Sunday, 28 July 2013

REVIEW and COMPETITION: Top of the Lake

Top of the Lake is a co-produced miniseries, which will be released on BBC DVD from August 19th 2013. We were sent a review copy to watch and have literally just blown our entire afternoon going through the
entire thing!

We watched the first episode and weren't really sure. There was clearly a lot going on and the potential for some complex characters and interesting plot twists, but it was a little confusing. But from the second episode onwards we were hooked. It's unpredictable, complex and tense - a real edge of the seat drama that kept us guessing all the way through (admittedly we had guessed the grand finale by the fourth episode, but that didn't spoil the fun, we just had to see how things panned out).

Unsurprisingly, this series has been written, produced and directed by a number of Oscar winners. Filmed and set against a breath taking New Zealand backdrop, Top of the Lake follows the story of Tui, a 12 year old girl who walks chest deep into a freezing lake. She is five months pregnant and will not speak of who the father is. Shortly after she disappears. 

An inexperienced detective, Robin Griffin is brought from Sydney to investigate and she becomes increasingly obsessed with the search for Tui. And lots, lots more. There is the legend of the devil's heart in the bottom of the lake, a rapidly expanding commune of displaced women in 'Paradise' property and midnight kayaking. Along with violence, repressed memories, death, illness, love, adultery, jealousy and despair.

Top of the Lake stars Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men), David Wenham (Lord of the Rings), Peter Mullan (War Horse) and Holly Hunter (The Piano). They are all excellent, especially Holly Hunter. Faultless performances.

I would highly recommend watching this, I would happily give it 9 out of 10 Extreme Points for a fascinating plot, nail biting drama and fantastic acting. And, because I am so pleased to recommend Top of the Lake to you I would also like to offer you the opportunity to win a copy of the DVD for your very own! Just follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter below. And if you aren't a lucky winner, you can get the DVD or blu-ray from Amazon or iTunes.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway open to UK residents only.
Ray Mears Extreme Housewifery is not responsible for safe delivery of the prize - the prize will be sent to winners directly from the PR company.
The winner will be selected at random from all valid Rafflecopter entries.

Word Clouds: Pictures of words are worth a thousand words

I love word clouds. They are a really neat and enjoyable way of evaluating things. I thought I'd run a couple of programmes to check out Ray Mears Extreme Housewifery in different software. I think one took just a snapshot of the present blog, so it just covers more recent posts, while the other seems to be more of an holistic look at all of the content.  

They seem to both be overwhelmingly positive and I like that a lot. What other free tools are out there for evaluating your blog? What message are you putting out to the world?

Royal Baby Crustacean Conspiracy Shocker!

As an Extreme Housewife, I like to make sure that I keep you, the reader, up to date with all the important news. I've barely paid attention to the recent Royal birth, frankly, while I'm pleased that a baby has been safely born I haven't got time to take an interest every time someone I don't know gives birth.

However, I have been aware of an undercurrent of David Icke style concern about the possible reptilian bloodline that has pervaded the British Royal line and other key institutions. However, paying closer attention to the 'finger on the pulse' media outlet that is Cosmo has revealed that the real frightening truth is that the Duchess of Cambridge may actually have more in common with bivalve molluscs that with any common or garden iguana. Behold:

It transpires that the Moche people of Peru actually worshipped the sea and its animals and often depicted clams in their art. So it's not a great stretch of the imagination to see how these Mollusc-Folk have made their way into our Royal family. And there you have it, thanks to Cosmopolitan we know that the third in line to the throne is at least half littleneck. No wonder he is expected to be a 'calm and quiet' baby.

Silent Sunday

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

IMBUED with style

Who wouldn't want an Eero Aarnio inspired Bubble Chair?
There's a new online designer homeware retailer on the block and they are called IMBUED. They tell us that they provide 'selectively sourced classic furniture juxtapose modern brand-led excellence.' They are also committed to customer service, with advisers that will give impartial advise to help meet your needs, advising about the pros and cons, rather than just trying to sell you the most expensive item.

