In the wilds of Northern England lives a purple-haired, upstate New Yorker. She is ensconced in a beautiful home that came with two chicanerous cats and the boy who stole her heart before taking her wanderlusting around the world.
We met over the interwebs, thanks to a series of blog posts she wrote about their year in New Zealand, and after an initial IRL dinner with our 3rd musketeer Amanda, we keep finding ourselves sat around a table with ribs sore from laughing over the same expat woes.
So, it was only natural when thebar.com contacted me to try and make a few of their Halloween cocktails that I began perusing Dannielle’s glass collection and we arranged a weekend tete a tete, States-style, in her Doncaster home found in the middle of Yorkshire.
Organising our evening of fun from two separate parts of the country was actually pretty simple. We both dove onto the website, picked a few favourites and set up our shopping list with her nearest supermarket. Being a lazy Londoner who doesn’t own a car, we always order our groceries online and loved the ability through thebar.com website to meld the drinks evening ingredients straight onto the shopping cart with the list of regular favourites, a few party supplies and favourite nibbles we already had in mind.
Pulling out the Halloween decorations with delight, and deciding on a few of the recipes to try out we had thought to try 3 of their libations (side note: where on earth do these words come from?). Playing with the recipes via the ‘Ingredients’ tab, we couldn’t resist the temptation of their rum-based Zombie Pirate, the Smirnoff Ghoul’s Goblet and a proper American/Yorkshire hybrid Bloody Mary.
After a day of road tripping around the Yorkshire countryside (they took me to the BEAUTIFUL Harewood House) where we met pygmy goats, drank proper Yorkshire tea and marvelled at the architectural magnificence of this stately home, we came home to a delicious dinner cooked by chef Adam, before night fell and we pulled out our evening’s entertainment.
Once a few of us gathered around her beautiful new dining table, we pulled out the chopping boards, cocktail shaker and ingredients, then one by one we demonstrated all of our best Tom Cruise moves. My personal favourite [drink – we like each other enough not to video said gyrations] was the rum-based Zombie Pirate, a sweet and fruity concoction that tasted of summer nights.
The only trouble is that I will furthermore be disappointed by any Bloody Marys not served American style with a rasher of bacon, a hefty dash of Siracha and proper Halloween pumpkin straws.
With phones in hand for referring back to the recipes, we both loved the ability to easily scale up the servings based on the orders placed by our laughing audience. (Disclaimer: the above, the below and the lead photo are Dannielle’s much, much better images – that lady has such beautiful camera skills.)
Knowing that our cocktails were never going to look quite as good as the website ones, as the evening pulled onwards our garnishes became a touch more heathen and the jokes far sloppier as they have a tendency to do. It was a brilliant evening of mischief that followed on until 4am the next morning, when we finally gave in to our drooping eyelids.
#livebloggeractionshot – spot the kiwi without her shoes….
Our table was draped with a litany of Halloween decorations – black and silver tinsel with skulls (yes, this is real), plastic bats, pumpkin bunting made from felt, those grinning straws, our substitute for wormy ice cubes (made with gummy worms) and a collection of some of Dannielle’s brilliant mates who kindly let us do our blogger thing between bartending sessions.
Eagle-eyed viewers may notice that we got a little too carried way to properly try all 3 cocktail recipes but we simply told ourselves that we’d keep the last recipe in reserve for the next round of mischief…
This post is a collaboration with thebar.com, but all thoughts and wandering sentences are very much my own. They kindly sponsored this post in order to keep our travel fund topped up for future fun and blog posts coming.