Category: Drinks & Cocktails

Cranberry Moscow Mule

It being Monday and all, the last thing you probably want to read right now is a cocktail recipe, especially if you are still suffering from your shenanigans at the weekend. However I have been inundated with requests for this recipe after serving it at my Christmas party on Saturday to room full of thirsty revellers. I figured that if i was going to go to the effort of writing it all out, I may as well make a post out of it, just in case any of you out there are in desperate need of an easy and festive cocktail recipe.

Not only is this cocktail seasonally delicious, it’s also really easy to make up and serve as a punch for a party. The recipe below makes about 4 -5 drinks so if you are wanting to make a giant vat of it in a goldfish bowl vase you’ll need to times this recipe by at least 5 or even 10. Living in Korea, ginger beer is pretty hard to come which is why I have taken to making my own ginger syrup and then mixing that with soda. However if you are lucky enough to live back home where you can buy 2 litres of ginger beer for 50p then please by all means use that instead. If you are in Korea you can now by the Bundaberg variety from Homeplus and the GS marts, though at 3,000 a bottle it gets pricey if you are making a lot of drinks.

Ingredients

100ml  shots of ginger syrup
150ml  vodka
250ml cranberry juice
250ml soda water (lime flavoured if possible)
1-2 limes
ice to serve
cranberries and rosemary for decoration

Directions

1. The first thing you need to make is the ginger syrup. You do this by making a simple sugar syrup which is equal sugar and water. I tend to make quite a large batch so 4 cups of sugar, and four cups of water. Heat in a saucepan until it comes to a boil and the sugar has dissolved then allow to cool. You’ll probably need at least 500g of fresh ginger which you should scrub clean, if you have a good blender like a vitamix or Ninja you can just throw it in, however if you have cheap blender, you may want to peel and chop your ginger. Add the cooled sugar syrup and blend for about a minute. Strain your syrup through a sieve to remove all the ginger chunks and then store in a bottle in the fridge. It will then keep for a couple of months if you can resist drinking it for that long.

2. To make your cocktail take a jug, or or if you are making single drinks about 4 glasses and fill with ice. Add the vodka and syrup, then the juice and the soda. Squeeze in a quarter of a lime for each person and give it a good stir. You can then decorate your cocktail with fresh cranberries, more lime slices and sprigs of rosemary for an extra bit of festive cheer. Merry Christmas everyone.

Omyrose at Seoul Dining

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Last week I was invited to an event to promote a new range of Korean liquors called Omyrose, which are made by J.K Lee with  omija berries grown right here in Korea. Now I think we all know how much I enjoy a drink, and the prospect of trying something new was very enticing to me. The event was held at Seoul Dining, a new restaurant in the Dongguk university area. The slick and sleek restaurant has only been open for a month but it exuded a warm and welcoming high end atmosphere.

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We started out the night with a glass of the Korean Omyrose sparkling wine. The sparkling wine has a rather lovely pink hue to it that really reminded me of a kir royal cocktail. The wine itself was a touch sweet with a slightly bitter finish but I rather enjoyed it, and quaffed quite a few glasses to say the least. The sparkling wine was paired with raw cooked scallops with apple and sesame oil, in a mussel sauce, which was light and delicate taste of the sea. It was a nice contrast against the heady flavour of the wine.

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Our next drink was The Omyrose rosé (try saying that after a few too many). Again  the wine was slightly sweet from the berries but it had a very buttery finish. I’ve never been into dry wines so I was quite enamored with his one too. The rosé was paired with several dishes but for the most memorable being  a pumpkin and potato soup, cauliflower quinoa, and squid ceviche, The warm and comforting soup was so silky it felt like a pair of loving arms wrapping itself around your heart. While the squid ceviche provided a refreshing kick and some extra texture. It was the ideal autumnal dish.

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After a couple of other of courses including grey mullet, and confit chicken leg, it was time to move on to the stronger liquors. First was the oaky finish omija liquor. It was strong and we were given a glass of ice to pour it over. This to me tasted like the love child of a tequila and a scotch, probably due to the oak flavour from the barrel. This one was a bit too intense for me, though I’m rarely into drinking straight liquor.  I’d love to see what it tasted like in a cocktail though.

