Buongiorno, bonjour and “g’day”! (don't you like how they're all the same thing? ~ who knew Australian vernacular was so cosmopolitan???).

Also, "a good day to you, sir/maam" for our American pals, "Ni Hao" to China, and "Здравствуй" to our Russian comrades, "etcetera etcetera and so forth"... (for Yul Brynner).

It’s your old pal Kit (Christof) Fennessy here. I've been writing this blog with your help for ten years, and there's over a hundred and fifty recipes, restaurant reviews of Australia and around the world, and general gourmet articles in these pages for you to fritter away your idle hours on.

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Now, what's on the bill of fare today?

Monday, May 25, 2009

The White Lady

Cocktails Au Go Go 101.

While reading the Captain's Table by Richard Gordon (famous author of the Doctor in the House series), a mention of the White Lady cocktail came up at regular intervals. "What is it, how do I make one and why haven't I heard of this drink before?" I found myself asking me - quite pertinently I thought.

Well may I have asked myself. The recipe given: "Two jiggers of gin, one jigger of Cointreau and a jigger of lemon juice." Oranges and lemon with gin! Now there's an idea. My interest was further piqued by Cointreau's packaging as I gathered together the vital ingredients. "At the four corners of the globe. Used in the world's most famous cocktails including the white lady, the side car and cosmopolitan."

As usual with my experiments into ancient libations, the entire process was educative as well as mildly damaging to my soft tissue physiology. I found through experimentation that it's good to be heavy handed on the triple sec and back off a little on the lemon juice to get the balance. And that all important ingredient that demonstrates you're a cocktail genius? Internet reveals egg white! (Blurgh - can it be true? What about selmonella?)

Either way, here's a recipe and some interesting background information from Great Cocktails UK. For a video presentation on how to make all these variations, follow the video link at the bottom of the page! Salut!


The White Lady cocktail was first recorded in Harry Craddock's Savoy Cocktail Book in 1930, although Harry MacElhone, famed cocktail creator of Harry's New York Bar in Paris, also lays claim to having invented it in the 1920s.

It's a clean-tasting drink that needs to be drunk very cold.

You need:

2 parts gin
1 part Cointreau
1 part lemon juice
Shake the ingredients together well with ice. Strain into a frosted cocktail glass and serve.
Some recipes include an egg white, which adds a smoothness to the drink.
For a Pink Lady, add a dash or two of grenadine.
Replace the Cointreau with blue Curacao for a Blue Lady.
And for the Perfect Lady, use crème de peche instead of the orange liqueur.

Video how to link here!

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Cutler and Co.

55-57 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy.
ph: 9419 4888, email: info@cutlerandco.com.au

The pen is rusty but the spirit is willing. Much could be said to be the same with Cutler and Co. A rustic fit out in an old cutlery factory at the - dare I say it? - mental patient end of Gertrude St. Homeless shelters abound and it's located a handy stone's throw from Turning Point. Still, the the edgeyness of the neighbourhood adds to its charms; plus it is just a couple of blocks from work!

A cocktail bar at the front with excellent martinis can also be used for a drop-in quick bite, since they don't take bookings in this section. The main restaurant has been tastefully fitted out without having gone to too much expense; the loos are in a large black box reminiscient of tawdry cocaine nightclubs.

While the menu is unavailable online for reference, after all it is constantly changing and it's a competitive jungle out there, I was impressed with it's brevity and yet wide range. Something for everyone, including oysters in different guises, a favourite. I had and can recommend the quail entree; beautifully cut and presented it was almost like crispy quail sashimi. Jane enjoyed her pork, slow cooked and absolutely falling apart; the best pork she has apparently ever eaten. I think I had the fish for mains -though I'm now unsure! The whole event became slightly unhinged with my party; all thoughts pushed aside as my sister launched a tirade at the end of the meal as there was no skinny milk for her cappucino! Quel damage.

I've heard nothing but good reviews about this place, so it was disappointing the service was a bit slack the night we went (we were at the back with a party of seven and had a prickly customer or two). The waiting staff were, however, all still charming. One of my dear friends had a very romantic dinner for two with her husband - probably what this restaurant is best suited to- where they shared a pheasant baked into a loaf of bread.

Think the cook, the thief, his wife and her lover with a disco come Home and Away overhaul. I give it six tentacles out of eight.

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