Welcome to the social blog
A ‘stirred Martini’ sees the ingredients mixed with ice in a shaker and stirred with a bar spoon for at least 45 seconds. This ensures the drink is properly chilled but not overly agitated.
James Bond admirers have been asking for their Martini to be ‘shaken, not stirred’ for years – but what’s the science behind this definition? Ordering a Martini ‘shaken’ means the cocktail will be more agitated and therefore more diluted. This is because the shaking motion breaks off tiny ice shards. Shaking also adds air to the drink, while stirring keeps the consistency velvety.
For those who like their cocktails to have a savory edge, the Dirty Martini is a delicious, slightly salty choice. The term ‘dirty’ means that olive brine, usually from a jar of cocktail olives, has been added to the drink. An olive garnish is typically assumed too. Most bars add equal parts vermouth and brine, though you can specify ‘extra dirty’ if you prefer more brine.
The effortlessly cool order is popular amongst today’s Martini drinkers, but what goes into making a ‘dry Martini’? First, ‘dry’ indicates that very little vermouth has been added to the cocktail, so the gin is the primary focus. The typical ratio is 6 parts gin to 1 part vermouth. However, order ‘extra dry’ and you’ll get the slightest splash of vermouth, or even just a glass coating wash.
Fittingly enough, the opposite of a dry Martini is a wet Martini. ‘Wet’ simply means that there’s a higher percentage of vermouth, with a typical ratio being 3 parts gin to 1 part vermouth.
You want to learn how to order the perfect Martini, but the term ‘perfect’ in this instance doesn’t just mean that your drink was well made. A ‘perfect Martini’ is one that uses 50% dry, and 50% sweet vermouth.
WITH A TWIST Martini
Of course you want to order the perfect Martini with an extra dose of pizzazz. But the phrase ‘with a twist’ specifies that you’d like a strip of citrus peel to be twisted across the top of your drink, releasing aromatic oils into the cocktail. You can typically choose between orange, lemon and lime. Bartenders might also ask if you’d like the twist left in your drink as a garnish.
That’s a wrap! Now that we have everyone in the mood for Martini’s… TIME TO BE SOCIAL!
There’s a reason the Martini is such a popular drink. It’s stylish, refreshing, timeless and oh-so-versatile as an early evening aperitif or a post-dinner digestive. But what kind of Martini suits you? And what exactly is a dry Martini, wet Martini or a dirty Martini? The list goes on! If you are struggling with the tricky terminology - we’ve put together an essential guide that will give you a helping hand.
Shaken or stirred, wet or dry?
“Be your best, be you”- The powerful concept Kristin Scott had in mind whilst creating the Barre Effect studio located on Hunter Street, Newcastle. This beautifully upbeat and inspiring space is built to make one feel empowered and connected, strong and flexible, but mostly to make you feel like you belong. We are all for healthy living - especially if it’s in a fun, balanced and unique way. So, a shoutout to our local girl, Kristin, for creating this one-of-a-kind experience at Barre Effect!
Kristin is a trained ballet dancer who is passionate about the powerful effect dance and fitness can have. She strives to create a space for like-minded people who love movement and barre, practised in a laid back, yet aesthetically beautiful and inclusive setting. “Creating Barre Effect fulfils my dream, allowing me to share my passionate belief that fun movement has the ability to transform your health, fitness and wellbeing”.
Kristin’s unique approach to fitness combines the discipline of dance with a passion for fun, variety and attention to detail creating a first-of-its-kind offering in Newcastle.
Barre Effect offers a variety of dance-inspired total body workouts - from cardio based high intensity classes to flowing dynamic sessions, all teamed with their upbeat playlists so you can have the most fun there is while getting your workout done. Their professional dance instructors’ have one thing in mind – to help you lengthen, strengthen and tone your body using their transformative combination of Ballet, Yoga and Pilates. Barre Effect is made to be dynamic, everchanging and fun, so you can be the best version of yourself.
Whether you're wanting to try your first Barre class, drop-in every now and then or are committed to multiple sessions a week - they've got you covered! Barre Effect has a range of casual and membership options available so you can select a package that best suits your needs! The best news? No prior experience in dance, barre or Pilates are needed to attend any of the classes. Although they cater for all ages and fitness levels, they do encourage clients to listen to their bodies and take it at their own pace, therefore making it suitable for beginners and advanced clients. Barre Effect was originally designed for adults but has recently added a Teens class to the schedule!
Ready to be your best? Click on the link below and try their introductory package or have a browse through their website for more options. We know you’ll love every moment!
