Sydney Bar Week: Drinks Fest

Thanks to the generosity of the event organisers, I attended the Drinks Fest afternoon session at Sydney Bar Week today. Held at the Overseas Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay overlooking Sydney Harbour, it was absolutely the best place to be with the warm weather, the sun reflecting off the water and unbeatable views.

I got to meet a number of representatives from various alcohol companies, and did a bit of taste-testing at each stand. Some of my personal highlights included:

  1. The Vok Chocolat liquor range is amazing. The Rich Cocoa blend was particularly great, and would give a nice kick to a mug of hot chocolate on a cold winter’s night.
  2. A five minute neck and shoulder massage at the Monkey Shoulder stand. With my near-constant back pain, any massage is always warmly welcome!
  3. 1883 syrups – a great lychee flavoured syrup which would work well with both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
  4. The Boysencider from Old Mout Cider – fresh and fruity, perfect for a warm summer’s day.
  5. Some Rekorderlig cider flavours which are hard to find in a usual liquor store. I ended up going home with a bottle each of: Winter Cider, Mango-Raspberry and Apple-Blackcurrant.
  6. A tasting of Bulleit Bourbon, followed by a shot of pickle juice and a dill pickle. It was surprisingly tasty, though it sounds strange!

Well done to the Bar Week organisers – there was a great range of exhibitors there, and a good schedule of special classes and tastings. I look forward to the Fashionable Drinks event tomorrow!

Sydney Bar Week, 22-25 September

Sydney Bar Week is the largest cocktail, spirit, beer, wine and cider one-day event in Australia, where attendees get to meet with representatives of some of the largest alcohol trading companies in the world and attend various masterclasses and events to enhance their drink-mixing skills.

As part of Bar Week, there are also a series of dinners, tours, and themed parties around Sydney, all with a carefully selected drinks menu that’s been matched closely with the food on offer. To achieve the perfect combination of food and drink is a real art – and one that is perfected by the chefs and sommeliers who participate in Bar Week events.

I will be attending a number of Sydney Bar Week events as a guest blogger, thanks to the generosity of the event organisers. You can see me at the general Sunday afternoon Drinks Fest session, the “Get Shucked” event on the Saturday night at The Morrison Bar and Oyster Room, and the “Fashionable Drinks” event on the Monday night at the Gazebo Wine Garden.

Let me know if you’re attending, and I might see you there!

Recipe: Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot PieIn the mood for something hearty and cheap? This is your answer!

Ingredients

Two chicken breast fillets (or eight chicken thigh fillets – depending what cut of meat you prefer), one large bag of frozen cubed vegetables (e.g. corn, peas, carrots), one can of Campbell’s Cream of Chicken condensed soup, two sheets of frozen puff pastry. Salt and pepper to taste.

Method

  1. Take your puff pastry and frozen veggies out to defrost. Preheat the oven to approximately 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Clean and dice the chicken to approximately one centimetre cubes, approximately the size of the veggies. Brown chicken on medium heat in a large lidded saucepan.
  3. Add defrosted veggies to the pan and cook until warm through.
  4. Add can of Cream of Chicken condensed soup and half a can of water to the pan, and stir through. Let the mixture simmer until ingredients are hot and fully combined, then add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Transfer the mixture straight to a medium-sized casserole dish (leave approximately half a centimetre gap at the top).
  6. Cut puff pastry into strips, and arrange on top on the casserole dish in a criss-cross pattern. Brown with egg wash if desired.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven until the pastry is nice and crispy (approximately twenty minutes to half an hour) – then serve!

This should serve six people  if you dish out smaller portions with side dishes. Total cost is approximately $20AUD for puff pastry, chicken, canned soup and frozen veggies. Cheap and tasty!