Happily, they've given Ray Mears Extreme Housewifery readers the chance to access an exclusive 10% off voucher code - just type in RMEH7985 at the checkout. The code is valid until 20/09/2013 and subject to the Terms and Conditions in relation to promotional codes as set out on their website. You're welcome!

Personally I really like IMBUED's offer because they have a range of high-end design inspired products that will suit a variety of pockets. A number of the pieces in their collection are true retro classics, first developed by true twentieth century style icons. These will make a real statement in your home. Let's look at a few of the designs behind the decor.
Just like the Bubble Chair pictured above, the Pony Chair is the work of Finnish interior designer, Eero Aarnio. Designed in 1973, Aarnio works in bold colours and unconventional shapes. In this case, he was challenging the conception of what a seat is.

 "A chair is a chair, is a chair, is a chair ... but a seat does not necessarily have to be a chair. It can be anything as it is ergonomically correct. A seat could even be a small and soft Pony on which you can 'ride' or sit sideways." - Aarnio

It looks like an oversized toy, and it would bring a certain playfulness to any living environment, but I do not think that you would need to have children to justify purchasing this seat. It would be very at home in a sleek, modern living space, nestled amongst some shabby chic, home refurbished shelves perhaps. And that's the point of what IMBUED offer, the chance to buy some high quality, timeless top end pieces that really tie the look of your room together. If the Pony chair is a bit too Extreme Housewifery for you, how about this...?
Yes, an upholstered ottoman - the Mondo. The ultimate in multifunctional chic, ottoman's like this provide storage, seating and even a top notch footrest. Originally brought from Turkey in the 1700s they were piled with cushions and used as the main feature of family seating. In Europe, they are now traditionally placed at the foot of the bed, but with striking colours like these they could equally take pride of place in the main family room once again. Some bold patchwork cushions, mixed with one or two in a plain colour, mixing the blue with red, gold and perhaps even some greens and browns would really create a feature that would fit especially well into a window recess or space under the stairs - giving an air of comfort and luxury but also providing some much improved discreet storage.

Please enjoy this (poorly constructed) artists impression. I wish I had photoshop.

My space under the stairs. Complete with furniture from when I was 13.
And now with an ottoman. Just add scatter cushions. Nice.
And finally, we have the Verner Panton inspired flowerpot pendant lamp in yellow. For a stinking, flower-power hippy such as myself, this is just perfect.

A 1960s classic, this piece represents one of Denmark's finest and most inspirational colour theorists, who worked in bold psychedelics to bring fluid lines and a bold Pop asthetic to interiors. This piece is an absolute must for all of those of you out there who love your kitsch or are following the 2013 interior design trend for bold colours. Use this piece as an accent in an otherwise more muted, minimalist room or go the whole hog and style a brighter palette around this memorable motif.

What do you reckon? Do you see these 20th century pieces fitting in with your home, or do you take your style from elsewhere. How does good interior design affect you?

Saturday, 20 July 2013

REVIEW: Coast to Coast, Highcross Leicester

Leicester foodies are feeling particularly blessed lately. Not only has the fast and funky Chilacas opened up in Leicester's Highcross shopping centre, but now we have a new branch of American restaurant chain, Coast to Coast. They claim to use fabulous ingredients to produce authentic American food.

I started reading up on the chain when I saw they were opening up premises recently. Luckily for me, I stumbled upon a competition for a table for 4 for their launch night while I was doing my research for this review and - blow me! - I only went and won! So as well as being given the opportunity to review we also were given the full VIP treatment on the special opening evening. I decided to combine the two so that I could review both the evening menu and the lunch menu, give you all a really rounded perspective of what Coast to Coast has on offer.

On the VIP evening, we started with a cocktail each. I had the red berry cheesecake...

