Friday, 31 January 2014


I have noticed that most modern cocktails are these days advocating for the use of fresh lime. But before I even think about that, why do we use citrus fruits a lot in cocktail making? Despite their health benefits , they also have a distinct taste.

Why lime juice?
When one of the ingredients is lime juice. Please buy fresh limes and juice them . Don’t buy the bottled and heavily processed lime juice in the supermarkets. These have a lot of chemicals and they don’t even have that fresh taste that real limes have.Limes taste like lemon but have a thinner skin and it easy to get them in your local fruit stand/ grocery.

Why fresh Lime Juice
I am thinking that the real reason why we make cocktails is to result to something better than we started with. You might buy a drink but you think it tastes plain/ b;land. One can experiment with different ingredients in the home. These are soda, sugar, fruit and vegetables. God blessed the earth with myriads of fruit and vegetable types. The truth is each has its own unique smell and taste. We are all created differently and therefore our preferences vary . for example since I was young, I have always loved sour fruit like lemon, limes, oranges and pineapples. To get a good flavor in a cocktail, mocktail or smoothie it is important that we balance all the tastes in the mouth. These are Salty, sour, sweet, unami and bitter. Limes have a high level of citric acid when fresh. This sour taste helps to balance sugars found in many bottled liquors.Real freshly juiced lime are more effective in providing this acidic kick than the horde of bottled lime juices. To get more out of a fresh lime, roll it on a table and press before juicing. This will ensure you have approximately 30ml of juice.There are many types of juicers in Nakumatt.

I am not big on bottled lime juices. They have a load of chemicals and added colour. Do you see how green they are? Even fresh juice is not this green. They then fail on the taste test. I cant get the sourness I so much seek. They are a quick fix when you have no time but if you want to make that ultimate cocktail, insist on fresh fruit.


Wednesday, 29 January 2014


On 25th January, I did a post on how I was dreaming of a mojito. I demonstrated how I made a classic mojito with freshly squeezed lime + rum +mint + ice. These days you can find cocktails by the bottle. They have been mixed to perfection and bottled for you. If you love your cocktails standard and you dont like playing bartender, this is for you. I won a Bacardi hamper in a contest on Facebook. I wrote about it in a post here. It pairs lime and mint in the classic Bacardi. This drink is ready and you just have to add ice. I loved it. In fact it tasted like a real mojito. One concern however is that the mint essence was not so pronounced. I love my fresh mint and it was a bit subtle in the drink. Apart from that I loved the drink. It was sweet so there was no concern in leaving a tannic taste in my mouth or adding soda.

Fact sheet
This drink is produced and packed by Bacardi &Company USA.
It was released in 2008.
It has 15% acl/ vol.

Personal note
I loved the sweet taste.
The lime was very prominent in the drink.
The mint was mild.
Great with ice in a tall glass/ highball glass.

Water, Bacardi Rum, Sugar, Citric Acid, Flavouring, Sodium Citrate, Potassium Benzoate, Glycerol Ester of Wood Resin, Sucrose Acetate Isobutyrate, Tartrazine, Brilliant Blue

This is a great drink to serve in parties when you don't have a professional mixlogist /bartender.



You know those people who claim to have never won anything? That's me. I was on Facebook looking for news relevant to my blog.I happened to like the Bacardi page and it had a 'selfie contest'. The conditions were to like their page , post a pic, get your friends to like it. I did all that and i was the third. Long story short, I have very great pals on Facebok for they voted me in. I went to collect my hamper. It had a bottle of Bacardi Mojito Classic.Stay tuned to my next post as I will do a product reveiw for this mix.
The winner Got an exclusive entry into the Bacardi bar.Isnt it breathtaking?

The lady who won (Rachael) the Facebook Selfies Challenge got to enter the bar.  Good for her

Here I am getting my bottle. The Bacardi team were amazing and today I won my first prize.Im actually sipping it as I write this.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014


Its been a long time since I did a post about wine. Well lately I have been on mixology and learning various cocktails. I had veered off in another direction of writing about  liquors . I was concerned that the blog was concentrating on  whiskeys and vodka instead of wine. The good news is that I found a way around that. Wine is a top trend and people are making more and more wine cocktails and I'll share them as the blog grows. My sole inspiration for this blog was to share news on food and wine . I added a new category on 'drinks'. This means that I can still post on coffee, tea, smoothies, alcoholic drinks and other beverages.

