Peach Tea Vodka

While in Charleston this summer, Lovely Man and I stopped at the Blind Tiger Pub for a break from the heat and humidity. The stop proved to be rather longer than planned due to our discovery of a little something called “Sex on the Plantation”. It’s basically a riff on Sex on the Beach, one of my favorite summer cocktails.

The main ingredient is peach tea vodka. The Blind Tiger uses Firefly‘s version, but we didn’t have time to track down a bottle (or the luggage room) to bring home. So, once home, I decided to have a go for myself.

I added the contents of two packs of peach tea P1030229 (40 teabags) to a jar P1030231along with approximately three litres (roughly 100 fl oz) of vodka, sealed it and stored it in a cool, dark place. After about 2 weeks the vodka had taken on the color of black tea and smelled and tasted of peaches. You could add sugar at this stage (let it sit a little longer) if you like; I decided I preferred it without. I then strained off the tea and poured the resultant vodka back into bottles. IMG_7840

Party time!

P1030099 - Version 2

Sex on the Plantation cocktail

  • 1 1/2 oz  peach tea vodka
  • 1/2 oz peach schnapps
  • 2 oz cranberry juice
  • 1 oz orange juice.

Fill a shaker with ice cubes. Add all ingredients. Shake and strain into a chilled highball glass filled with ice. Enjoy!

Click here for other recipes from Firefly.

Do you have a favorite summer cocktail? What lengths would you go to to reproduce it?

 

Monday Pinspiration: Entertaining Little Guests

As I mentioned, this week we are welcoming Lovely Man’s family to stay. Since BH is more than half child himself, he’s particularly excited about the two grandsons (2 and 3) – small but very active!

They are coming from England and will not have much with them beyond iPads and a couple of essential toys, so I have been trawling Pinterest for ideas on how to keep them entertained. I focused on games they can play outside (this is California after all!)…

Here are some of the ones I thought looked fun:

IMG_0251Penguin races

IMG_0250Colour and shape jump

IMG_0253Toddler tennis

IMG_0262Water sponge fights

IMG_0255Water balloon target practice

IMG_0256Water balloon baseball

I just hope we have the energy to keep up…

Terrace Garden

When we bought our house, one of the main attractions was the view. It’s beautiful, day or night.

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But the main garden – a terrace that wraps the house to the south and west – was uninspiring. Serviceable, but fractured and a bit boring.

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And in remodelling the new kitchen and porch, much of it got trashed.

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So once the main building work had quietened down we started landscaping. We wanted a space for entertaining which was water-conscious and wildlife-friendly, in a Mediterranean style to match the house. Pinterest was a great source of inspiration!

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The old spa bit the dust when we extended the porch so we began by getting rid of the old pink concrete.

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Luckily a friend of Contractor John needed exactly that to build a wall, so it went to a good home! Then we marked out the beds, put in a drip system for irrigation, and edged them with salvaged roof tiles, an idea I’d seen at the Old Mill in Pasadena.

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The main part of the terrace is a boules piste (bocce ball court to Americans).

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John had never made one before but I found instructions here. Since we didn’t have oyster shells we used the tiny loose stones from erosion control bags. I can see it getting a lot of use once we start entertaining properly this summer!

The planting is a mixture of drought-tolerant aloes, euphorbias and succulents, California natives and Mediterranean plants. They’ve been in about six weeks now and are filling out nicely.

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The seating area is positioned for the best views. It’s high desert flag, a greeny-grey stone already in use elsewhere in the garden, interspersed with gravel. I’ve planted Corsican mint in some of the gaps, which gives off a wonderful smell when stepped on. The seat can accommodate eight when separated, or pushed together becomes a massive lounger for when we feel like lying around.

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Beyond that, at the back of the house, is the spot of the – future – pool or spa. Currently overflow storage for garden equipment and building detritus!

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And at the other end of the piste is my kitchen garden.

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Have you designed a garden for yourself? What are your inspirations?

Oscar!

Since a good proportion of the house is finished, my Lovely Man has decide to throw a party. And not just a small select dinner either, but a full-on Oscars party. LM has been wandering about his office issuing invitations left and right, so it’s looking like we could be as many as thirty in the kitchen on Sunday. Yikes! So I turned to my trusty Pinterest and began to plan.

There has to be a red carpet.

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And I just love this idea:

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Stars everywhere (even if they are made of card).

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I’m hoping our guests will dress up (although, this being California, they may not – that’s OK). This is my dress

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– if I can get it finished in time!

Cocktails of course.

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Popcorn, beautifully presented.

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And games! Which of course means prizes…everyone should have the chance to win an Oscar…

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I think I’m in for a busy week (good job I love to cook)!

(sources: Pinterest)