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The Feast Issue is all about, well a feast. It’s about the most wonderful ideas for your wedding menu and we all know, that we’re not ones to shy away from a good cocktail. So this month, we’ve created jug based cocktails to serve up at your next celebration!

Jug cocktails are the best kind of cocktails for a party (or a wedding!), especially if you’re hosting it yourself. You can make it ahead of time and have it ready when your guests arrive – and all you need to do is pour. More time with your favourite people is always a winner!

A classic Pimms cup is one of my favourite cocktails on a hot day. A high ball glass filled with ice and fresh fruit couldn’t be a better way to enjoy the sunshine. A classic Pimms cocktail is also incredibly easy to make up en masse and just requires a little prep.

Our classic Pimms cup jug recipe is the classic one part Pimms to three parts lemonade, but you can adjust this to taste. Switch in some soda water, or even substitute the lemonade with ginger ale for a little ginger kick. Love gin? You can even add a dash for a little more of a kick. Don’t forget a stripey paper straw for a little extra fun.

Ingredients

(Makes one litre, which serves about five)

  • 250ml Pimms
  • 750ml lemonade
  • Ice
  • One punnet of strawberries sliced
  • One cucumber cut into long strips (or sliced)
  • One orange, sliced
  • Fresh mint

Method

  1. In a glass jug, add a cup of ice
  2. Pour in Pimms
  3. Pour in lemonade
  4. Stir well
  5. Smash the mint slightly to release the oils and add to the jug
  6. Add chopped cucumber, strawberries and orange
  7. Stir well
  8. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve
  9. Fill highball glasses with plenty of ice
  10. Add Pimms cocktail and stir
  11. Garnish with fresh mint and strawberries

 

I must admit that I love tradition. I enjoy learning why different cultures have their own traditions and what they mean. Why do we celebrate Halloween? Why is it called “Boxing Day”? Why do we eat Chocolate Easter Eggs?

It was very common practise for my parents generation, that the top tier of the wedding cake was not eaten on the wedding day day, rather served on either their first anniversary or the christening of their first child, whichever came first! Back then, wedding cakes were a very traditional fruit cake, much like a Christmas Cake. The fruit was soaked in so much alcohol that there was no chance of it spoiling, especially as we lived in a cold country like Ireland! In any country, hot or cold, a butter cake will not last on the shelf for a week, let alone a year!

I am happy to see the tradition is not only still alive but on trend again.


Here’s my top tips on how to freeze the top tier of your wedding cake:

  1. Remove flowers, cake topper, decorations and any excess buttercream/frosting from your cake.
  2. Place the cake on a lined baking tray and place the tray into the freezer. Leave overnight.
  3. The following day, remove the cake from the freezer.
  4. Using Baking Paper, cut a circular disc the same diameter as the top of the cake. Cut a strip of baking paper the same height as the cake to place around the outside of the cake.
  5. Place the baking paper disc on top of the cake.
  6. Wrap the strip of baking paper around the outside of the cake and hold in place with a piece of sticky tape.
  7. Create enough clean bench space and place your roll of cling film at arms length away from you.
  8. Pull a long strip of cling film towards you and smooth out on the bench.
  9. Place your baking paper wrapped cake in the middle of the strip of cling film and wrap the cling film around your cake.
  10. For extra protection from freezer burn, wrap your cake in another strip of cling film.
  11. It is important to label and date your cake. Once frozen, someone in the house might mistake it for a piece of beef and defrost it to use in a casserole!
  12. When it comes time to defrost your cake, remove from the freezer and remove the cling film and baking paper.
  13. Place on a baking tray and either defrost at room temperature or in the fridge overnight.
  14. Just like butter, cakes are hard when first removed from the fridge. They are always best served at room temperature.
  15. Enjoy your cake.

Ms Zebra Says: It’s so great that you can savour the moment and keep your wedding cake for a first anniversary or child! Thanks Jean for sharing how to do it – I think it’s a wonderful idea!

About Bakes By Jean: Baking has always been Jean’s first love! Jean started baking at an early age with her Mother in their kitchen in Offaly, Ireland. Bakes by Jean was born in 2015, specialising in custom designed creations. Jean creates and bakes from her council registered kitchen in Travancore, 4km from Melbournes CBD. Jean doesn’t try to be the best cake maker but she hopes that the love and soul she puts into every creation shines through her cakes.

Polka Dot Dream Team...

The below wedding vendors made this magic happen and are an approved part of the Polka Dot Directory. Visit their portfolios to learn more and enquire about their services!

We believe in starting the day off, the right way. And we’re also planning on starting today’s cocktail hour – for ‘The Feast Issue‘ – off oh-so-right with this Breakfast of Champions cocktail. Created by recently opened Melbourne city venue Bar Clara, the drink includes eggs, tea, jam, bacon, toast and fruit. This one’s a big breakfast in liquid form!

With its adorable mini-breakfast garnish on top, this cocktail would certainly make for a smile-inducing signature drink upon arrival at a brunch-style wedding reception. Or an unexpected pick-me-up for your guests at a morning-after get together over breakfast. Bourbon for brekky? Yes, we can!

As for Bar Clara herself, this cosy den would suit an upscale bridal shower (hello cheese and charcuterie ad seasonal cocktails) or a smaller cocktail-laden engagement party. Or even an intimate surprise wedding that no one will see coming! The venue features dark walls, comfy emerald furnishings and a glowing foliage feature wall. Clara is happy to host up to 50 of your nearest and dearest privately.

Breakfast of Champions by Bar Clara

  • 45ml bourbon
  • 20ml fresh Lemon Juice
  • 15ml apricot & earl grey syrup (see note)
  • 15ml egg white
  • Mini melba mini-toasts, Apricot Jam & Bacon Jerky (or pork if you can’t find it), to garnish

Combine all ingredients – except garnish – in a cocktail shaker without any ice. Dry shake hard for 10 seconds to fluff up the egg white. Open the shaker and add ice. Shake for another 10 seconds to cool. Open shaker and strain into a rocks glass full of ice. Garnish with a strip of bacon jerky and a melba mini-toast with a dollop of apricot jam or your favourite marmalade.

Note: to make apricot and earl grey syrup, bring 200ml of water to the boil. Add 100g diced, dried apricots, 200 grams castor sugar and one teaspoon of loose earl grey tea. Simmer for 10 minutes. Cool and strain into a sterilised glass bottle. Makes about 20 serves but is also delicious with soda for a non-alcoholic option (otherwise, sparkling wine works too).

Aside from being Ms Polka’s Editorial Assistant, Ms Fleur de Lys is also Polka Dot Bride’s Melbourne correspondent so you’ll see her running all over town finding wedding inspiration. As both a lifestyle journalist and cocktail aficionado, Fleur appreciates the power of words whipped up as deftly as a good martini.

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