Eristoff vodka, Chambord, Fraise liqueur, Amaretto and strawberry purée. 
Shaken and topped with cream and a fresh strawberry for the ultimate indulgence.
It was a pretty nice flavour, but the berry layer curdled the cream when they mixed, so I wouldn't advise leaving it too long - drink it quick!!

Overall though, we were all pleased with our cocktails - they went down nicely after our complimentary glass of Prosecco upon arrival. Oh yes, we were being very well looked after! That's definitely the thing to mention, during both our visits we found that the staff were extremely attentive to our every need - checking we had everything we needed and happily accommodated any special menu requests. I would say that Coast to Coast in Leicester provides the best quality service in the city at the moment, even compared to Bistro Pierre, which I love!

For our starter we shared the Giant Lincoln Platter - at £15.95 this is relatively reasonable shared between 4, but you do just get one of each thing. There was a chicken wing, fried chicken strip, loaded potato skin, onion rings, ciabatta stack and nachos. It was OK - everything was well cooked and the blue cheese accompaniment sauce was tasty.

For mains, all of the party got steaks apart from me. The Boy got the 14oz ribeye - at an eye watering £29.95 - I'm glad it was complimentary!! He also got the additional prawn skewer, which would have cost £3.95. He really enjoyed it and didn't find it overly big, although I noticed a bit of a food baby afterwards!! I tried one of the prawns and thought they were really well cooked - moist and juicy. Everything was made with nice, high quality ingredients. The home made coleslaw was one of the highlights.

I ordered the pulled pork fajitas with a side of macaroni and cheese. The mac n cheese was tasty, but didn't really taste like the American counterpart. It didn't have a decent thick creamy sauce, but did have a lot of cheese on top which sort of made up for it.

The pulled pork came in a BBQ sauce which was a little too vinegary for my taste, but the pork itself was tasty. I would have preferred the sauce to come separately so you could just enjoy the pulled pork on its own if you preferred.

For our desserts, three of us got White Russians, which were tasty but had way too much ice in them. Throughout the meal we found that things were tasty and good quality, but perhaps just a little overpriced. The Boy summed it up best by saying if everything on the menu was a pound cheaper, or you were given real American portion sizes then the value for money would be a lot better!

I also found this to be the case with the lunch menu. Upon checking with the waitress I found, as you would expect, that the lunch portions are slightly smaller than those of the evening menu. Between 12pm and 5pm you can get selected meals at £7.95 for one course, £9.95 for two and then a dessert on top for £3.00.

We enjoyed some American beers that we enjoyed in California this Spring - a pint of Blue Moon (the girl's beer as I remember) and Samuel Adams (which is better in bottles, for reference). The Boy tried the Jeremiah Weed drinks for the first time, the Sour Mash and the Root Beer, both of which he enjoyed but are a bit like pop apparently, maybe sink down a little too quickly.

For starters I had potato skins with beef chilli from the lunch menu. It was tasty - the chilli was flavourful and the skins crispy around the edges, but I thought just two skins was a little bit of a mean portion!

The Boy had hot wings off the Appetisers section of the main menu. He absolutely fell in love with these in California and so has been keen to find somewhere that does a decent reproduction. These weren't bad approximations of their American cousins and at £6.55 a portion, they are about the same price you would expect to pay in the States. However, with just 5 wings per portion (well, they were actually little legs, not wings!!) the portion was a little too mean. The Boy was expecting to just have this for lunch and it to be satisfying, but it wasn't quite enough for that. Another nice touch would have been to serve it with celery like the Americans do, although the blue cheese sauce was pretty spot on.

For my main I ordered a calzone from the lunch menu, which I had to split with The Boy because he was still hungry! This was by far the most disappointing dish we tried. The meatball and tomato sauce filling tasted really overly sweet and surprisingly like a tinned meatball in tomato sauce that you'd get from the supermarket at 35p a can!! Also the crimped dough around the edges was too thick and therefore uncooked in the centre. I also felt like it didn't feel like a full meal - I would expect a side salad or something to come with it, not just a random splodge of tomato sauce over the top, which is what we received.

