Friday, 25 February 2011

Tipple Of The Week

This week's tipple hails from that legendary venue of mixological prowess the Cafe Royal, which very sadly closed it doors  on us tweeded ascetics in 2008 (after 143 years and a nefarious legal war with Oscar Wilde). Ever delusional of the present we the Ataraxians bring you a little something from the past. Possibly encouraged by our recent jaunt to the West country, and Old Tweedy's dangerous fascination for trying to incorporate cider into cocktails (in fact screw cocktails - gin and dry cider now corrodes his frontal cortex) we present..

The Avenue
28ml Somerset Cider Brandy
28 ml  Four Roses Bourbon
28 ml Passion fruit puree
a dash of Grenadine
a dash of Orange flower water


Shake well and serve into a chilled cocktail glass

Nearly affordable.. Montgomery art deco cocktail shaker (£130 Ralph Lauren)

This is perhaps not one to attempt at home,given the nature of the ingredients. However,find a well equipped bar and it should be worth the wait.
The drink has a distinctive perfume with a haunting obituary. At it's climax the brandy and  passion fruit juice jostle to find sure footing but no clear note is evident, the bourbon is almost totally hidden in the drink simply providing a soft sweet warmth.
This is works to form a rather  ethereal character to the drink. 
Such ghostly touches echo across your tongue leaving you faintly confused, amused and rather eager to have another.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Round the Wireless!

This week the moustachioed Colonels, Brigadiers and other assorted Commissioned Officers of the Club have been boogying along to What You Know, an uplifting indie pop confection from preppy newcomers Two Door Cinema Club. Perhaps it's that catchy guitar riff that's got them hooked. Or perhaps the video, which features a bevy of brunette beauties dancing about in - as one distinguished Club member huskily puts it - "damned tight formation."

The old gents have been practising for the better part of a week, and can now reproduce the dancers' routine near-perfectly. It's quite a sight to behold. Unfortunately for copyright reasons I cannot post a film of their performance here, and must instead link you to the original video. You'll just have to make do with watching the girls. I'm so sorry.

Friday, 18 February 2011

The right thing to do.

While my brethren enjoyed the sweet succour of west country cider, I alas spent that time in the ultimately fruitless pursuit of screaming at the darkness, well a chap must have his hobbies. Now as you may or may not know, the humble correspondences of this Northern token are in fact prone to more than cookery though for the most part the rest are filtered due to their mind splitting rage. This piece however deserves a degree of rage.

Now chaps I know this is not a forum where one comes for comments on any matters beyond sartorial elegance, mixological prowess, greater artistic awareness and to at least my eternal shame some underwear models. But on following this link however I hope to raise in my fellow club members a deep, spluttering rage. There is something about it which raises my ire more than I can begin to explain. Not just because this is a sweet old God fearing woman being persecuted for defending her own children, nor that she has the bravery to stand alone before her opposition in a righteous cause. No what really gets to me is this:

“I feel a bit shy. But then again, it's the right thing to do,"

How often have you said that, even to yourself, even signing an online petition, no vocal component required. It is the right thing to do, it is a phrase that we barely even understand. The very simplicity of the phrase makes it the domain of action movies and that 'new' genre superhero movies. But the person who said these all important words was not a movie character she was a very real individual standing against something she thought was wrong.

Can we not at least match that?

Monday, 14 February 2011

A Weekend at Monty's

Dear subscribers and lost souls,

Apologies for the long delay in our latest post, but the Ataraxian club was abroad this past week sampling the bittersweet ciders of West Somerset at the kind bequest and hospitality of Old Tweedy in his wonderfully ramshackle farmhouse. 

So what did we drink? I hear you murmur from your armchair? 
Well through the haze of time and memory I shall endeavor to deliver a report on what was the highlight of the weekend, The Seymour Arms.
A public house as all other public houses should be. A disused train station converted into the ideal village local. 
Spartan it may appear ascetically with it's original wallpaper and p.e lesson benches it lacks no warmth in company. You could not be surrounded by a more welcoming regulars (e.g Homer, a near indecipherable cripple who complains of his bowel problems to anyone that will listen).
Pass the billiards table the 'renovated' old ticket counter a sixty-something barmaid divides what must be to her blasphemous metric currencies into the separate draws of a battered Victorian cabinet. And change she will need at £1.60 for a pint of the house Cider (The 'medium-dry' being our choice of tipple- excellent clean taste) a price from a lost age forgotten by VAT. 

In the center of the waiting room besides a roaring Edwardian fire, a table laden with local cheese brought to be shared amongst the locals, no catch, no promotion just an act of common courtesy towards fellow men. After Five pints (£8?!) it was with a heavy heart and a lack of  general coordination that we stepped back over the threshold.   

It almost seems a mistake to tell the wider world about it..      

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Round the Wireless!

We have not one, but three recommendations for the contemporary music listener this week: 

1) The Naked and the Famous - Young Blood

2)  Big Deal- Homework 
3)Nikki & the Dove - Under the Bridges (terrible video, excellent song) 

If you have any further recommendations, please don't hesitate to get in touch. 

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

On the Menu...

This light, piquant and flavorful rice dish is inspired by the results of a drunken fumble with a Waitrose recipe card one varsity eve. Here, a light fish stock takes the place of yogurt or coconut milk (both staples in South/ South -East Asian dishes), leaving you satisfied but not heavy after the meal. The list of Ingredients may seem long, but don't let that daunt you- you're most likely to have a number of these lurking in the back of your larder (behind the Woodcock and stuck to the Marmite).

Serve with a light and fresh Raita  and an ice cold Hoegaarden.

Serves: 4-5 (keeps exceptionally well in the freezer)

For the Pilau
1 large onion, chopped
2 tbsp sunflower oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp Korma Curry Paste
250g basmati rice
500ml Fish Stock 
Grated zest and juice of 1 large lime
20g fresh coriander
200g Cooked, peeled prawns

For the Raita
½ Cucumber, peeled and diced
½ x 500g tub Natural Yogurt
Chopped fresh mint (to taste)
½ tsp ground cumin
A pinch of cayenne pepper


  1. Gently fry the onion in the oil for 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and curry paste. Stir for a further minute, then add the rice and mix well.
  2. Pour in the stock, add the lime zest. Season, then cover the pan. Simmer gently until the stock is absorbed and the rice is cooked to your preference (I favour mine with a little bite).
  3. Roughly chop and stir in the coriander, add lime juice and prawns. Warm through and season.
  4. To make the Raita, wrap the grated cucumber in a tea towel and squeeze out any excess water. Mix together all the Raita ingredients in a bowl. Serve a spoonful with a light squeeze of lime on top of your Pilau.