The Cranberry Gin Cocktail ft St Giles Gin 

Whenever anyone asks me which flavours of gin I prefer I always say a floral, fresh and/or citrus tasting gin with either a smooth or peppery finish.


St Giles have completely hit the berry on the branch (I tried) when it comes to their hand-crafted infusion of 11 exotic botanicals. Botanicals such as juniper, coriander seeds, lemon grass, rose petals, black peppercorns, pink peppercorns and the rest remain a closely guarded secret.  

The gin itself has a peppery deep note that forms into a smooth fruitiness followed by a citrus tang and finished with a smooth floral taste. So basically it’s the perfect gin journey from nose to mouth.

When creating a cocktail I was inspired to pull out those fruity and citrus notes and of course create something slightly festive…ever so slightly.

Although I struggled sourcing an additional garnish (fresh cranberries) to add that extra ‘pretty’ factor the actual taste of the cocktail is incredibly refreshing the St Giles gin flavours really pull through.

The Cranberry Gin Cocktail ft St Giles Gin

50ml of St Giles Gin
30ml fresh lemon juice
1 cup of cranberry juice
3-4 cubes of ice
1 sprig of mint

Add the gin, lemon juice, cranberry juice and ice to a cocktail shake.

Shake until cocktail shaker turns misty

Pour into short glass and garnish with mint and lemon or mint and fresh cranberries!

Serve.
Beki xo 

(*) As part of this review I was gifted the St Giles gin however all opinions and the recipe itself are my own
 

Autumn - The season that forces you to dramatically swap your t-shirts for jumpers and your sandals for boots but that's fine because I love it. Along with swapping your ice latte's for hot chocolate and your bare legs for some cosy 100 denier tights, us seasonal makeup junkies have already pulled out our autumn lipsticks and are eyeing up some new shades.

But for me although I love a deep autumnal lip, it can be tricky to find the perfect tone and sometimes those berry shades just don't suit everyone and then there's the maintenance factor, so here's my 5 Alternative Lipsticks For Autumn...


Lord & Berry Crayon Lip Crayon - Dangerous Red
This shade is more of a vibrant red with pink undertones. Lord & Berry have their lip products spot on as the pencil makes it really easy to apply without a lip liner, they're incredibly silky and the wear is long lasting as the product evenly wears off throughout the day leaving a nice tinted lip. 


The Body Shop Colour Crush Shine - 06 Truly Madly Deeply
As an alternative everyday lip shade, everyone knows that a nude tone is key. But this lipstick from The Body Shop has a more festive twist with finely milled pigments that give a shimmering silver 'wet look' shine. The formula is cream based and so along side that fresh shade you get a comfortable wear. 


Rimmel Kate Moss Matte Lipstick - 107 Wine
Although this is one of the more autumnal shade, the colour is a little lighter and more reddy toned than the typical purple toned berry lip. It's also a matte shade so can be used as a build-able lip colour, whether you're wanting a tint or a full shade. I usually stray from matte lipsticks as there's always talk about them being too drying, they tend to 'crumble' and they're incredibly tight and uncomfortable to wear however I've found that Rimmel have been the most comfortable and more moisturising matte lipsticks to wear than most brands.



The Body Shop Colour Crush - 105 Coral Cutie
The shade suggests it's more of a 'coral' tone which for me is a peachy/pink shade however I'd definitely say this is more of a bright milky-orange coral. At first I was really unsure about a 'orange' toned lipstick however I actually love it! Again similar to The Body Shop's shine range the colour is incredibly comfortable to wear with it's cream based formula and rich pigment. 



Bourjois Rouge Edition Lipstick - 15 Rouge Podium
I've had this lipstick for a while and it;'s been my go to red lip for a night out. It's more of a bright toned red with a slight orange undertone. The formula is enriched with 1/4 pure lacquer giving that glide on, radiant glossy finish. I wouldn't say it's as long wearing as some lipsticks however because of it's nourishing formula it's easy to build without it becoming patchy or 'cakey'. 


Beki Xo

(*) The Spiced Orange Gin Martini

A gin made solely of botanicals that have been sent into space? Yeah, you heard it here first.


The Boutiquey Gin Company created Moonshot Gin using the botanicals; Juniper, coriander, cubeb pepper, lemon peel, chamomile flowers, cardamon, bitter orange, cinnamon, liquorice root and angelica  that were shot into the stratosphere where they were exposed the low pressure.

The gin itself has a round citrus, fresh sweetness taste with a savory and spiced pepper edge. So when creating the cocktail I wanted something that would compliment that candied peel scent and pull out those peppery notes.

That's when I stripped back my cocktail recipe ideas and created a simple and classic cocktail with a twist.

The Spiced Orange Gin Martini Recipe:


20ml Freshly squeeze orange

50ml Moonshot Gin
1 Handful of Ice 
1 Pinch of black pepper corns
1 Slice of orange (for garnish)


Pop the martini glass in the freezer whilst you make the cocktail

Add a handful of ice to a cocktail shaker

Squeeze or pour over 20ml of freshly squeezed orange juice 

Pour in 50ml of Moonshot Gin


Shake until the cocktail shaker is misty

Take the martini glass out of the freezer and pour in the cocktail 


Add a pinch of black pepper corns and one twist of cracked black pepper

Stir and serve

Beki Xo


(*) As part of this review I was gifted the Moonshot Gin however the recipe and all opinions are my own.
Lord & Berry Timeless Kissproof Lipstick Review & Swatches (*)

I have a serious love/ hate relationship going on with liquid lipsticks. I love how they look and how some last longer than normal lipsticks but I hate how they can tend to crack/ flake after 15 mins of wear and can dry out the lips giving that prune like appearance.