Coast to Coast Calzone

Prezzo Calzone

If you want to order calzone all I can say is go to Prezzo!! I found a picture of the Prezzo calzone on Trip Advisor for your viewing plasure so you can see the difference. The Prezzo item is much bigger, filled with a variety of high qualty, not too sweet ingredients and served with a neat jug of tomato sauce (freshly made with herbs and additional flavours) and a tasty dressed side salad - it's really in the next league. For a normal meal, Prezzo's calzone will set you back £10.95, and at C2C it costs exactly the same on the regular, non-lunch menu...

Since it was a review meal, I thought you'd want to see a pretty picture of a pudding. Sadly, The Boy remains unable to take a nice picture of me eating a dessert, so here I am looking windswept with my Eton Mess.

This was an additional £3 on the lunch menu and was delicious, as you would expect. My only criticisms would be that Eton Mess is not the slightest bit American, and there was barely any meringue in it, which is pretty much the main ingredient in Eton Mess! Still, it tasted great and was light enough to not feel too much after the rest of the meal.

So, in summary, I would give Coast 2 Coast 7.5 out of 10 Extreme Points. The customer service is absolutely fabulous - the staff are motivated, friendly and clearly committed to providing a great dining experience. The restaurant itself looks great - it's a fun place to hang out with its booths and baseball on the TV behind the bar. They have a great range of drinks which are tasty, if fractionally too expensive. Finally, the vast majority of the menu is made with quality ingredients and tastes really nice. The trouble is that it isn't particularly American (but then we only know about California...) and that everything is about a pound more than you'd realistically want to pay for it. And if you want a calzone, go somewhere else.

So, if you don't mind paying a little more, definitely give this place a go, if only to get that warm glow that only really good, friendly service can provide.

We were given a voucher to cover the cost of the review meal (but we went £3 over, which we paid ourselves!) and our attendance at the VIP night was courtesy of Gem 106. My opinions are all my own and I was not paid for this review.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Budget Bucket List

Money Supermarket have been asking about bucket lists. What do you desperately want to do, see, experience, learn before you kick the bucket? And what is stopping you from achieving these goals - is it just money, or are there budget bucket items out there? I've had little bucket lists of my own in the past, and there are things that I have done that tick those boxes, such as visiting Pompeii, Machu Picchu or making gnocchi for the first time. These lists are never something I've really sat down and thought about though, I prefer to just breeze through and try out new things whenever the opportunity presents itself. For Money Supermarket I'm happy to make an exception. Here are a few of my Bucket List items, for the record. They are in no particular order and neither is the list exhaustive!

  • Learn conversational Spanish. Having spent time in Mexico, South America and Spain, I've challenged myself to learn a little bit of Spanish over the past 5 years or so. And I've done OK at it. However, once the holiday is over I always let the language go, do no practice, don't even attempt to read anything or listen to my Coffee Break Spanish. But I would love to one day have a real working knowledge of the language so that I can easily hold a conversation, not just ask and answer simple questions. I'd love for this skill to open up the possibility of working in a Spanish speaking country. This is very much a budget Bucket List item. I have Spanish books that I got from charity shops, and there are very good free downloadable language learning programs. I just have to dedicate regular time to doing it, and so far I have been rubbish at doing that!

Cenote in Mexico

  • See a whale. This is one of the big, expensive Bucket List items. I haven't seen a whale up close because it's expensive to get to places in the world where whales are and then to get out on a boat to actually see them. I had hoped to get out and do this on my birthday in California this year, but the trips did not go out on the days we were free. My day will come on this one.

