Monthly Archives: October 2017

Deploy Clover Clubs to deliver Dots

It’s true. We may be guilty of being a little old-fashioned at Shake, Stir, Muddle.

In fact, if we ever ran a wanky corporate workshop to figure it out, we’d probably come together behind a vision that included preservation of cultural heritage.

In the glass, on the screen, on the Walkman.

We value wit and whimsy and we are inspired by the great Dorothy Parker. Writer, humourist, cocktail-appreciator.

But nomenclature is another heritage front that’s opened up that we’re concerned about.

Yes, we have encountered the disturbing news that the name of the Patron Saint of SSM may be on the verge of extinction.

Seems that we are in danger of running out of Dorothies and being over-run by Olivias.

Think of that.

Image result for Dorothy Parker

The Dorothies of the world say things like:

The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue.

The Olivias of the world say things like:

Family, nature and health all go together.


Olivias are very nice and pretty and some of them can really turn a high school gang on its head and then release history’s worst Christmas song.


Yes, the world would be a poorer place without the Olivias.

But there is zero danger of that happening, Olivias are on the rise. We are, however, facing a problem in the Dorothy pipeline.

A dearth of Dorothies awaits us.

So consider this post a Call to Arms Muddlers. We need to rise up and use the power of the cocktail and possibly George Michael music to address the impending Dorothy shortage.

Now, I’m doing my bit. Every second child I give birth to has been named Dorothy, but we cannot rely solely on me.

This is a name that was once so popular, that in 1979, two consecutive Playmates of the Month were named Dorothy.

Yes, the list of famous and fabulous Dorothies is long and remarkable.

Lamour, Hamill, Dandridge, Metcalf-Lindenburger. Actors, Olympians, Astronauts. Trailblazers.

If you look up the list of famous Carolyns, the first six listed are actually Carols (totally not the same thing), and the first proper Carolyn you get is a porn star.

Now Dorothy Parker’s drink of choice – the Whiskey Sour – has been covered in these pages HERE, as has the Martini HERE, another favourite about which she probably did not write these most excellent lines often attributed to her but it sounds like something she would say so let’s not quibble over facts.

I like to have a martini,

Two at the very most.

After three I’m under the table,

After four I’m under my host

Today we’re serving up a Clover Club. While I thought that it was a Parker favourite, I must have imagined that because I can’t find any evidence of it now, but we will run with it for several reasons;

  1. It’s a Sour, and she favoured a Sour
  2. It’s gin-based, also not disagreeable to Ms Parker
  3. It’s an IBA Official Cocktail, an Unforgettable no less, and that’s our job at SSM

The Clover Club was invented pre-Prohibition in a Philadelphia club of the same name.

The Club met monthly from 1882 until the 1920s at the Bellevue Hotel. There, a select group of journalists and lawyers would eat and drink and talk.

So a bit like the Algonquin Round Table of which Dorothy Parker was a Charter Member. The Round Table met once a week for lunch and unlike the Clover Club which was only blokes, welcomed members on the basis of their demeanours, not their penis.

Image result for algonquin round table

To be fair, it started in 1919, so perhaps the Clover Club would have had female members had it been established later.

Like nowadays, I imagine they’d welcome Philly native Tina Fey, who could set up her own Algonquin and invite other Philadelphians, Will Smith and Noam Chomsky and Kevin Bacon. And possibly Bill Cosby.

(But keep a very close eye on your drinks Tina).

So, the Clover Club.

45ml Gin

15ml Lemon Juice

15ml Raspberry Syrup

1 Egg White

Dry shake the ingredients to emulsify (ie shake without ice), add ice, shake and serve straight up.


We One-for-the-Road-tested two Clover Clubs in recent field testing.

1806 Clover ClubRed Spice Road CloverOn Tuesday, Melbourne’s Bar 1806’s Clover Club (left). My photo doesn’t do it justice because I was sitting ten feet from Bill Nye the Science Guy and wanted to look cool.

On Wednesday, still in Melbourne, at Red Spice Road with their creditable variant the Kyoto Clover Club .

I’d go back for both.

What does this have to do with Dorothies?

It is widely accepted that drinking and conception are frequent bed-fellows. There is a reason that September has a higher birth rate than any other month*, Christmas and New Year cheer is that reason.

So go now and find some people of child-bearing age, and offer to buy them drinks.

They’ll accept, they can’t afford to buy a home, let alone a decent drink.

Make it a Clover Club, what you will. As they drink, turn up the music – say Alison Moyet’s Dorothy and whisper quietly in their ears, “Dorothy, Dorothy, Dorothy”.


Then send them home to their beloveds and hope for the best.

This time next year we’ll look at our results and start to address the Critical Clive Shortage that we’re also about to face.

Good work Muddlers, it’s a public service we’re doing.


*Not based on any valid statistical survey or even the most basic internet research


Past your bedtime? Order carefully

Like most sensible people, when faced with a dilemma, I ask myself what Naomi Campbell would do.

Take last week for example, when I was finally going to be able to use those Book of Mormon tickets I bought AGES ago, but knew that if history has shown us anything, it’s that no matter how good the production, an 8pm curtain can prove challenging for my stamina.

What would Naomi do if faced with the need to stay up past her bed-time?

