Raised eyebrow (a cocktail)

Raised eyebrow (a cocktail)

If you’ve ever read my About ME page you’ll now that I don’t have coeliac disease.  I do have something else with a nice, big name and I do have, ummmmmm, symptoms when I consume gluten or lactose.  Yeh, you know the ones.  But still I can’t bring myself to lie if I’m asked whether I am a coeliac sufferer after I mention gluten.  Even when I see the flicker of recognition in someone’s eyes and I know it would be easier (for me, in that moment).  I’m getting really good at saying, “actually no, I have Non-Coeliac Gluten Sensitivity” and then I smile.  A lot.  And it’s a long, official sounding phrase so it has the ring of something proper (which I know it is, really, even if it’s not actually written in my medical notes).  And then I feel guilty!  Like I’m not authentic enough and all the effort people go to, to make or even just bring me the right food, is for a fraud.  I’m certainly not downplaying the seriousness of coeliac disease – you guys definitely have it extremely tough and I am truly thankful I don’t have to deal with that.  I also know that a lot of people avoid gluten and dairy, and all sorts of other things, for a host of other reasons that are completely valid without having coeliac disease.  Really there’s no such thing as a ‘fad’ because everyone who changes their diet is doing it because they think it will help them in some way.   No one reasonable would ask a vegetarian to eat a steak, and neither would they ask a vegan to eat a chunk of cheese.  I’ve committed to this change of eating habits but those around me aren’t always so on board, but then it’s early days.  I feel a bit like the newly vegetarian teenager whose parents think it is a phase they’ll grow out off when they announce they’re never eating meat again…  So, when I won’t use the same hand with which I touched my daughter’s wheat roll, to eat my nice, safe, gluten-free one there may be a raised eyebrow.  There might also be one when I won’t drink that cup of tea mistakenly made with ‘normal’ milk even though it’s a ‘waste’.  Life is too short to fight all of the battles, especially with anyone likely to never understand, so I’m all for passive-aggressive actions within the safety of your own home.  Enjoy this cocktail in the knowledge you are quietly thumbing your nose at those who don’t understand you and remember that eyebrow of theirs will be the first bit of them to go really wrinkly.  Enjoy responsibly!

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I can’t Bellini that’s not a Mimosa (a cocktail)

I can't Bellini that's not a Mimosa

It’s snowing again here.  I mean really, how ridiculous?.  About this time last year running people were worried about heat exhaustion in the local half marathon because it was unseasonably warm.  This year they ran in sleet.  Crazy.  So time for a fruity cocktail, using seasonal ingredients, to bring Spring on.  Rhubarb is nothing new in a Bellini (Jamie Oliver has been doing it for years) but we don’t grow peaches here so it’s a good alternative.  And I’ve used freshly squeezed blood orange juice because the season for those is just coming to an end.  A last hurrah for the beautiful jewels they are.  I’ve also used cava and not champagne because I’m cheap 🙂 Drink your summery, fruity cocktail with the heating cranked up to max.  Enjoy responsibly!

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Punch the brass monkey in the tropics (a cocktail)

Punch the brass monkey in the tropics

I don’t think I’ve moaned enough about the cold weather, so here’s another go at it.  First, let’s give a shout out those of you who live where it’s really cold.  You know, snow for months, snow tyres, proper ploughs on the fronts of trains, and stuff.  Like you see in the movies if you’re British, because we don’t get the right sort of snow, the country grinds to a halt and people sleep overnight in their cars on motorways because we don’t have the right sort of grit for the wrong sort of snow.  You couldn’t make it up.  So here’s a warm cocktail of the dessert variety to combat the chill.  It’s a mix of cocktails, a sort of brass monkey (an apt colloquialism in this weather) and a hot tropical fruit punch. You don’t need too many of them and you’ll be ranting about the state of the nation, or in bed by 9pm because your child got you up a 5am and you’ve been unable to handle your liquor ever since you got pregnant some years ago.  Enjoy responsibly!

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Vegan cream liqueur (a cocktail)

Vegan cream liqueur

Inspired by spabettie’s homemade Baileys Irish cream

Ooh it’s Thursday – time for a cheeky pre weekend cocktail!  Just recently I’ve had occasion to miss out on two lots of cream based liqueurs.  The local curry house (lovely gluten-free food – nom, nom, nom) gives all the ladies a complimentary Baileys at the end of a meal.  The gentlemen get a brandy.  We also get a single rose, so it’s not all bad.  Actually I rather like a Baileys.  Obviously you wouldn’t spend the whole night drinking them, but at the right time they are just the ticket.  Then, just a couple of days later I was out for dinner again (I know!), this time at an Italian place (proper separate gluten-free menu – top marks) with pre and post dinner cocktails.  I went for the after dinner ‘apple crumble’ but a friend had the ‘creme caramel’.  I was a bit jealous, but I am not to be defeated.  I have been perusing with interest (for which read drooling) over spabettie’s cocktail recipes for some time. I too plan to have a few options to post now and again.  I don’t have the time now for drinking as I did in my youth (or for dealing with the hangovers!), in all honesty, but a little snifter here and there is always welcome.  Hardly any of my ingredients are the same, I’ve used brandy not whiskey for a start, so it is less of an adaptation and more of a mauling of the original.  But without it I wouldn’t even have thought of a vegan, and therefore lactose-free, cream liqueur.  Enjoy responsibly!!

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