The internet is a hub of information. In a bid to add to my reservoir of wine info, I joined Pinterest. There are many wine aficionados out there and I want this to spread the word closer home. In a bid to sensitize those who subscribe to my log, I gathered a few cheat sheets.These are a fast way to learn about wine in a fun way.

1. What your wine says about you.
Can you judge someone by the wine they drink?

2. Wine Entertaining guide.
Just how do you pair your wine and food when you are hosting people?

3. Know your wine.

4. More wine 101

5. Types of Wine Glasses



Diageo is the global company with many brands under its vast portfolio. The brands are Bushmills, Baileys, Smirnoff,Ciroc,Captain Morgan, Guiness among others.

 It trades over 180 companies worldwide among them EABL in Kenya. This company has been making headlines in the global business news. On 3rd December 2013, It won the ‘Britain's most admired Company’ award for the second year in a row. On 8th January 2014 Diageo and Sean Combs (P Diddy) formed a new joint venture. The company acquired his tequila brand De Leon.
This was a 50/50 ownership venture. Apparently it will retail for $90 a shot (that’s 7,740 kshs). Later on, it also added another brand of tequila to its product. This brand is called Peligroso. This tequila company and brand was fouded by two surfers from Carlifornia.

Saturday, 25 January 2014


January is a month that very few people love. It is equivalent to Mondays as the first month of the year. Everyone is hung-over from December festivities. But you have to admire how Kenyans get back on that horse. Then the sun doesn't make it any better. Yesterday I had gone to run some errands at my former campus.( It feels nice to say former). Well i finished everything at about noon. It was insanely hot. For someone who loves all black outfits I never thought I'd see the day when I would curse black clothes.
Now I had to suffer through Thika Road bus rides with their crazy music. I am not a lover of 'riddim' mixes that have the DJ yelling after every verse. Oh dear lord, I should be on a yatch somewhere, sipping mojitos. With the wind on my hair and sand on my feet. The mojito thought  made me get through the shitty ride because it was all I could think about.
The classic mojito contains five basic ingredients. If any of these is lacking. Yours is a spin off mojito. White rum, sugar, sparkling water, lime juice, mint leaves. Traditionally people would use sugar cane juice. Mint leaves are hard to get. I have had no luck finding them and as I said my local mama mboga doesn't sell those. I'm thinking of searching in Naivas/ Nakumatt. Some recipes I have come across also use spearmint/ yerba buena. All these are varieties of the mint.
The drink is very refreshing.  I took my first one some time last year. Yes I wasn't into this whole cocktail mixing and I didn't even care to know the ingredients. It was at a friends party and I hadn't started this blog yet. Well I remember it being sweet. With the mixture of citrus and rum. Rum is a potent drink but the mint leaves serve to neutralize that effect. Mint has a very fresh aroma. It is advisable to bruise the leaves. Just sort of gently rub them but do not shred them. This will be instrumental in releasing all the mint essence to the drink. This drink has a low alcohol content so you don't have to worry about getting too drunk too fast.
Its Saturday, the sun is out. It is way past mid month so you have no inclination to go for an event. Or you simply have no plans. You have been working hard the whole week. Put on some great music, wear some shorts and sandals, make yourself a mojito. I hope you have rum in the house.
Pay attention...Get these things,
1. 6 mint leaves
2. 0.75 Oz simple syrup( this is just water+sugar in a 1:1 ratio)
3. 0.75Oz fresh lime juice(key word here is fresh. Buy a lime and fresh squeeze it).
4. 1.5Oz white rum
5. 1.5Oz club soda or sparkling water.

Get a highball glass. This is the normal  tall glass.
In a cocktail shaker muddle the mint, add the syrup and lime. Add the rum.Fill with ice and shake it. Don't strain. Pour in your tall glass. Add club soda. Garnish with a mint sprig. add a coloured straw. Voilla!!

That's the basic mojito. You can add fruits and other garnishes . Well be going through different types this year.

Monday, 20 January 2014


You gotta love how some products are packaged. This determines how much sales will go to the drink. My all time favorite is Skyy Vodka. The blue theme colour is instrumental in making it a premium drink in most countries. The bottle is cobalt blue with a thin label. The company expanded the drink by including new flavours /infusions. It is said that it has the fewest impurities among other brands. It is owned by the Campari group. It comes in cherry,citrus, grape, moscato, blood orange, dragon fruit, vanilla, raspberry, peach and strawberry.

credits/Skyy Bottles,Pinterest



In the spirit of learning cocktail-mixing and wine-tasting I've come across inummerable cocktails that will catch your attention. most people wouldnt take them because they are not your conventional drinks but hey, they are healthy.I have decided to share them with you.