Seals on Monterey Bay, CA

  • Sew my own clothes. Another bargain basement goal. I have a sewing machine, I have boxes of fabric. I have the internet, with an infinite range of patterns and guides. But I don't have time and I don't have a table upon which to put the sewing machine. I know, that's a pathetic excuse to not do something I'd really like to get into isn't it? Perhaps I should do something about this one..
  • Go to Burning Man. Again, this is one that lack of money stops me doing. The Burning Man festival is held annually in the Black Rock Desert. It's all about experience - music, art, movement and meditation, but more than that, it's about doing it all in the intense desert heat and trialling your body's capacity to cope in a whole new way. I'd love to go, I'd love to take a big bunch of friends with me. It sounds amazing, but also slightly terrifying because of the heat. But I want to build a shelter, an installation, in the desert and I want to make sure I dismantle it all and leave no trace when I return to civilisation. A real must do this one. Best start saving.
  • Attend a fancy dress party in a genuinely awesome costume. Creativity, inspiration and a little elbow grease will combine to make this wish come true. And, depending on your mood, this could be a Budget Bucket or a Blow Out Bucket! You can get a costume by spending big bucks, or you can spend the time instead and make one on the cheap. I think I'd like to do both - just to find out which I prefer. I think the reason I haven't done this so far is because of a lack of planning. At work I have to be very organised, so at home I tend to be less ready for things like party preparation! 

So, how to address the list? Plan in advance, spend more time on hobbies, save some money for going on fun trips and put aside the things that aren't important so I can concentrate on the things that are.

Perhaps Brink of Bedlam, 7Hippopotamus or Dragons and Fairy Dust would like to contribute their bucket list ideas?


My Braintree Summer Outfit

We've now had over two weeks of absolutely beautiful weather. This feel good summer deserves feel good fashion to accompany it. Braintree Clothing are an ethical clothing company who work with sustainable resources as well as looking to build relationships with suppliers who provide good working conditions for their employees. Add that to quality clothes in comfortable fabrics such as hemp and bamboo and you have a recipe for success.

They asked me to put together my favourite holiday outfit up to the value of £200 to be in with the chance of winning it. I decided to go for something inspired by our long cycle in the Leicestershire countryside last weekend. I picked some natural colours - the green of the National Forest, the violet reflecting the Swithland slate and the wonderful deep brown bag reminding me of the jagged rock formations that are characteristic of the Charnwood Forest.
I named the outfit Heavenly Hemp because the key piece for me is the multi skirt, a flexible item of clothing that is 55% hemp and therefore will be comfortable and hardwearing. Truly hemp is a wonderful fabric. If all of this sounds tempting to you, then until 21/07/13 you can get 10% off by using the code BLOGGER10 at the checkout! Woo hoo!

Multi skirt in Vintage Violet £49.90  
Sugarpine tunic in duck egg £29.90
Total - £155.80

And just in case it gets chilly, when the weather starts to turn, I'll spend the last of my budget on some sleeves - this lovely Banyan Throw in Denim at £39.90. Bargain.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

The Taste of the Great British Summer?

Sometimes things happen to me and I'm just thankful that I have a blog to share them with the world. Today was one of those days. I was in B&M Bargains, stocking up on cheap evaporated milk, pinto beans and mayonnaise, when suddenly I came upon some of the most random groceries I have ever seen.

Prepare yourself.

Yes, I discovered, for the princely sum of 10p per jar, I could treat myself and my loved ones to Princes Great British Classics sandwich fillings. In either Fish 'n' Chips or Baked Beans flavour. I know what you're thinking. You're thinking I'm making this up, right? Sadly no...

It takes the idea of a chip buttie to a whole new level. In fairness, I only bought them because a. they were 10p and b. it was worth 10p for the humour of a picture for the blog. It was The Boy who suggested we should try them.

Served on obligatory thick white bread

 So, the taste test? Not as death defyingly gross as I expected. The fish 'n' chips filling just pretty much tasted as I remember fish paste sandwiches to taste. It's a couple of decades since I had a fish paste sandwich, but I'm sure my memory is reliable in this area. 