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The liquor was served with my favourite dish of the meal, char-grilled Iberico pork pluma, with onion and anchovy pesto. Just one bite of the tender grilled pork was enough to make me fall in love with this dish. The meat just oozed flavour. When talking with the Chef Eric, he told me he first started making this dish in Portugal when working in a restaurant there, and it is now his signature dish. I can see why as it was absolutely delicious.

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After the incredible pork we finished with a shot of the white liquor, a clear version of the one we enjoyed before and the most expensive of the bunch, though it does come in a rather beautiful bottle. This one was served straight up in a shot glass, but again I just found it too strong to enjoy neat. Along with the liquor we served espresso and a deconstructed tiramisu which was a very enjoyable way to end the meal.

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Overall I was really impressed by the Omyrose wines, and its great to see a new high end brand of Korean liquors, as they make especially good gifts. For anyone interested in Omyrose it is available in Shinsaegae and other large department stores and costs between 50,000 – 360,000 per bottle. I also really enjoyed the set dinner prepared by Seoul Dining. I took a look at their menu before I left and found that the 7 course dinner cost 77,000 and thought it to be very reasonably. It featured an excellent mix of Korean ingredients presented in the style of modern western cooking. It would be the perfect location for any special occasion.

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Seoul Dining is located at 272, Dongho-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Dongguk University Station (line 3) and come out of exit 3. Walk straight for about 100 meters, you will see the Welcome City building ahead of you on the right hand side. Walk up the stairs and you will see the Seoul Dining restaurant on your right. For more information or to make a reservation you can call them on 010-3586-8061. They are open from Tuesday – Saturday for lunch and dinner.

WinK Kitchen & Taphouse

A few weeks ago I was invited back to WinK  to come and try their new menu. It had been some time since my last visit so I was curious to see what was new.  The Gyodae pub has been open for over a year and a half now and they have recently hired a new chef who has revamped their menu. While they are still serving their popular classic dishes, he has also added his own personal flair and flavour to the menu.

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One of the new dishes is the Spicy Pork Belly Sandwich (9,500). I love a slab of juicy pork between my lips so really couldn’t resist giving this a try. Housed in a long soft roll was a a melt in the mouth piece of pork belly that was soft as butter. This is very important when putting it in a sandwich as you don’t want to get through the bread and have trouble biting through the meat. The Thai glaze smothering the meat is advertised as spicy and it certainly hits that note. Inside the sandwich were pickled radish and carrots, cucumber, and cilantro which provided a sour and refreshing crunch to cut through the spice. If the sauce was slightly less spicy this would be a an absolute knock out for me.

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Since it first opened, WinK has always been popular for its burger selection.  All the burgers are on the hearty side and very filling and I ordered the biggest of the bunch The Mega Burger (14,000), which kind of made me feel like I was at the Peach Pitt in Beverly Hills 90210. This burger has everything but the kitchen sink on it but it really works. Housed inside the buttered bun is a 150g whole beef patty, pulled pork, several kinds of cheese, egg, avocado, lettuce onions, tomato, and mayo. Burger purists may not agree but I loved the combination of flavours, and any bite that included that oozy egg yolk was a winner for me.

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Also on the menu are plenty of topped fries, and our favourite was the Loaded Fries (8,900). Although nothing groundbreaking in culinary terms, the fries topped with cheese, bacon and sour cream were quite hard to resist, and we didn’t leave many on the plate.

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As with any good pub, the drinks remain cheap and cheerful. They have a variety of Platinum ales on tap and plenty of mixed cocktails all ranging from 5,000 – 9,000 won. The lemon drop was probably my favourite whereas my companions enjoyed the mocha stout. If you live south of the river and are looking for a good time, it is certainly worth stopping by.

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WinK is located at 2F, 1576-6, Seocho-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Seoul National University of Education (lines 2 & 3). Come out of exit 14 and walk straight, WinK is about 100 meters down the street on the second floor. For more information you can call them on 02-6053-3429 or check out their facebook page.