To book your first class, click HERE.
Chasing the coast
to El Nido, Palawan
First of all – if you are planning to visit the Philippines, great choice! It’s the kind of place that’s impossible not to love! Of the 7641 islands, we will be focusing on one of SOCIAL’s favourites, El Nido on the island Palawan. El Nido houses some of the most beautiful locations in the world with hidden lagoons, paradise islands, white beaches and clear blue water.
In the times of Covid, dreaming and visualizing yourself in such beautiful destinations can leave us feeling even more anxious to be on the next flight out… well, thanks to border closures who knows then that will be! That’s why we decided to ensure that you are ready to pack your bags as soon as the good news breaks. To make your wanderlust wander even more, we’ll be covering all the “must do’s” in El Nido.
5 Things to do in El Nido, Palawan
Book an Island Hopping Tour to Bacuit Bay
Make sure to book a day trip to the beautiful Bacuit Bay, hosting 45 paradise islands. The area has been called one of the most extraordinary destinations in the world. All tours include visits to various islands, the one as beautiful as the other. Think stunning lagoons, dreamy islands, and beautiful wildlife.
Zipline between islands at Maremegmeg Beach (better known as Las Cabañas Beach)
Get a bird’s eye view of the wonderful scenery by gliding from one island to the other. It’s a thrilling, magical route and a real must-do if you are into a bit of adventure.
Rent a clear kayak and discover secret beaches
Another exciting way to visit the breath-taking beaches is onboard a clear bottom kayak! Explore the colorful coral reefs as you go. Since the beauty of El Nido is in the beaches, this is a great opportunity to find some of the secluded beaches and reefs – all while getting a good workout.
Hike Taraw Cliff
If you’re looking for an epic adventure while keeping your feet on land, hiking Taraw Cliff is a well-worthy addition to your El Nido itinerary! This one is for the thrill-seekers who are not afraid of heights and break a sweat. Once at the top you will have an incredible view of the entire area, showing the true beauty of El Nido, the distant islands and the surrounding mountains.
Watch the sunset at Las Cabanas
Las Cabanas Beach is one of the most popular and developed beaches in El Nido. It is perfect for sunbathing, swimming and enjoying tropical cocktails. Most popular for the picture-perfect sunsets, Las Cabanas is a must-do while visiting El Nido.
There you have at, the best of El Nido. We can’t wait to hear all about your travel journey and would love to be part of the experience. Tag us on Social Media when you post photos of your well-deserved holiday or let us know how our “must-do” list helped you get the best possible experience. In the meantime, join us at SOCIAL for a few summery cocktails to get you in the mood!
Wow! The only reaction that comes to mind when thinking about our BOÉ Bubbles and Brunch event that was held on Sunday, the 14th of March. Our two-hour event turned into an all-day-long bonding session with BOÉ and the girls, harbour-side! With bottomless bubbles, the most beautiful small plates brunch, cosy weather and DJ entertainment, it’s not surprising! If you couldn’t attend this event, we would be lying if we say you didn’t miss out. BUT we have good news! BOÉ has decided to spend her time well for the next few weeks and will continue to visit SOCIAL, for a limited time.
With BOÉ as our current feature wine, we’ve asked Belinda and Zoé to give us a few fun facts about BOÉ so that we can get to know her a little bit better. Time for a classic Q&A!
When and how did you decide on the idea of starting BOÉ Wines?
Belinda: “Zoé and I were having a rosé by the water in Newcastle, when we started talking about how we always buy the French rosé on the menu. This is because we always know we’ll be getting the perfect light, dry, pale pink colour. We immediately started thinking - it would be amazing to get an Australian wine on the market shelves – showing how we are capable of making a similar style and taste, right here in our own backyard! We started with the magnums as we loved the European concept of sharing large rosé magnums.”
What was the gap in the market that you identified when first started BOÉ?
Belinda: “We tend to associate all Australian rosé as a sweet, dark red variety and therefore so often reach for the French versions. There was also a gap in the market for aesthetically appealing packaged Australian Rosé Magnums.”
For those who don’t know yet – how did you come up with the name?
Belinda: “It’s a portmanteau for both of our names, Belinda & Zoé.”
Where and how are BOÉ harvest and bottled?