And the Baked Beans flavour? Straight up weird. Like sweet, cold, tomatoey stodge on white stodge bread. Not my cup of tea and certainly not what I expect from my beans on toast.

There you go, from my life to your eyes. Ladies and gentleman, fish and chips - but spreadable.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Competition: Fancy a Flutter?

It's been a great summer for British sport so far. Andy Murray has reigned victorious over Wimbledon and everyone's so excited they're now clamoring for him to be knighted. The British and Irish Lions defeated Australia n the rugby and soon it will be time for England to take on Australia once again in the greatest grudge match for the smallest trophy, the Ashes.
I must confess that in recent years I have not sat back and enjoyed watching the Ashes as cricket is not the Boy's favourite. However, it was something I really used to enjoy and is perfect viewing in the gorgeous weather we've been experiencing at the moment.
And now Coral has decided to help enhance your summer of cricket even further. 

They've made a load of videos with cricketing legend David 'Bumble' Lloyd, about cricket, The Ashes and much, much more.  Check out all the films on topics from The Ashes and Wayne Rooney to Strictly Come Dancing on Coral's YouTube channel. You can follow David's progress throughout the summer on Twitter at #Bumbleon. I am loving his take on that traditional British summer sporting pastime, sledging.

Coral are giving me the chance to have a little flutter on the outcome of the Ashes and they are also offering five of you lovely readers the chance to win a free £5 bet to on the outcome for yourself! Who's your free money on? After the summer we've had so far, I don't think I could do anything but support England - let's complete this great British summer of sport (the Olympics was so 2012). To enter the competition, just complete the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 7 July 2013

REVIEW: Voltz Raspberry Ketones - a weightloss wonder?

Following on from my great enthusiasm for Voltz Energy Shots, I was really looking forward to finding out the results of my month long trial of Voltz Raspberry Ketone capsules.

Raspberry Ketones found fame after American TV's Dr Oz touted them as the latest weightloss aid, saying they were a miracle fat burner in a bottle. While Voltz nod to this in their product information, they mainly stress the natural nature of the product and their benefit for boosting energy and feeling great.

It did make me giggle that the promotional bumpf told me that 'Nutritionists are now learning that these fabulous fruits [raspberries] also contain ketones' as it makes it sounds like nutritionists are quite slow to catch on. Chemists have known about ketones for a very long time, indeed ketones have been covered at A level for decades! A ketone is simply a chemical compound where two groups of atoms are joined by a third bridging group. Therefore, ketones are found in many things, not just tasty fruits, for example acetone, which used to be used for nail polish remover, is also a ketone.

This made me wonder if there were strictly speaking any benefits involved in ingesting large quantities of the ketone found in raspberries, so I tried to find some medical trial info. There aren't any, yet, which I guess is why Voltz don't make any specfic claims about the product over and above it making you feel great.
So, I took the ketone capsules for 30 days. During this time I continued my regular exercise - commuting 7 miles a day to work, visiting the gym 3 to 5 times a week. This is my normal exercise regime, but as I had just come back from 3 weeks holiday just before I started the trial, it was actually a good deal more exercise than I had been doing of late. I had a relatively good diet, although I will note I've had quite a lot of meals out this last month, so the great vegetable and salad intake has been tempered by the occasional high fat or calorie dish.

I saw no reason though, with the exercise balance, why I shouldn't lose a bit of weight if the capsules were going to aide my fat burning. But I didn't. I actually put a little weight on over the period. Score. Not. So much for Dr Oz then - I'm not sure where he gets his information.

In order to give the Voltz claims about increased energy and 'good feeling' a fair crack of the whip, I have waited a week since finishing the ketones to write this review so that I can monitor whether I have any change in mood or energy levels without taking the ketones. I have experienced no change.

There you have it. If you want to take pills twice a day that smell and taste a lot of raspberry, but don't really have any impact, then take these. I give them, sadly, a big fat zero Extreme Points out of 10. I think that could be a first.

