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7 Errol Street in North Melbourne used to be home to a tailor. Now it’s home to Joe Taylor…and a whole lot of liquor! With dark timbers, exposed brick and cosily-lit corners all contributing to the venue’s sophisticated speakeasy vibe, Joe Taylor is just the place for a rollicking cocktail engagement party. Or, indeed, as a place to toast to the start of the most dapper of bachelor parties.

In synergistic fashion, they’ve kindly shared the secrets to their strong-but-sweet ‘Three Piece Suit’ cocktail for Polka Dot Bride’s ‘The Suit Issue‘: and it’s as tasty as a groom wearing the heck out of his wedding suit. Treat yourself to a few of these whisky-soused beauties as you work through your wedding planning checklist. Or take your best gentlemen and/or best women for a celebration tipple at Joe Taylor after your wedding suit fittings are complete – they’ve got a bunch of other fashion-inspired and classic cocktails to try on for size.

‘Three Piece Suit’ by Joe Taylor

  • 45ml Starward Nova Whisky
  • 15ml White Port
  • 10ml Mathilde Cassis
  • 5ml Cynar
  • 2 dashes Chocolate Bitters
  • Absinthe, to finish
  • Grapefruit wedge, to garnish

Stir all ingredients – except absinthe and grapefruit – in a mixing glass to combine. Strain into a tumbler over a block of ice. Spray with absinthe. Garnish with grapefruit wedge.

About Ms Fleur de Lys: 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.

Buttonholes can range from simple and classic to wild and colourful, whichever design you choose, making a statement on the grooms lapel. Dried buttonholes are perfect for a DIY bride who is looking to tick things off a to-do list in advance of the big day! Lasting and textural, these beauties will add an organic feel to any bridal outfit!

A little foresight is necessary, although most florists now sell gorgeous dried blooms. Sentimentally, you could use dried flowers from previous bouquets, grasses you’ve collected on holidays or foliage from Nan’s garden. Having a range of different textures and shapes will help, but simply having a play with your chosen dried flowers will help you to see what looks magnificent!

What You Will Need:

  • A collection of dried flowers, leaves and grasses, for example, hydrangeas, banksia, grevillea leaves, grasses, eucalyptus, echinacea
  • Twine to bind the buttonholes
  • For use, you’ll need florist pins. You can grab a box of these at Flemington Flower Markets, or pop into a local florist

Step 1. Lay out all of the dried flowers and foliage, ensuring they are all clean and dust and bug free. Begin removing leaves off lower stems, and cutting large flowers into manageable pieces. I did not wire any stems, instead making sure each bloom had a long enough stem to use. Keep each stem around 10cm long if possible.

Step 2. Once each stem is cleaned and ready, begin putting together each buttonhole. You may nail it first go, but you may also need to take it apart a few times before it looks perfect. Be patient and it will all come together! Traditionally, begin with the larger, fluffier blooms, and add stems in a neat fashion, like a spiral jar of spaghetti pasta. Finish with delicate grasses.

Step 3. Keep in mind, a buttonhole is best if it has a flat(ish) back, so imagine you’re making a teeny tiny bouquet with all the lovely flowers facing forward. Once you are happy with the design, use a piece of twine approximately 20cm long to bind the dried blooms, tying tightly to secure.

Step 4. If the leaves shift during tying or if you find once it’s bound it doesn’t sit well on a lapel, simply untie and give it another go. Dried flower stems are brittle, so be gentle as you play around. Once the buttonhole is complete, trim the stems on an angle with enough length to give the overall design balance, and voila! You’re done!

To use, pin from behind the lapel through to the buttonhole, then back through the lapel. These whispy and golden buttonholes will last beautifully, and can be made months in advance. The colour of dried blooms may fade over time, but a DIY buttonhole adds a sweet touch to any grooms outfit!

Ms Zebra Says: These are such a great idea – especially for rustic themed weddings! Simple DIY and can be done in advance – they tick all the boxes!! 

About Ms Honeycomb: My heart and home in Scotland and Australia, I am a florist, flower lover, writer, baker, stylist and sew-er of lovely things, with my darling toddler forever keeping me on my toes!

Credits

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For me, The Suit Issue is about a classic sense of style, not necessarily when it comes to the sartorial side of things, but rather the sense of being a gentleman, or gentlelady. The acts of kindness, of dressing up, of five o’clock cocktail hours, big band dancing, holding hands down the street and extra olives on the side.

So of course, we had to honour the month with something a little classic and created our take on a classic martini. Is there a more famous cocktail after all? These, en masse served up to guests upon arriving at your celebration are always going to be a crowd favourite, and speak of an elegance of times gone by.

As a gin lover, I like my martinis gin-based, rather than vodka. Our suggestion? Pick a gin you adore for its botanical flavour, and invest in high-quality vermouth to really make the most of. I like the olive garnish too. but you can do a citrus twist (especially if your chosen gin has citrus notes).

Ingredients

  • 60ml Gin
  • 15ml dry vermouth
  • Olives

Method

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice
  2. Add the gin and vermouth
  3. Stir well
  4. Strain into a chilled martini glass
  5. Garnish with two to three olives on a cocktail pick