

Surely, an oxymoron…

First bottles of Ethiopian wine produced by French firm Castel

Half of 1.2m bottles of Rift Valley wine are intended for export, with company planning to double production

Women pick grapes at the Castel vineyard near the town of Ziway in Ethiopia. Photograph: Zacharias Abubeker/AFP/Getty Images

The grape names – merlot, syrah, cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay – are distinctly French, but the label on the Rift Valley wines is surprising: made in Ethiopia.

The French beverage giant Castel, one of the world’s biggest producers of wines and beers, is raising a glass to its first production of 1.2m bottles of Ethiopian Rift Valley wine.

The African state’s former president Meles Zenawi, who died in 2012, encouraged Castel to develop vineyards in Ethiopia, one of Africa’s poorest countries, as a way of improving its image.

Half of the bottles are destined for domestic consumption and half for export to countries where the Ethiopian diaspora have settled, though 26,000 have already been snapped up by a Chinese buyer.

Although Castel does not expect its Ethiopian wine business to make a profit until 2016, it hopes to more than double production to 3m bottles a year. Though Ethiopia is better known for its production of another drink, coffee, Castel says the African country has the potential to rival the continent’s main wine producer, South Africa.

“It’s not that difficult because the climate is good and it’s not too hot,” Castel’s Ethiopia site manager, Olivier Spillebout, told Agence France-Presse. “Exports are small now, but year after year they will grow.”

The company has produced a better quality wine called Rift Valley, selling in Ethiopia for the equivalent of €7 (£5.50) and a grape-mix wine called Acacia, retailing at the equivalent of €5.

Source: TheGuardian Read more

Castel, A French Wine Maker, To Export Ethiopian Wine

A leading French wine maker, Castel Winery plans to begin bottling wine for export starting early next year from its Battu (commonly known as Zeway) based vineyard.
It is Ethiopia’s first foreign winery after all wineries were nationalized during the Derg regime, and has been cultivating four different types of French wine since May 2008.

Source: EthiopianNews

Leleshwa Savignon Blanc - Rift Valley

Leleshwa Sauvignon Blanc – Rift Valley

Sunday Art Fare


Retro utensil print

Source: Bespoke Prints


Satireday on Fizz


My Favourite Food Patron Saints

I have never thought about “food saints” before…

How to make the perfect saag paneer

It’s a classic vegetarian Indian restaurant dish that’s quick and easy to make. But do you like yours wet or dry? And is frozen spinach ever acceptable?

Felicity Cloake’s perfect saag paneer. All photographs: Felicity Cloake for the Guardian

Choosing from a menu is never straightforward where I’m concerned – I’m always worried I’m going to make the wrong choice, and miss out on something I’ll never get the chance to try again. But as soon as I sink into the soft flock cushions favoured by British Indian restaurants of the old school, all such worries melt away – I know exactly what I’m going to have. Inevitably it’s a spicy lamb curry from the chef’s specials, with tarka dal and saag paneer, accompanied by a plain naan, ideally one the size of the napkin.

Now, I can make some pretty decent lamb curries, even if I sometimes have difficulty identifying one, and I’m a dab hand at dal, yet the simplest dish – fried spinach and fresh cheese – has proved a remarkably tough nut to crack. Nothing I’ve tried has come close to matching up to the garlicky, greasy greens served in the humblest of curry houses; nice, sure, but not the kind of dish you’d go back to like a woman obsessed. It seemed time for a more systematic approach – just how do they do it?

Now, if your interested… you can read all about the greens, the cheese, the spices and flavourings and the ‘how to’ on The Guardian.


Sunday Art Fare

Today, something quite different.

I bet you’ve never seen a wine rack this classy…



Wine rack with a ceramic backsplash.

I think this is awesome.

Want one!

Cource: imSAID

A heap of other decorating ideas too.

What beer be this?



A craft beer

Gillian is a saison with strawberries, honey, and white pepper that has been aged in used wine barrels.

From: Goose Island, Chicago

Daily Beer Review for tasting, etc.

Another review: The Barley Blog

Have a good wekend!




An Interesting Bourbon