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Archive for the tag “Cocktails”

Classics Perfected Launch at Fairmont Zimbali

This article contributed by: Vernon Loker

To the layman, a cocktail is little more than a tasty drink found in up-market restaurants, at plush bars or at other elite gatherings, in which patrons consume liquids fit for a very special occasion.

image courtesy of Fairmont Zimbali

image courtesy of Fairmont Zimbali

However, to the connoisseur, cocktails are hand-crafted brews requiring a delicate touch of blending various flavours of beverages, both natural and alcoholic together with, if called for, exotic spices to round off nothing short of a sensation to the palette. Granted, these drinks are commonly found at special celebrations, but interestingly for me, they also feature when conversations are light and topical at the end of a business day or the gathering of friends and family during a meal at a favourite eating or drinking establishment over the weekend. Fairmont Zimbali’s launch into this dimension of socializing at their Resort on the North Coast of Kwa-Zulu-Natal nearby Ballito has introduced me to this previously unknown world.

image courtesy of Fairmont Zimbali

image courtesy of Fairmont Zimbali

I was recently introduced to this form of social drinking when accompanying my wife to Fairmont Zimbali Resort launch of their exclusive cocktail menu called Classics Perfected.

image courtesy of Fairmont Zimbali

image courtesy of Fairmont Zimbali


image courtesy of Fairmont Zimbali

image courtesy of Fairmont Zimbali


Little was I aware of firstly the training that Mixologists (the title for a master of his/her trade) undergo, together with the painstaking experimentation and recording of cocktail recipes prior to the final product passing the lips of the discerning tippler. Fairmont Hotel’s South African Mixologists have attended specialist training courses with a fortunate few having gained overseas experience to fine-tune their craft.
image courtesy of Fairmont Zimbali

image courtesy of Fairmont Zimbali


I was further intrigued, when given insight, into the flavours that Mixologists are able to produce when blending a cocktail. To successfully combine mint, pomegranate, cucumber, fresh lemon, coconut, plus a variety of other fruits, along with herbs and spices with recognized drinks such as Champagne, Tequila, Vodka, Gin, Cointreau and the likes was the equivalent to introducing me to another universe of drinking pleasure.
Cocktail names such as “Right Word”, “VSOP Boulevardier”, “Veuve Clicqot” had me spell bound.
Of particular interest to me were the demonstrations of the Hotel’s resident Mixologists in the preparation of a cocktail. This at a specially prepared glass counter with colourful lighting, a crystal clear sound system and big screen, all combining to optimize patrons viewing the coming together of the final product.
image courtesy of Fairmont Zimbali

image courtesy of Fairmont Zimbali


My attention was gripped by one of the evening’s Mixologists, Patrick, as he produced his personal creation, Pomegranate Paloma . A cocktail of Patrick’s own engineering and one that hitherto had no equal in the cocktail world. I sat enthralled as he combined pomegranate juice, grapefruit juice, and fresh lemon juice with Angostura bitters. He then added Casamigos Reposado Tequila to Cointreau plus Half kosher salt to the juices and rounded off with a rim of lemon.
In short – a refreshing cocktail and one to warm conversations.
All-in-all, an evening well spent in the company of Fairmont Zimbali’s staff and guests.
image courtesy of Fairmont Zimbali

image courtesy of Fairmont Zimbali

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My Taste of Durban 2013 experience

I was one of a couple of privileged Food Bloggers in Durban to receive complementary tickets to the “Taste of Durban” 2013 experience. And WOW! What an experience it was. On our (hubby and myself) “Media Cards” which we had to keep and guard like gold, we had access to taste dishes of our choice from 6 restaurants, visit the Lindt Chocolate Studio and choose a drink from 13 premium drink sponsors – needless to say I was in food heaven!
From Hartford House, our neighbour in the beautiful Mooiriver area of KZN, to the charming and gorgeous Executive Chef Jackie Cameron of Hartford House, to sampling food and alcohol, posing for photos and best of all meeting fellow foodies whom I have been chatting to and following on Twitter for some time now. I met Sue Green of Souschef2 and “himself”. What a lovely couple. Sue truly has a wonderful sense of humour and had me in stitches a lot of the time. I met the very bubbly Verushka from “Spice Goddess” and again had a great connection with her. I also met up with fellow Durbanite and very close neighbour Nicola Meyer who is an avid Scrapbooker and again our meeting felt as though I had know her for years. What a great privilege it is to make new friends which is based on a common love for food. I am a firm believer that food brings people together and that our greatest asset in our homes to unite people and to form and maintain friendships is the dining room table.

One of my favourites of the day.  I had the Strawberry Daiquiri and hubby had the Pina Colada

One of my favourites of the day. I had the Strawberry Daiquiri and hubby had the Pina Colada

Those Vuvuzela styled flutes were the "cocktail glasses" - so cool

Those Vuvuzela styled flutes were the “cocktail glasses” – so cool

Chef Jackie Cameron in action demonstrating how quick and easy it is to prepare pan seared hake (SASSI friendly)

Chef Jackie Cameron in action demonstrating how quick and easy it is to prepare pan seared hake (SASSI friendly)

Jackie demonstrating an easy three step red wine jus

Jackie demonstrating an easy three step red wine jus

Salmon fish cakes from Havana Grill (www.havanagrill.co.za)

Salmon fish cakes from Havana Grill (www.havanagrill.co.za)

My personal favourite of the day - crumbed calamari from Little Havana (www.littlehavana.co.za) I could have eaten truck loads of the stuff!

My personal favourite of the day – crumbed calamari from Little Havana (www.littlehavana.co.za) I could have eaten truck loads of the stuff!

More calamari - like I said, I could eat truck loads

More calamari – like I said, I could eat truck loads

Ice Tropez 6.5%, the original product, it's a beautiful blend of Rose wine, Fleur de Brugnon (peach flavour) and carbonated water - cooldrink in my view!

Ice Tropez 6.5%, the original product, it’s a beautiful blend of Rose wine, Fleur de Brugnon (peach flavour) and carbonated water – cooldrink in my view!

Hubby on the right purchasing his favourite........coffee!

Hubby on the right purchasing his favourite……..coffee! On the left is Sudhashan who is the national franchise holder of the Gloria Jean’s Coffee brand

At the Asara stand, I had the choice of an assortment of chocolate or a burger.........you don't have to guess what I chose

At the Asara stand, I had the choice of an assortment of chocolate or a burger………you don’t have to guess what I chose

Consol Mixology cocktail - awesomeness in a consol jar - so trendy!

Consol Mixology cocktail – awesomeness in a consol jar – so trendy!

Meeting lovely Verushka (on the left)

Meeting lovely Verushka (on the left)

What was a dark chocolate platter at Castle Milk Stout

What was a dark chocolate platter at Castle Milk Stout

Mixing liquor and beer - definitely works for me

Mixing liquor and beer – definitely works for me

aaaaaah!!!! A castle milk stout infused with hazelnut

aaaaaah!!!! A castle milk stout infused with hazelnut

Hostesses at Castle Milk stout - I'm either shrinking with age or the heels are getting higher #midget

Hostesses at Castle Milk stout – I’m either shrinking with age or the heels are getting higher #midget

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