Naomi Gif.gif

Back in the 1980s, the savvy super-model tasked bartender extraordinaire Dick Bradsell (who sadly died at just 56 last year and we did a little salute to him HERE) with giving her a cocktail that would “wake her up and fuck her up”.

Thus began the dawn of the Espresso Martini Era.

We are now deep in the second wave of the Espresso Martini Era, as our society’s ridiculous obsession with coffee collides with the cocktail renaissance to such an extent that tickets for an Espresso Martini Festival in Melbourne sold out in less than ten minutes in 2016.

That it was created in the 1980s should give us reason to approach this IBA Cocktail with some degree of caution.

Firstly, of course, the Espresso Martini is not really a Martini.

No, it’s not. Just like the Flirtini, the Appletini and all the imposters that come in a Martini glass, calling something a Martini is not enough to make it a Martini.

A Martini has gin or vodka and vermouth. Full stop.

The Espresso Martini – a cocktail Bradsell originally dubbed “Vodka Espresso” and later tried to rename “Pharmaceutical Stimulant” when the Martini nonsense took hold (making him even more of a legend in my eyes) – contains vodka, coffee liqueur, espresso and sugar syrup. HERE’s the recipe.

As part of our Mormon mission, Shake, Stir, Muddle bundled into Federici Bistro in Melbourne and discovered a THOROUGHLY delightful service where you can pre-order drinks for Intermission. Not just crappy sparkling wine in plastic glasses, but proper cocktails, consumed at your dedicated table or seat at the bar. It’s heavenly.

Possibly actual Heaven in fact.

Book of Mormon

There was zero doubt we would avail ourselves of this magnificent service, but the question was what to order for the post-bed-time mission.

Coffee helps, of course.

That the wakey-wakeyness of coffee peaks about an hour after consumption makes it a perfect choice for both pre-theatre and Intermission.

But do we go for an Espresso Martini (which I’m told makes proper bartender roll their eyes – HERE’s a great story from The Guardian which includes a tale of a bunch of women on a Hen’s Night carrying signs saying “Espresso Martini” and just waving those around when they wanted a drink), or an Espresso and a Martini?

Espresso and Martini

Obviously that’s an issue of taste, but if calories are relevant to you, Bradsell’s creation will hit your daily budget about 284 calories a pop, but the Espresso and Martini combo comes in at about 174 calories and that includes two olives.

Regular readers could be forgiven for assuming that I’d always go for the combo. Truth is though, I have a bit of a soft spot for old Naomi’s cocktail and will periodically opt for it in lieu of dessert and Federici had a Dark Chocolate offering that clearly had added benefits of anti-oxidants (whatever those are).

We divided and conquered and road-tested both. I’m happy to report that no one had to be nudged into wakefulness during the fabulous Book of Mormon.

So I can recommend either path as a sure fire way of staying the course (unless you’re at Waiting for Godot, in which case I suggest just giving into the Sleep Gods and enjoying the nap).

Now you could listen to the soundtrack of Book of Mormon while you down your Pharmaceutical Stimulant but I think that would be wasting a golden opportunity.

Let’s take the birth decade of this cocktail and travel back to 1983.

220px-whamfantasticYes, the year that the cavalcade of pop classics that is Wham! Fantastic was bestowed upon on us.

You could sing Bad Boys, but since Patron Saint of SSM, George Michael didn’t actually like that song, let’s not. Instead you could opt for Wham! Rap, or one of THE BEST songs ever recorded, Club Tropicana (which we have covered HERE).


You could watch Risky Business, also released in 1983. Or Our Nicole (wh220px-bmxbanditsposter83en she still had curly red hair) in BMX Bandits. Or Terms of Endearments. Or the best yet, Flashdance.

Seriously, 1983 is possibly the most magnificent year ever for music or movies.


But how about this? How about watching The Commitments instead.

Confession time, I’ve never seen it so have no idea whether it’s any good, and it came out in 1991, so may not seem entirely relevant, but bear with me.

You know that song Mustang Sally, right? It was written in the mid-1960s, but if you were around in the 1990s, you’d know it from it being on rotation on dance floors at the same unwelcome regularity as Dave Dobbyn’s Slice of Heaven. That’s because of The Commitments.

So we all know the lyric “Ride, Sally ride.”

We’ve gone back to 1983 (which to be perfectly honest is a few years before the 13 year old Naomi started ordering cocktails), that most spectacular year of screen and sound, to talk about a woman named Sally Ride who in June of that year became the first US woman in space.


This is cool on many levels.

Sally was super-smart and inspired many girls to study science. Sally had a fantastic perm. And Sally Ride was the first known LGBTQI astronaut.

Sadly, this last part wasn’t publicly acknowledged until her obituary in 2012 when she died aged 61, having spent 27 years with Tam O’Shaughnessy.

There are people in Australia who would still like us to have our LGBTQI brothers and sisters live their entire lives pretending not to be who they are.

But I say, let’s raise a glass of Pharmaceutical Stimulant – or whatever you fancy – to Sally Ride, and let’s treat hiding your sexual orientation as being as culturally-relevant as Sally’s perm.

Questionable in 1983, down-right comical in 2017.

So as they say in The Commitments*, Sláinte mhaith, and if you haven’t yet, please vote YES (it’s what Naomi would do).