You’re not imagining it. Sydney has seen the wettest start to the year since records began in 1859. If you’re living through the deluge, you’ll know that even before records began, the sky could not possibly have produced this level of damp.
Everything out there is crying, including us.
At the risk of turning this drinks column into a weather report, I do need to mention that the sky is not done with us yet. Apparently, there is more to come.
Some brave meteorologists are reporting that the La Niñas causing all the nasty downpours is going to hang around until at least the end of autumn. Maybe even until the end of winter.
If the idea of rain until September chills you as much as it does me, it’s time for action. Or perhaps a lack of action. Rainy weather calls for some cracking music to drown out the constant drip of the drainpipes and a decent beverage that inspires reflection.
A round of indoorsy, sit-with-me, pause-a-while drinks. On repeat.
Dark ‘n’ Stormy
It just has to be, doesn’t it? The Dark ‘n’ Stormy cocktail was apparently created in Bermuda – the shipwreck capital of the world. To make a proper Dark ‘n’ Stormy, you need to use Gosling’s Black Seal rum, which has a trademark on the cocktail’s name. But we won’t tell anyone if you sneak in another dark rum like Mount Gay Eclipse, Husk Bam Bam or even Bundaberg Black.
Make sure you use a tall glass and plenty of ice.
60 ml dark rum
Squeeze of lime
Pour rum into a highball and top with ice.
Fill with ginger beer and add a generous squeeze of lime juice.
Stir gently with a swizzle.
You can also add a splash of bitters, if that’s your thing.
Keeping our thundery theme alive, the Black Velvet demands some heavy contemplation while the storm rages without. It’s not for the fainthearted: any drink that combines Champagne with stout requires a certain amount of courage. Don’t be too scared, though. This is an excellent tipple that will ignite a sunbeam within.
Use a decent sparkling wine and the stout really should be Guinness for maximum imbibing sunshine.
1 part stout
1 part sparkling wine
Half-fill a Champagne flute with stout.
Top with an equal measure of sparkling wine.
Gently stir before serving.
If there’s a drink that helps you while away the hours, it’s got to be an Old Fashioned. It’s just got that smooth, cultured, Frank Sinatra-crooning vibe about it. You could do worse than be stuck indoors with one of these smoothies in hand.
The caramel notes of bourbon make the best Old Fashioned, but you can also mix it up with a good, spicy scotch if you like.
2 teaspoons sugar syrup
3 dashes bitters
50 ml bourbon
Long orange peel
Stir the sugar syrup and bitters into a tumbler.
Add the bourbon and two cubes of ice and stir vigorously for about a minute.
Twist the orange peel over the glass, gently stir once or twice, then add the peel to the glass and serve.
Well, this one is certainly pretty enough to cheer us up. It’s lighter than the other three options, being a vodka and gin-based rainy day offering.
If you can’t get your hands on blue curacao to turn your grenadine purple, you’ll be looking at more of a Red Rain cocktail. And that seems quite fitting.
30 ml vodka
30 ml gin
25 ml blue curacao
25 ml lime juice
25 ml lemon juice
100 ml soda water
75 ml grenadine
lime slices, to garnish
Half-fill a cocktail shaker with ice, then pour in the vodka, gin, blue curacao, lime juice and lemon juice and shake gently.
Top up with the soda water, grenadine and extra ice, then shake again.
Strain and pour over two highball glasses filled with fresh ice.
Garnish each glass with a twist of lime.