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Finalists for Bar of the Year 2018
28.07.2017

Whether it's a late-night spot playing hip-hop at full volume, a throwback to the glamour of yesteryear or a bar-restaurant that slips the collar of definition, these three Bar of the Year finalists have all nailed one essential detail: good times.

Finalists for Regional Restaurant of the Year 2018
27.07.2017

These three restaurants - Fleet, Brae and Igni - might not be in capital cities, but the journey there is part of the unforgettable experience they offer.

Living off the land in winter
27.07.2017

The life of a farmer revolves around the seasons. Come winter, a certain thriftiness is needed in the kitchen to make the most of meagre produce, writes Paulette Whitney.

Why breakfast isn't the most important meal of the day in Italy
27.07.2017

Italy's claim to being the greatest of the world's cuisines has one key weakness: breakfast. But, argues John Irving, there's more to the story than first meets the eye.

Reasons to visit Los Angeles in 2017
27.07.2017

The hottest spots to eat, drink, play and stay on your next trip to LA, rounded up into one perfect day.

Reasons to visit Canberra in 2017
27.07.2017

Your guide to a perfect stay in Canberra, from where to sleep to the exhibitions you need to check out.

Restaurants with rooms
27.07.2017

Some of Australia's best dining destinations take the hassle out of a weekend stay by offering their own on-site digs where you can hit the hay in style after your meal.

Finalists for Maitre D' of the Year 2018
26.07.2017

The maitre d' is your first introduction to a restaurant - they do as much to create a sense of ambience as lighting, tableware and music. And these three professionals are top of the class.

Shaken, Stirred, Flamed & Thrown

We ask Eau de Vie owner and Shaken, Stirred, Flamed & Thrown author Sven Almenning why we should buy his book.

Why should we buy your book, Sven?
I think anyone who likes entertaining, or hosting friends and guests at home should be able to mix up a few killer cocktails. This book is for them. Whether you simply want to experiment with your favourite Eau de Vie signature drinks at home, or are looking for a great classic recipe this book is for you. Unlike most cocktail books we're not just rehashing old classics, but mostly offering our own drinks alongside beautiful photography to help guide you towards cocktail perfection.

Where's the best place to start?
It doesn't get much easier than the classics; a Martini, Martinez, Manhattan and Old Fashioned are great places to start. Then move on to our suggested variations for a bit more fun and added challenges.

What's the toughest recipe?
Mixology really is fairly simple once you have step-by-step recipes, so I'm not sure anything is too hard, especially if you're handy in the kitchen. I'd say the toughest recipes would be those that call for homemade ingredients such as the lager syrup in the Bloomsbury Bitter or the smoked cola syrup in the Fancy Jack & Cola. Those looking for a challenge, however, may have fun learning the throwing technique used for making our signature Blue Blazer.

Does the home mixologist need specialised gear and ingredients?
A lot of the recipes are fairly straightforward and can be made with readily available ingredients. However, as we feature a number of our signature drinks there are, of course, a fair few that require you to make your own syrups, purées and sodas; we often offer instructions on how to do this. As far as specialised equipment, there aren't many drinks in there that can't be made using a cocktail shaker, a bar spoon and a strainer. However, we're big fans of using vintage and fanciful equipment to add an element of theatre.

Best part of the book?
The caricatures of our staff! I think the final chapter on how to make your own, where we talk about the processes that go into creating your own signature cocktails, is pretty neat. Otherwise I think the photography is the best I've seen in a cocktail book, although, of course, I am biased.

The final push?
If you're not sold already what can I possibly say? If it's not for you then surely you have a friend or two who could use a beautiful and banging guide to awesome cocktails. Kapow!

Shaken, Stirred, Flamed & Thrown by Sven Almenning (self-published, $49.95, hbk) is available from Berkelouw Books, Ariel Booksellers, Oscar & Friends Booksellers, Macleay Bookshop and Gleebooks, as well as over the bar at Eau De Vie in Sydney and Melbourne, and online via Eau de Vie's Facebook page.

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