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Kahlo & Diego

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We all know I’m a big old lush, especially once the summer kicks in. I don’t think there has been a day this week where I haven’t enjoyed a refreshing alcoholic beverage on my terrace at cocktail hour. But as much as I enjoy drinking at home, it is also fun to go out now and again. Last week I met with my bar tender and very good friend Ray Sway Oh, star of the Yancha Life. It being a Friday night and all he suggested going for a drink after dinner, and I knew just the place. (more…)

The Hand & Apple

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If you are a craft beer lover in Korea, then you are more than likely familiar with Hand & Malt. However it is not just beer that the company is making, they have just expanded their operation and are now making Korea’s first ciders! Being a west country girl, I grew up on the stuff, and when I first moved to Korea 8 years ago I was very disappointed to find that it had barely even been heard of. Luckily for me, over the years the big brands finally paid notice and the city is now awash with all sorts of bottled and canned varieties. (more…)

Featured Event – Gorilla Brewing Launch Event

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Now everyone knows I like a cocktail in my mouth, but once in a while I like to enjoy a refreshing beer, especially once the weather really starts to heat up. Conveniently enough, Gorilla Brewing Company have just opened Korea’s latest Expat craft brewery in Busan. Now if you are anything like me and think that is an awfully long way to travel for a beer, then you are in luck, because Gorilla will be launching their beers in Seoul at The Wolfhound this Saturday. (more…)

Seoul Shake Off

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Last night I popped down the hill and went to the Seoul Shake Off held at Club House in Gyeongridan. Hosted by one of my favourite restaurants The Beastro, Snapple, and Alcohol company Pernod Ricard. The two day event features 6 of Seoul’s best cocktail bars competing against each other. Tickets are 50,000 on the door and will get you 1 Beastro welcome cocktail and the 3 signature cocktails of the participating bars. (more…)

Fountain

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Itaewon has no shortage of bars, however as far as I’m aware The Fountain is the neighbourhood’s first video game bar or barcade. Located in the old Gecko’s Garden spot, the huge three story bar is filled with all manner of game rooms and has a giant fountain in the middle. It kind of  reminded me of Caesar’s Palace in Vegas. (more…)

Jameson’s Giveaway

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Late last year Jameson’s started selling small bottles of their whiskey in the GS mart. If you are fan of convenience store drinking, which lets face it we all are, having a decent range of spirits and mixers is of the utmost importance. Now that the sun is shining I think we are all going to be spending a lot more time outside, and drinking cocktails just makes life so much more enjoyable. Cocktail making is a hobby of mine but I know when you are sat outside of your local mart you may not have the bar of ingredients you have back home so I’ve devised four simple cocktails you can make with what’s in the store.

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Irish Palmer 
50mls of Jameson Whiskey
200mls of Fuze Tea – Peach
100 mls of Sunkist Lemonade
1 ice cup
Directions : Add all the ingredients in order of recipe to the ice cup and stir with your straw.

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Limerick Lemonade
50mls of Jameson Whiskey
150mls of Sunkist Lemonade
150mls of Chilsung Cider
1 ice cup
Directions : Add all the ingredients in order of recipe to the ice cup and stir with your straw.

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Irish Coffee 
50mls of Jameson Whiskey
200ml Starbucks Double Shot
1 ice cup
Directions: Add the whiskey to the ice cup, then the coffee and give it a good stir.

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Celtic Chaos
50mls of Jameson Whiskey
250mls of Hot Six Energy Drink
1 ice cup
Directions: Add the whiskey to the ice cup, then the hot six and give it a good stir.

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To celebrate St. Patrick’s day tomorrow on Thursday the 17th of March Jameson have given me 5 bottles of the stuff to give away to my lucky readers. 2 big bottles and three of the medium ones. To win all you have to do is share this article on social media telling everyone which cocktail you intend to make. Use the hashtag #fatgirljameson to make sure I see your post, and comment at the bottom of this article to ensure you are entered in the draw. I will be picking the lucky winners this Friday, to make sure their weekend goes off with a bang!

Sponsored Post – Snapple

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A few months ago I had my first taste of Snapple at Gino’s NY Pizza. For those not in the know Snapple is a New York based soft drink, and quite recently it became available in Korea. To promote this tasty soft drink, Snapple sent me a whole case of the stuff hoping I could make some delicious cocktails for them. Being somewhat of an expert when it comes to making beverages of the alcoholic variety I quite quickly took up their offer. There are eight different flavours of Snapple available in Korea, but I chose my four favourites and turned each of them into a lovely libation. Each one is unique in its own way and complements the naturally sweetened drink. You can of course opt out of the alcohol and drink it the way it was intended, but where is the fun in that? (more…)