Consol Glass Treats and Craft Ideas

I believe it's important to be consistent. And since I'm late with pretty much everything I ever do in life (which I'm not proud of, but am honest about), I felt it was only proper to wait 11 months to publish this blog post. It is about the day that Ads and I visited the Consol Glass shop in Woodmead, Johannesburg.

It was A Big Adventure in July 2014 when Ads visited with me and my parents in Joburg. As a Jozi native, I took it upon myself to make sure that in between bumming around the house in our pyjamas and playing with the cat, she got to see a good selection of the best (or maybe just my favourite?) things that the city has to offer.

A Hello Pretty work day

Enter Consol.

The day I discovered the Consol Glass outlet, everything changed. I've never liked plastic for food (it smells funny. Why does it smell funny?). My heart rate went up when I stepped into that shop. The ceilings were as high as the sky, and they were stacked floor to ceiling with glass treasures, flirting with me to take them home and keep things in them. Or just keep.

The first time I visited Consol in Woodmead was in 2011. I went to buy a LOT of tiny bottles to use as salt shakers at one of my best friends' wedding. I'll cut to the chase and say that I left with a lot more than salt shaker bottles.

Recently my sister and her boyfriend visited and we paid the shop in Stellenbosch a visit. It did not disappoint, and after about half an hour in the shop (pro tip: leave your boyfriend at home) a great assortment of glassware was again hauled out and loaded into my boot, next to the R400 worth of cheese that we'd bought from the Simonsberg factory shop a block away (we are pigs and we're ok with that when it comes to cheese).

About a week later, through some kind of weird coincidence, a beautiful parcel tied up in navy blue grosgrain ribbon arrived at my home. It was a parcel from Consol, announcing the launch of that same store that I'd just visited! This both weirded me out and excited me. Inside it was a reusable glass Consol jar, with a selection of "ideas" cards inside it with suggestions for some creative uses for your Consol jars.
I've turned these into a PDF so that you can download and use them.

As a bit of a well-intentioned pleb in the kitchen, I'm sharing them here and hoping that you'll make these things and send us pictures ( I'm likely to be impressed even if you nailed it).

If you want to visit the new Cape Town Consol store, I can highly recommend it (and you can stop at the Simonsberg factory shop on the way home). You can find it at:
      Rand Road,
      Phone 021 888 4000

And now if you'll excuse me I am going to go decant everything into glass.

What else do you use your Consol jars for? I'd love to profile some other creative uses.

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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