Posts filed under Drinks

Bellini Revisited

I've mentioned before here the particular oddity that my 2004 post on Milestone's Bellini recipe is hands-down the most popular post in the history of this blog and responsible for my only real presence in Google search results. Now without wanting to bite the hand that feeds me (ok, I don't actually get any ad or other revenue from this site at all), I'd like to just note that the Milestone's (and its Moxies/other chain bar/restauraunt ilk) version of the Bellini is quite far from the original Bellini. In 2005, I was not yet the cocktail enthusiast snob that I am today, and as far as it goes the Milestones Bellini is still quite tasty, in an alcoholic peach Slurpee kinda way. In the interests of balance (and to restore some of my karma among the cocktail blogger community), I would like to go on emphasize that the Milestone's Bellini should not be confused with a classic Bellini. One gets older and tastes change, and I'm nowadays far more partial to the Bellini in the spirit of the original created at Harry's Bar in Venice. It's a bit tough in Lapland to acquire fresh white peaches, so we have to settle for canned yellow peaches in their own juice (not in syrup). I also admit that I deviate from Harry's recipe in persisting with a blender instead of a cheese grater. Freeze the frozen peach puree, and then combine about 50-50 with Prosecco (Harry's is one puree to three Prosecco, but we like it a little thicker).

As you can see, this recipe is even simpler that Milestones and avoids the difficulty of procuring the alchemic ingredient of Lipton's peach crystals. One day, I'll find a source for white peaches here in Finland, but for now this is an easy, tasty and no-fuss Bellini. Not quite the original, but for my current tastes, not as sticky sweet as the Milestone's/Moxies bastardization (there, I said it). It's become quite a holiday tradition, as well.


Posted on December 20, 2010 and filed under Drinks.

F for Fresita

F for FresitaI admit to sampling, not too disagreeably, the Chilean strawberry infused sparkling "Fresita" when it first came on the market a few years ago. But the degree to which Finns - especially of the female working class variety - have adopted the stuff is truly shocking. It's now sold in little 25cl bottles, which the faux trendy stadi couple next to me at Roberts cafe in Helsinki-Vantaa just washed their morning coffee and pulla down with. That this was 8:30am scarcely matters. The sweetly sticky stuff has become soda pop for adults. It now makes me gag as much from the taste in my mouth as the repeated exhortations of those proferring it that, "it's made with real strawberries." End rant.

Posted on September 11, 2010 and filed under Drinks, Finland.


I made reference in my previous post to my New York cocktail discovery, the Sazerac. Legend has it that it is one of the oldest cocktails around, although the date of its origin is somewhat disputed. That doesn't change the fact that it is one of the finest, most complex, yet well-balanced drinks I've sipped. The Sazerac is as much about the lore of its once-lost ingredients (like real rye whiskey, genuine absinthe, and Peychaud's bitters) as its taste. Its method of preparation is also something of an artform, best exemplified here by Chris McMillian of New Orlean's Ritz-Carlton Hotel. [youtube=] My preference actually follows David Wondrich's guide from Imbibe! that uses real gomme syrup instead of a sugar cube. I've finally acquired all the ingredients needed with the final delivery of my Peychaud's bitters from eBay. For those in Finland, Alko carries both Wild Turkey Rye and Kübler Absinthe, but outside of Helsinki you'll probably have to special order.


Posted on March 31, 2009 and filed under Drinks.

New York

Taxi drivebyWe're just back from New York, and the Flickr set is now up. Thanks to my old camera crapping out on me I'm now the proud owner of a Sony 200. So the first few photos are when the I could get the CCD in the old Canon point-and-shoot to work.

Our trip was full of great sights, shopping, food and drink - much downtime was spent at the Campbell Apartment sipping Manhattans and my new fave, Sazeracs. We also happened to be there at the same time as Marc and Eva, so we had fun hanging out with them, including a dinner with Pere and Isabel in Williamsburg. Foodwise, we gorged ourselves on everything from a cool little Phillipino cafe (Bayan), and a very nice Korean/Japanese place (Busan) that had just opened around the corner from our hotel (Apparently it's so new that they don't even have a web listing anywhere! How can I promote them if they don't have a web address?).

Posted on February 24, 2009 and filed under Drinks, Food, Photos, Travel.


Yes, I'm still alive. Apparently so is the website. I've taken a look around and dusted off some cobwebs. Still a bit of tidying and remodelling to be done, but patience... patience. After six months without a post, I'd be hard pressed to call myself a blogger anymore, but we'll see what becomes of this site and my haphazard approach to maintaining it. The one thing that seems to have kept this site in the public eye over the past years was an innocent little post revealing Milestone's Bellini Recipe. Somehow its the #1 search results for Milestones Bellini recipe on Google and a Yahoo Answers Best Answer. I almost feel bad for the waitress who gave the secret away. :) So I just wanted to thank all of you who have linked me and commented. Enjoy those Bellinis!

Posted on July 22, 2008 and filed under Blogging, Drinks.

Etymology of Beer

I was talking with an Austrian visiting professor in the sauna during our annual graduate school seminar this week, and he explained the origin of the word 'beer.' Beer (or more accurately the German bier, which English borrowed) apparently originates from the Latin bibere, to drink. This all made perfect sense, until I began to wonder why the Germans needed a Latin word for such a Teutonic beverage. As beer and languages are two of my favourite subjects, I did a little more digging, and found this excellent investigation into the subject. The mystery deepens, however:

why did the Germans borrow a word for which there was already a perfectly good one (aluth-) in their language? The Romans were not beer-drinkers, so why use one of their words for the beverage? If a Latin word had to be used, why not the usual Latin one (or Gallo-roman, at any rate), cerevisia? Anyway, the new word ousted the old in continental west Germanic, which developed into modern German and Dutch, but both words continued in use in Britain.

So this is why we have both beer and ale in English, but öl in Scandinavian, olut in Finnish, bier in German, bière in French, birra in Italian, cerveza in Spanish and cervesa in Catalan. The more you know...

Posted on April 7, 2006 and filed under Drinks, Language, Rambling.

Bellini Recipe

So one of my missions on my trip to Vancouver was to get Milestones' Bellini recipe. Kristyn, Christer and I did our Shabusen all-you-can eat sushi on Tuesday and then headed to the Milestones on Robson for Bellini Night. While their menu and web page claims "A cool blend of Lamb's white rum, peach liqueur and champagne, topped with sangria" we discovered that the "peach liqueur" is actually peach drink flavour crystals mixed with 7-Up. So, for those of you playing at home (as I will be this weekend having picked up my Lipton's peach crystals), the recipe is:

  • 9 parts 7-Up mixed with peach crystals (frozen beforehand)
  • 12 parts champagne
  • 4 parts white rum
  • "Sangria" topping (red wine, 7-Up, brandy, orange juice)

Milestones mix it all up in a slushy/slur-pee machine and slurp it out into a martini glass, then pour the sangria around the edge, and top with a plastic monkey (if available). The sangria goes slushy too, and brain- and stomach-freeze soon follow.

Posted on September 29, 2004 and filed under Drinks.