Belinda: “I’m lucky enough to have family in the winemaking industry, which ensures that this is no standard rosé, but one made from a third-generation Italian winemaker. We use the Italian style “Rosato” which is a blend of 3 grape varieties (Sangiovese, Nebbiolo and Barbera). Sam Miranda from King Valley produces all our wine. This is a 120-hectare property located at the foothills of the beautiful Victorian Alps. The cool climate is perfect for both the prosecco and rosé. The fruit gets machine harvested at night time and then gets left in the bins for 24hrs. This allows it to naturally start the ferment process. Thereafter, the clear juice gets sucked out through a screen with no maceration of the skins. The juice completes fermentation over a 6-week period at 10 degrees Celsius. The finished wine gets lightly fined, then bottled in October.”
What are the primary flavours of the BOÉ range?
Belinda: “The subtle fruit flavours are enhanced by the silky-smooth texture of the wine. It lingers and finishes with a crisp natural acidity. A delicate rosé which is crisp and refreshing, yet also intimate and warm. Our Bubbles is a savoury blend of the rosé (a premium King Valley Prosecco).”
What is the most popular product and what is your personal favourite?
Belinda: ”It’s almost impossible too chose! I love the Bubbles for parties and celebrations.
The rosé is my go-to for pairing with home cooked meals though!”
Name three dishes that you would recommend to pair BOÉ with.
1: BOÉ Rosé Nduja Pippies
2: BOÉ Bubbles Oyster Mignonette
3: Spicy BOÉ Rigatoni Pasta.
(All can be found the BOÉ Wines website)
Where do you see BOÉ in 5 years?
Belinda: “I would love to see BOÉ’s wholesale side expand. Being stocked in bars and restaurants all over the country and being paired with local produce from all different regions of Australia.”
Be sure to meet up with BOÉ! We promise she’ll keep you entertained much longer than you planned
As you all know, we are obsessed with all things light, crisp and delicious. Leading into the most festive time of the year - we thought it would be a great idea to share some of our favourite recipes with our SOCIAL circle!
This juicy espetada is flavour forward and straight up succulent. The easy marinade takes about 10 minutes to prepare and after a few hours in the fridge, the simple chicken espetada is transported to a haven of tropical flavors!
8 chicken thighs, skin on and deboned
zest and juice of 3 limes
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp honey
3 tbsp soya sauce
1 thumb fresh ginger, peeled and minced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 red chilli, thinly sliced
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1) Place the chicken thighs in a large bowl.
2) Whisk together the marinade ingredients in a jug and pour onto the chicken, making sure it is well coated. Cover and allow marinating for about 45 minutes.
3) Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with foil.
4) Thread the thighs onto a large metal skewer, reserving the marinade. Place the skewer on the prepared baking tray and roast in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, basting with the reserved marinade every 10 minutes. Remove from oven and serve with a fresh green salad.
CHEERS to 2021
What a year! Thank goodness 2020 is on its way out and 2021 is in sight! As we all know, this year was full of uncertainty, challenges and disruption, but with 2021 coming up – nobody has got time for that!
While most are still moping about our current situation, SOCIAL has been planning some real exciting events. We’re talking Martini Festivals, Naked Cocktails, Bottomless Luncheons and a whole lot more to sweep you off your feet!
To make up for all our Covid lost events, we are bursting with innovative, unthought-of ideas to keep our SOCIAL Circle entertained. Leading up to the festive season we’ll give you a little sneak peak of what lies ahead with Melbourne Cup and our New Years Eve celebration.
In the meantime, get your holiday mode on at SOCIAL with a few cold spritzers or colourful cocktails. One sip in, and the unpleasant memories of 2020 will start to fade.
With all of us being stuck at home, there’s no better time to discover a hidden talent or two, or challenge that inner-chef you never have time for! So pour yourself a well-deserved glass of wine, turn up your favourite music and heat things up in the kitchen this week!
See below a simple but delicious recipe from TASTE. Perfect for your DYI date night at home, a quick family meal to enjoy around the dinner table, or just to accompany you on the couch whilst enjoying your favourite TV series!
CREAMY PUMPKIN PASTA
10min Prep time
10min Cooking time
- 375g linguine
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 20g butter
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts
- 500g butternut pumpkin, cut into 12cm-long ribbons
- 300ml pure cream
- 2 tbsp finely grated parmesan (or vegetarian hard cheese)
- 60g baby spinach
Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water, following packet directions until tender.
Drain the pasta.
Meanwhile, heat oil and butter in a large, deep frying pan over medium heat.
Add the garlic and walnuts. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant.
Add pumpkin. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes or until pumpkin is tender.
Add cream and parmesan. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until heated through.
Add spinach and pasta to the pumpkin mixture.
Season with salt and pepper.
Toss to combine.
Serve and enjoy!