Marmalade Martinis & Other Stories - last minute entertaining ideas or ways to make your Friday
There's no better time to test drive a new cocktail than straight after the school run. In fact, having researched the marmalade martini and its origins, it turns out it is also known as a breakfast martini, which is even more reassuring as regards mid-morning drinking.
Dating back to the 1920s when it was served at the Lanesborough Hotel, I first came across this drink at London's Hawksmoor restaurant and it has been on my "to mix" list ever since.
And just in case you were wondering where to source the ingredients in one foul swoop, this is where Hong Kong's honestbee comes firmly into play. This is a new online retail & delivery service allowing you to select from a dozen retailers including Great, Fusion and in this case, The Tramline Liquor company, saving you from running around town to find that missing ingredient. Plus, Mango Menus has an exclusive discount of $100 off any purchase exceeding $350, valid until June 30th. Use the code "HKMANGO100" at honestbee and read a review of our shopping experience below...
What you need:
2 heaped teaspoons marmalade
40ml freshly squeezed orange juice
Source your spirits from The Tramline Liquor Company.
Place the gin, marmalade, juice, spirits (Aperol/Cointreau if desired) and ice in a cocktail shaker and shake. Strain the drink through a sieve into a martini glass or champagne coupe.
To make the orange peel twists, peel an orange with a potato peeler into thin strips. Curl these round a chopstick, and as they dry out they will hold their twist more.
To accompany your cocktails, we put together a board of appetizers including San Martin ham from Profood, cheeses from Great, and a Parmesan & artichoke dip with grissini and crudités.
What you need:
1 can artichokes, drained and roughly chopped
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Parmigiano, grated
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 garlic clove, finely minced
Fresh parsley to garnish
Blend the artichokes, mayonnaise, cheese, lemon juice and garlic until roughly combined then spoon into a small ovenproof bowl.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until the top is brown and bubbling.
Spoon the dip into a bowl, scatter with freshly snipped parsley
Serve with grissini and freshly chopped crudités.
Serves 2 as an appetizer
Review of honestbee
On the whole, our shopping experience at honestbee was very pleasant and efficient. The website is easy and speedy to navigate around, far quicker than checking out each of these places on foot! To get a delivery slot within hours of ordering is also pretty special, along with the personalised approach of the shopper ringing you to discuss substitutions.
While there are household staples offered by Fusion and Great (although personally I felt Great had excluded some of its more gourmet items, which is the main reason one visits Great in the first place no?), there are also more artisanal products at Profood, specialty liquors at Tramline and possibly every confectionary item (well British anyway...) at Mrs Simms. If only they would bring back Marks & Spencer, which as a London girl was my first attraction to them in the first place! What can cure home sickness better than an M&S ham, cheese & pickle sandwich?!
In terms of costing, honestbee is applaudable, with many retailers including The Freshgrower offering the same prices as in store, and with free delivery for purchases WITHIN A SINGLE STORE (important point!) over $250. Otherwise it's $60 per store, which makes it worthwhile to concentrate your shopping in a handful, rather than spread it across the dozen. There is a concierge fee also of $25 per store, but frankly, it costs a lot more in transport, petrol and parking these days to even leave the house, so well worth it in my opinion. I will return to honestbee with no qualms, although will secretly hold out for a more gourmet range at Great and perhaps more boutique stores to be signed on.