Fancying it up with Nespresso

Towards the end of last year, we and Stacy from A Ring to It were treated to a VIP Nespresso event hosted by Hirch's Homestore in Milnerton.

Scott, the man behind this video, takes ourselves and our job very seriously as you can see.

We got to meet several members of the Cape Town blogging community and media, to sample our selection from Nescafé's broad selection of Nespresso coffee pods, and best of all: be schooled about espresso. As it turns out, your pods are great for a lot more than a pick-me-up or cappuccino. Pay attention:

Cocktails. And. Coffees.

There are espresso cocktails for days! The bar-tists (see what I did there?) gave us a demonstrations of how to make a few of Nespresso's espresso-based cocktails & mocktails (including which pod is for what).

Try out some of the recipes on the Nespresso website and let us know what your favourites are. Stacy, Scott and I voted a tie between The Melktert, and the Peppermint Crisp.

And of course, this post could never be complete without me showing you some locally-made companions to enjoy with your drinks.

1) Obviously you can only store your Nespresso pods in this magnificent pod dispenser by Native Decor.
2 & 4) Come on man, don't be a savage. Use a coaster. Click here for the King Protea coasters by Hallo Jane, and the hashtag coasters are called the Bamboo Warp coasters by Bambou.
3) Matt white ceramic cup and timber saucer by Cabo Design.
5) Sandy Godwin's earthenware dinner plates.
6) A lace-print cheese platter by Ck-Ramics.
7) A small matt white milk jug with a dandelion, by Cabo Design.
8) A set of two yellow square pattern napkins from Handmade By Me.


The drinks pictured above, with a link to their recipes, are:
    Tiramisu Coffee
    Yellow Indriya Coffee
    Cafè Banana Split
    After Eight Coffee
    Gingerbread Coffee
    Freshpresso Orange
    Cafè Banana Split
    Nespresso Martini Coffee
    Vanilla Iced Coffee Storm
    L'Amandine Café
    Semi-Freddo Pistachio Coffee
    Mojito Café

It was a treat of a day. Thanks millions to Hirch's, Nespresso and Grey for including us in your fantastic event. It was so well organised, and such an enjoyable way to indulge in a sneaky bit of time out of the office.


The Consol Mixology Theatre at Taste of Cape Town

I'll let you in on a little secret: Promise cocktails to Team HP, and we're pretty much putty in your hands. So when Consol invited us to join one of their Mixology classes at Taste of Cape Town last week we were beyond thrilled.

(Side note: Mixology is, basically, the science and art of making fancy cocktails. No tequila sunrises here!)

After a tough week, we were all more than ready to get stuck into some delicious beverages. Here's the bit about the Mixology Theatre that's both a blessing and a curse: While you walk away with three very delicious cocktails, you do have to make them yourselves!

When you arrive, you find a spot at one of the many stations - they're all equipped with standard bartender's tools, cubed and crushed ice, Consol bottles and jars, jars of fruit and garnish, and several bottles of interesting things ranging from wine to a buchu cordial. A quick overview of what's what, and you're off!

Let me tell you, I have newfound respect for bartenders who make cocktails. It's exhausting. Between the shaking, and the muddling, and the having to keep track of half a dozen different things at the same time...people, tip your bartenders!

Can't take him anywhere.

We learned how to make 3 delicious cocktails: The Blue Dissolve, the Citrus Burst, and the Vinfusion. The awesome guys from Thirst were there both as teachers, and as a helping hand when you got stuck. Team consensus? The Citrus Burst was our favourite.

Looks good, right? Want to know how to make one? Sure you do. Here's what you'll need:

  • 4 lime wedges
  • 4 naartjie segments
  • 2 lemon wedges
  • 25ml (single shot) elderflower syrup
  • 50ml (double shot) Absolut Citron
  • 25ml Red Espresso
  • A Consol jar
  • A muddler and bar spoon
  • Crushed ice
  • Straws, lime, and mint to garnish

Put the lime, naartjie, and lemon into a Consol jar. Add a single shot of elderflower syrup, and a double shot of Absolut Citron. Then, use a muddler to gently crush as much juice as possible out of the fruit. If you don't have a muddler, try using a fork - but gently does it!

Once you've got a good amount of juice, fill the jar up 2/3 of the way with crushed ice. Use a bar spoon to mix the juice and fruit segments into the ice - go slowly, and use lifting movements. If you don't have a bar spoon, a regular tablespoon and a delicate hand will do the trick.

For the last stage, add even more crushed ice - you want to aim for a little heap going over the top of the jar. Gently pour the Red Espresso over the top of the ice. Then, add two straws to the side, and garnish with a lime wedge and a sprig of mint. Ta-da!

We walked away with slightly fuzzy heads, as well as the jars we'd used, and a nifty booklet with tons of great cocktail recipes. Huge thanks to Consol for including us! We can't wait to get our mixology on at home (where no one can see us drop things and spill).

You can stay connected with them on Twitter and on Facebook, and see more of our photos from the event here.

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