1. Eggnog Coconut Milk
Sounds yucky but this is even better than milk. It adds a nice flavour to your drink. add eggnog to your coconut milk. Eggnog is a traditional drink made with beaten egg yolk mixed with cream or sugar. There is liberty to add rum, bourbon or Brandy.

2.The Spinach Green Smoothie
Smoothies are very healthy. I did a  Banana-strawberry smoothie sometime. Here's one with spinach.

3.All Mango Smoothie
Now that mangoes are on season in Kenya. Make yourself a plain mango smoothie. Rejuvenate yourself and add vitamin c to your body. add a few ice cubes to cool off because of the January weather.

4. The Mind-Enhance
This photo tells it all.

Well that's it. Try a healthy cocktail today.


Pinterest is great. I got this guide on how to juice your green vegs.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014


Bloody Mary basics are simply tomatoes, hotsauce and vodka. I have always wanted to make a Bloody Mary so when I finally did my photos were blurred. Any way, This is a great drink that can be taken spicy and you can regulate it to suit it to your preference. For example I'm a huge fan of pilipili (pepper) and anything hot and spicy so I add lots of it.

1.10z vodka (I used Smirnoff)
2. Tomato juice
3. Red hot sauce
4. I Dash Worcestershire sauce(I couldt find this so I used Tabasco Sauce). You can use Cholula Chilly but good luck finding it.

5. 0.5 0z Lemon juice
6. Salt
7. Pepper(How you like it. I use ground pepper)
8. Celery stalk for garnishing.


Pour ingredients number 1,2,3,4,5,6 and 7 in mixing glasses.
Pour back and forth till they mix.
Strain the mixture.
Put ice cubes in a highball glass.
Pour the strained mixture in the highball glass
garnish with celery

 Thats the conventional way. In Kenya we improvise alot. I really wanted a Bloody Mary and my local mama mboga (grocer) does not sell celery. I used a lemon wedge for garnishing and you can too.

 Make you own version Bloody Mary and call it the Jean Bloody Mary. Use your name though.


Monday, 13 January 2014


Smoothies are very nutritious drinks. They are best when made from fresh fruit . Heres the recipe to make a banana strawberry smothie.

1. A half lb frozen strawberries.
2. I frozen banana
3. 2cups of apple juice

1. Slice the fruit.

Put all the ingridients in a blender and blend until smooth.
There you have it. this is best enjoyed on a hot day. You can add ice cubes if you wish. Garnish with half a strawberry, a coloured straw and an umbrella.


Saturday, 11 January 2014


On the post I did yesterday, I talked about the different ingredients you need when making any drinks, cocktails both alcoholic and non alcoholic and fruit and vegetable smoothies. This post, on the other hand will focus on the equipment you will need. Anyone who decides to take the path of mixology either as a career or as a hobby needs these things. If you plan to be the perfect host/hostess in your home during parties or events, this post is for you. You will need:

1.Chopping Board
This is similar to your kitchen chopping board. you will need this to chop fruit and vegetables.

2. Knives
You need a sharp knife for cutting your garnishes .You should have different types for different roles. these are Kshs 799 at In Doors East Africa

3. Grater
From the endless videos I have been watching on you-tube, some cocktail-makers use graters to grate spices like nutmeg or chocolate flakes.There are times you will need to grate cheese too.

4.Cocktail Shaker
This is a small container that looks like a flask. It is used for mixing ingredients together. Some cocktails require to be mixed thoroughly with crushed ice and one uses such a container for the mixing. It is easy to use.

5.Measuring cups. 
These usually have the measurements on the side. This is for cocktails that require specific measurements of certain ingredients.If you find it hard to get this they are available on eBay o you can improvise too.

The following are other essential things that you need.
Cloths for wiping surfaces.
Can opener
Bottle opener
Wine opener
Strainers for removing seeds and pulp from fruit squeezes.
Mixing glasses
Juice extractor
Ice Tongs or scoops for handling ice.

This is the basic mixology kit. You can still add more to your  collection as well as upgrade what you have through time.