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Cocktail Time: Pink Grapefruit Margaritas

It’s likely to be no secret to you now that I like cocktails. They’re often featured in my food reviews and sometimes even get a full post dedicated to them. Despite this I’ve never really made them at home. They’re quite an expensive habit to have, and keeping in lots of different spirits and mixers, as well as syrups, garnishes etc can be quite a hard feat!

pink grapefruit margaritas

Since buying our own home 5 years go (doesn’t time fly!) our spirits shelf has slowly built up so I thought I would now have a go a creating some of my own. One of my favourite cocktails historically has been the Margarita, I love sharp citrus drinks and so thought I’d try a twist on this with some pink grapefruit, as we always seem to have some of these in the house as Lee likes them for breakfast.

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Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 50ml tequila blanco
  • 20ml triple sec
  • 50ml pink grapefruit juice
  • 25ml lime juice (I use freshly squeezed for both juices)
  • 10ml sugar syrup
  • salt (for the glasses)
  • ice (a large handful)
  • 2 half moon segments fresh grapefruit (to garnish)

Method:

  1. Firstly salt your glasses and fill with ice to chill- I like using Martini Style glasses for these (see pic for example). Wet the rim of the glass with ice or lime juice, then dip into salt that you have scattered over a small plate and then add some ice.
  2. Put the tequila, triple sec, syrup and both juices and more ice into a cocktail shaker or jam jar with the lid on, and give it a good shake.

  3. Discard the ice and then strain the cocktail between the glasses.

  4. Garnish with the slices of grapefruit, or as you wish. Put your feet up.

Happy drinking :)

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Afternoon Tea at Hotel La Tour in Pictures

I’ve now been for afternoon tea at Hotel La Tour 5 times. In 18 months thats not bad going eh? You can read about my first experience and also my Christmas visit more recently, but this latest visit was to try out their ‘new look’ Afternoon Tea.

Now at first glance, it might not look like much has changed, its still in the same lounge and the same set up, but there is a lot of new stuff too. They have changed their tea supplier, from Twinings to Newby Teas –  so you can sample different and more interesting teas, all made from individual silken pyramids. If you’re not a tea drinker, they are ever so flexible so you can order coffee instead and even upgrade to fizz with your tea (for a little extra supplement)

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There is also more choice on the savoury selection including the option of hummus and onion marmalade instead of their stalwart – the welsh rarebit dip.

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The Sweet Treat Option will change on a more regular basis, not only with the seasons but theres talk of themed teas such as for Wimbledon. Themed teas are quite big on the London Afternoon Tea Scene (Yes, this exists!) so they are really moving with the times. Tea at the weekend will often be accompanied by some brilliant musicians in the lounge area too.

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As usual the scones and sweet treats were delicious – I tried a Banana and Chocolate Macaron, Lime & Ginger Cheesecake and an Opera Cake.

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Hotel La Tour offers in my opinion one of the better afternoon teas in Birmingham – one not to miss.

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Disclosure: A number of bloggers were invited to Hotel La Tour to find out about their Afternoon Tea and try the food. All opinions remain my own and are entirely honest. 

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Review: Alfie Birds

Alfie Birds in the Custard Factory in Digbeth, Birmingham is billed on their website as ‘Gourmet Eats & Beats’. Now I can’t quite vouch for the beats part – they seemed to have Seal on repeat the other Friday lunchtime when we visted, but the Eats are sure good.

We’d heard their wood fired pizzas, cooked in their own wood-fired pizza oven, were quite something, and we were’t disappointed.

I love the space at Alfie Birds; set over 3 levels, it’s funky, quirky and laid back. I imagine it’s quite the place at night – we’ve been for a early evening drink before now and it seems quite the hip place to be on a weekend evening!

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The menu is mostly burgers and pizzas with some salads and sides thrown in – but it’s very imaginative with things such as the Haggis Neeps and Tatties Pizza or the  Balti Triangle Pizza, a nod to Brum’s heritage (yep – it even comes shaped like a triangle!)

We decided to share a small nachos to start – crammed with the usual culprits of salsa, guacamole, sour cream, cheese & jalepenos, it was a good example of a classic.

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We then had a couple of the small (6″) pizzas to share, and a side of Sweet Potato Wedges. The Pizzas we chose were the Great Balls of Fire – homemade cayenne spiced beef and herb meat balls, Spanish chorizo sausage, green chilli, red peppers and buffalo mozzarella and the Peter Piper’s Pickle & Pulled Pork – Alfie’s very own seven hour slow roasted BBQ pulled pork with sweet pickled peppers. The pizzas were really excellent quality with a really thin crispy base, heaps of toppings and completely delivered on flavours. The wedges were also excellent version of a classic and we really couldn’t fault anything. Great examples of food & cooking in this kind of category. Another that struck me was the really reasonable value of the food – all this plus a pint and a coke cost £25. The small pizzas were £6 each, and if you wanted a big one (12″) they are only £8-11. 

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Alfie Birds is a great little venue to try out if you’re in the area – the Custard Factory is full of unique and vintage shops and a great place to spend a couple of hours.

http://alfiebirds.co.uk

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Disclosure: We paid in full for our meal.