So it’s 2020. We’ve been burnt and drowned as a nation and now we are being confined to self isolation and – hell spawn of all terms – social distancing. What a kick to the proverbial grapes. And by that we mean, of course, the splendid fine wines, quality cocktails and brilliant beer that we Central Coast dwellers know and love.
Yep, the best bars in Terrigal have called last drinks and their friendly staff have all but packed up and withdrawn to the comfort and isolation of their Covid-19-free homes. Beer gardens and beach bars are abandoned, live music and local distilleries are muted as Australia comes to grips with life without beer on tap.
But there is a silver lining. For the locked down, soaped up, stay-at-home Aussie, you can finally lay down that home brew you always wanted, master some classic cocktails, or infuse some old timey gin. Your home is now the perfect spot for a swanky speak-easy come hooch house for you housemates, or family to revel in.
As purveyors of signature cocktail wizardry, we thought we’d help you out with a few recipes to keep your bar menu tight and the isolation times loose.
25ml dry gin
25ml vermouth rosso
Blood orange peel
Add ingredients to the cocktail shaker you got for your 18th. Throw in some ice and shimmy shake. Strain into a glass over ice and garnish with a peel of blood orange.
*Serve with some Iso house sourdough. We named ours Wuhan Solo.
30ml fresh lemon juice
Mix your liquids and ice into a shaker. Assume uber friendly bartender face and cha cha.
*Balance the sweet with spiced roast almonds or marinated olives.
Hot Buttered Rum
60ml dark rum
2 tsp brown sugar
½ Tbsp unsalted butter
Find a glass mug if you have one (so you can lose yourself in the warm butter filtered firelight or candlelight). Add sugar and just enough hot water to dissolve. Mix in rum and butter then top up with more hot water. Sprinkle some nutmeg Salt Guy style.
*Try a little South East Asian remix by sub-ing jaggery for sugar, ghee for butter, cinnamon for nutmeg.
If Terrigal pubs are more your go to haunt, then consider visiting these fine establishments to get you set for lockdown lagers or iso IPA’s:
Coastal Country Home Brew Supplies will ship from Long Jetty with 4 Pines Pacific Ale clones and The Ultimate Home Brew (A.k.a Home Brew Store) are still open for virus free business and shipping and offer a wide range of beer styles including a Young Henry’s Newcomer-esque Aussie Pale Ale.
If you go for the old Cooper’s can brew kit (it is a great place for newbs to start) then you may come across what is known as the ‘homebrew’ taste – which is not a good thing. Here are a few tips to improve your witches brew.
First, get your hands on some hops – even a little. You can boil this in some water and add it to your fermenter for that craft beer flavour.
Secondly, resist the temptation to slug it down as soon as it is fizzy in the bottle. Give it some time as the flavours will settle. Go on, you’ve got plenty of time on your hands anyway.
Finally, bag a copy of Charlie Papazian’s brewtiful book, ‘The Joy of Homebrewing’ and read it to your daughter, sons, cat or preferred isolation partner at bedtime. You will learn so much more about the art than sipping our boutique tap beer here with us.
So, here’s to sharing some sips from the safety of our very own homes – the best bars on the Central Coast. Salut