However, I'm determined to find the perfect liquid lipstick that has more pros than cons and so my search continues!

After a week or testing I think it's safe to say that the Lord & Berry Timeless Kissproof Lipsticks are in the running of being at the top of liquid lipstick favourites. The colour pay is pretty impressive as it gives a full, vibrant and matte finish. As long as you don't rub your lips together (which i did with #6432 Knockout) for 10 minutes after application is gives an even finish that feels comfortable, lightweight and velvet soft. The colour doesn't bleed, is transfer resistant and looks highly pigmented.


#6432 Knockout (result of rubbing lips before 10 min drying time)

However, similar to most other liquid lipsticks in my search the 'long-lasting coverage' isn't quite as long-lasting as I'd like. With the careful consumption of food there's no need for reapplication but any hot drinks that pass the lips... it's gone, (see #6423 Muse) leaving behind a ring of colour. I know liquid lipsticks aren't indestructible but I did hope for at least 50% of the pigment to be left rather than 0%.


#6423 Muse (colour pay off after drinking a hot drink)

With 11 shades in the range my favourite from the 4 that I received is #6423 Muse as pinks and corals are my go to lip shades. The other shades are slightly too dark and 'vampy' for my skin tone but they'd look amazing on tanned or darker skin tones. The darker colors also need a little more care upon application. 

#6427 First Lady

So what would I rate the 'benefits' out of 10?
Extreme Wear - 6/10
Transfer Resistant Performance - 9.10
Vibrant Matte Finish - 10/10
Intense Colour - 9/10
Weightless & Ultra Thin Film - 8/10
Active Moisturising Ingredients - 7/10

#6431 Noblesse

All in all I think I'd definitely buy the Lord & Berry Timless Kissproof Lipsticks in other shades but with the knowledge that reapplication is necessary.

Beki Xo

(*) As part of this review I was gifted the Lord & Berry Kissproof Lipsticks however all opinions are my own
Blackberry Lavender Gin Fizz Cocktail (*)

My preferred garnish in a G&T is always something from the herb family although it’s very much dependent on the gin. I prefer most gins that have a floral, fresh or fruity taste than those that are more bitter or spicy.

A G&T to me is a crisp and light drink so for my next cocktail recipe I wanted to create something fresh and vibrant. Something that tastes like a pot of fresh berries sat next to a blooming summer bouquet. So using my favourite fruit infusers (Junip Organics) I came up with the ‘Blackberry Lavender Fizz’. It took me a while to get this right as at first I wanted to create a  blackberry syrup but then I realised this would overpower the lavender and be a little too on the sweet side so I stripped it back...

Blackberry Lavender Fizz Cocktail Recipe:

1 Handful fresh raspberries
3-4 Ice Cubes
50ml Gin
20ml Junip Lavender fruit infuser
Fever Tree tonic
Lemon & lavender for garnish

Muddle 1 handful of blackberries in a cocktail shaker and add 3-4 ice cubes

Add 50ml of gin and 20ml of Junip lavender fruit infuser into the shaker and shake until misty

Using a strainer pour into glass and top with tonic

Add a garnish of lemon/ freshly washed lavender and serve

Beki Xo

(*) As part of this review I was gifted the Junip Organics Lavender Fruit Infuser however the recipe and all opinions are my own
Bruschetta 
Algio E Olio Pasta
Raspberry Sorbet
Vegan Food Menu at Vapiano Manchester (*)

Last week I was invited to Vapiano in the Corn Exchange to try out their menu. I’ve previously been before but since going plant based I’ve not paid them a visit so I was intrigued as to what they had to offer for vegans.

Vapiano has a unique ‘fast restaurant’ concept whereby you’re each given a chip card to personally order your food at the different food stations and watch it being made right in front of you. It can be a little awkward once you’ve gotten your drinks and sat down to then individually disappear off, queue at the food station of your preference and then receive your food at different times. However, the idea does make it easier to request for your food to be tailored to you, whether you’re gluten intolerant, vegan, have a spicy palette or hate coriander and that unsociable 10 minutes whilst you individually order and receive your food is forgotten when you see and taste how fresh your dish is. 
The chip cards also makes splitting the bill that much easier.

So since veganism is becoming more popular (hurrah!) restaurants have started to label vegan options similar to how they do gluten free or vegetarian and Vapiano is one of them!
Their vegan options include:

Starter
Bruschetta
Olives

Soup
Tomato soup

Pasta
All Arrabbiata pasta (spicy tomato and garlic)
Pomodoro (spaghetti & tomato sauce)
Aglio E Olio (garlic, chilli and parsley)
Ratatouille (Mediterranean veg in tomato sauce)

Pizza
The dough and tomato base is vegan so just request no cheese
Salad
Mista (mixed leaf and veg – request vegan)
Mista Piccola (mixed leaf, cherry tomato & carrots – request vegan)

Dressings
Balsamic
Lime-chilli
Raspberry-maple

Dessert
Raspberry sorbet
Lemon sorbet

Specials
Pumpkin Soup

It was exciting to choose from a menu that not only had vegan options available but also other options I could tailor to be vegan without feeling awkward. For the starter I had the tomato bruschetta, for main the Algio E Olio pasta (which I asked to be extra spicy as well as having the ability to choose my favourite pasta shape) And for dessert, although there wasn’t an array of vegan options I was happy there was at least 1 or 2 and opted for the raspberry sorbet which was delicious!

The food was fresh and full of flavour, the atmosphere was relaxed and with so many vegan options available as well as having the ability to tailor vegetarian dishes to make them vegan, I’ll definitely be back. 

Beki Xo


(*) A part of this review I was gifted a complimentary meal at Vapiano however all views and opinions are my own.
Previous PostOlder Posts Home