However, scraping the barrel for an upside, perhaps I have a weird physiology and they might do something for you. If you want to take the chance and you've got time on your hands, Voltz do offer a 100% Money Back Guarantee so you can try them at no risk. If you want to lower the price you pay, should you wish to try them, then you can use my 10% off exclusive code - GK9GEQEMQ9. However, I would recommend you spend your cash on the Voltz Energy Shot and have a more intense work out a couple of times a week!

I was sent this product for free to review, but I am never paid for my reviews and as you can tell, I review products honestly and openly!


Saturday, 6 July 2013

POM Cocktail Party

I had the pleasure of inviting some of my friends over to a POM cocktail party this weekend. We were sent a cocktail kit, complete with cocktail recipe book and my very own muddling stick as well as some vouchers to get some POM juice and also other ingredients. Since the weather was absolutely stunning, we decided to stick the Barbie on at the same time and treat everyone to a cremated sausage, for good measure.

POM Wonderful is a 100% juice made from Californian pomegranates. You can get it straight up or blended with other fruit juices, such as mangoes or blueberries. It has no added flavourings and is a good source of potassium. It is pretty darn tasty as well, with a strong fruity flavour that is full of fruit sugars, but also pleasingly tart at the same time. More of a grown up fruit juice really!

When my guests arrived I greeted them with a glass of POM Pimms as a welcome drink. To the POM juice and Pimms I added some sliced fruit, cucumber and lemon and even a few blackcurrants out of the garden which are just ripening up at the moment. When they arrived I added some of our heart shaped POM icecubes to finish the jug off and gave it a stir.

This created a very refreshing summer drink, with a strong pomegranate flavour. It was very cooking and perfect for the really sunny afternoon. As my guests arrived we talked about the POM cocktail kit and they all seemed to like the design, especially the cute ice cube tray. They also commented on the funky design of the POM Wonderful bottle, which is very characteristic of the brand and unlike anything else out there at the moment. The scene was set for a fun cocktail tasting evening!

After we had finished the POM Pimms, we moved on to sampling a POM and Ginger Martini. 

Please note this video is unedited, because Microsoft Movie Maker (understandably) hates Apple's .MOV file format and I can't be bothered messing around with codecs. The lack of editing possibly makes it more funny though.

Enjoying a POM & Ginger Martini
This was a fun cocktail to make because it starts off with muddling fresh ginger in a POM syrup. I had made the syrup earlier in the day, as it only takes 2 minutes and then needed to be left to cool. The freshness of the ginger mixed really well with the vodka, apple juice, and pomegranate flavours to provide a deeply flavoured, lightly spiced and quite pleasantly sweet cocktail. It is a slightly unusual taste for me, as someone who doesn't really like gingery drinks, but I did really enjoy this. So if you hate ginger beer, but you want to try something new, this is the cocktail for you. It would really have been better out of a martini glass, but you can't have everything. 

POM Bramble goes down nicely!
 The next cocktail from the book that we tried was the POM Bramble. I love a gin based drink so this was an obvious choice for me. Sadly, the supermarket where I got the POM from only had the original pomegranate and pomegranate and mango flavours in stock, so I couldn't make the recipe up exactly as per the book. 

However, it was still a lovely berry based drink, with a light gin flavour in the background, all of which was well balanced by the fresh lemon juice, meaning it was not too sweet and certainly not sickly.

After we'd tasted these cocktails and I made some more for those guests that wanted them, we opened up the cocktail bar for people to experiment with the POM Wonderful juice for themselves. We got some interesting combinations after a while! 

We all really enjoyed this new pomegranate twist on some of our favourite old cocktail recipes. It was great to share something new with friends and I have to say it made for a lot more refinement to our home barbequeing experience than we would normally expect!!

You can follow POM on Facebook by clicking here, and if you buy some POM juice in the next few weeks, then you can enter a code from the bottle online and be in with the chance of winning your own cocktail party so you can replicate our experience for yourself!

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