BACK TO TOP
Olive Oil Martini 2

Rosemary. Sea salt. Olive oil. It may seem like your Nonna is about to cook up a Sunday roast dinner, but these Italian staples are actually the basis for our absolutely delizioso cocktail this week. Liam Watt, venue manager of Melbourne’s Waterslide Bar is letting us in on the secret recipe to his Olive Oil Martini for our Italian Issue. It’s a twist on a dirty vodka martini, one which he explains, “has an amazing mouth feel and the olive oil lingers”. Whip up a batch at home, or visit Waterslide on Southbank to sip one or two while you contemplate booking their space for a cocktail wedding reception – with river views to rival Rome’s Tiber – for up to 250 people.

Waterslide’s Olive Oil Martini

  • 60ml olive oil fat-washed vodka (Waterslide uses Beluga Noble)*
  • 12.5ml rosemary-infused Lillet Blanc*
  • 2 dashes saline solution (make it a 3:1 water to salt ratio)
  • Rosemary sprig, to garnish
  • Fresh ice

Stir your ingredients over ice. Be careful not to over or under dilute, have a cheeky little taste as you go. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a rosemary sprig.

*Olive Oil Fat-Washed Vodka

Fat washing is a technique used to flavour a spirit with a fat-based product and then removing the fat through freezing.

Mix 700ml of Beluga Noble Vodka and 200mls good olive oil in an airtight container.

Leave to infuse for a few hours and shake every now and then.

Freeze the mixture to turn the oil into solid.

Strain off vodka.

Note: Liam says the olive oil tastes awesome afterward so definitely don’t throw it away. Maybe put it on a salad as a dressing with some citrus to give it a kick or bottle it up for wedding favours!

*Rosemary-infused Lillet Blanc

Simply place fresh rosemary into a bottle of Lillet Blanc for 12-24 hours, according to taste.

PDB Blog Banner ITALY 1200 x 261px 6

Cooking up favours for your guests is such a wonderfully personal idea! There’s no shortage of delicious recipes, but we’ve created this zingy grape and honey jam to perfectly accompany an Italian feast!

Whether you’re wanting to bottle up this tasty jam for guests to take home, or serve it alongside antipasti platters and cheese, it’s a beautifully fragrant crowd pleaser. Start collecting jars and keep an eye out for sultana grapes and you’re halfway there!

What You Will Need:

  • Chosen glass jars (whether small for guest favours, or large for storage) – sterilised
  • 1.5 cups good quality honey. Choose one with a flavour you enjoy, as this will affect the overall taste
  • 3 kg sultana grapes, stems removed
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • Heavy based saucepan
  • Sieve
  • Ladle
  • Fork

Step 1. Once you’ve removed all the stems from the grapes, weigh to ensure you have enough fruit. Place the grapes into your heavy based saucepan. Using a fork or masher, mash the grapes to release some juice and break the skins. 

 

Step 2. Place the saucepan over a medium heat, until the grapes soften and release more juice. Remove from the heat and mash again, more thoroughly. If you’d like the jam to have a finer consistency, remove the skins with a sieve, and mash them further, before returning them to the pot. Add the lemon juice and honey, and return to a low heat.

 

Step 3. Let the jam simmer gently for approximately 30 minutes, making sure it does not reduce too rapidly. To see if the jam will set, pop a small dollop on a very cold plate, and push your finger through it (being careful not to burn yourself!). If the jam wrinkles, it will set. If not, return the the saucepan to a low heat and try again in 10 minute intervals. Note: as there is no pectin used in this jam, it may not set as firmly as other jams would. Pour your jam into sterilised jars while hot, and leave to cool.

Pop a tag on your jars and place on your feasting table in a stack for guests to take home, or serve up this grape and honey jam with your entree or dessert. It’s a delicious and simple way to add a lot of heart to your beautiful day!

Swirl Divider 6

Ms Zigzag says: Guests would be thrilled to receive a thoughtful and delicious wedding favour like this! Perfect for any Italian feast or celebration. 

About Ms Honeycomb  – Hi, I’m Nicola, the florist and crafter behind rubyandjoy. I’m a gardening, fabric loving, mint tea drinking, brownie baking, book obsessed maker! I love a good adventure having just moved back from five years in Scotland (with my lovely Scottish husband).

PDB Blog Banner ITALY 1200 x 261px 1

How sweet is this flower crown made out of the plants du jour, succulents? They’re beautiful for your flower girls and bridesmaids, but would also make a nice statement piece for the bride too. Today Down the Garden Path, a quaint little floral studio in Sydney let us in on the secret to making these succulent flower crowns at home. 

Materials Needed:

  • Floral stem tape (the waxy paper tape – not the stretchy tape) (available from Spotlight or floral supplies store)
  • Thick gauge wire (I’ve used 16 gauge from Bunnings) cut to approx 65cm
  • Small succulents
  • Berries
  • Foliage
  • Small white flowers – (I’ve used delphinium buds, queen annes lace and small daisies)

Front & back view

Step 1

Cover your wire in the floral tape, wrapping it tightly so the tape covers all the wire, then make a loop in one end of the wire and cover this with tape also.

Step 2

If your succulents don’t have a long stem you need to give them one by inserting a 4 cm piece of wire in the base of the flower and cover it with your floral tape.

Start by gathering a leaf and a small amount of flowers, and attach this to the top of your wire, using the floral tape to wrap around the stems and the wire. I gently squeeze the stems and tape as I’m turning the wire, and bring the tape all the way past the end of the stems to make it secure.


Continue adding small bundles of your materials onto your wire, keeping the flowers in a straight line.


Keep adding your materials in small sections, continuing in a straight line until you are left with about 15cm of wire at the end.Thread the bare end of the wire through the loop and place it on your head, tighten the wire and loop it back on itself, so it sits nice and tight on your head

Now your succulent crown is complete and ready to wear!

Swirl Divider 29

Ms Zigzag says: Thank you so much to Down the Garden Path for sharing this flower crown tutorial with us today. The end result is simply stunning and I hope many readers make these for their own wedding day. 

About Down the Garden Path: “My love affair with flowers and nature began when I was a child. I was blessed to spend my childhood days in New Zealand, in a beautiful garden, full of old roses, fluffy peonies, mottled hydrangeas and cascading stems of pieris…” Along with offering floral styling for events, Jenny hosts flower crown workshops for hens parties. For more on Down the Garden Path, click here.