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Showing posts from September, 2023

Myrniong Mudslide

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Today we are at the dairy farm – delivering our story and mixing this week's cocktail: the Myrniong Mudslide! As early as 1917, a local Councillor made a report to the Shire Engineer about the poor condition of "muddy" lane, with him referencing the state of the road rather than the street name. Going by the frequent tendering for up to 500 cubic yards of gravel at a time, everyone in the shire was familiar with this exact location. Sometimes it was referred to as "the muddy lane", maybe a faux pas, or possibly a term of endearment passed down by the previous generation! Pouring over old maps, I could not locate any with the name "Muddy Lane". inscribed on them. Matters would have been made worse in 1920 when a section of Ballarat Road was closed to all traffic due to regrading works. The detour was via Mount Blackwood Road and "muddy lane" (again the newspaper notice used quotation marks around the words "muddy lane")! Eventually

Show Boat

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Welcome to Cocktale O'Clock, here at The Plough where we enjoy a sip of history with a twist of fun. This week we have been reminiscing about the Agricultural and Horticultural Shows hosted at Myrniong from 1870s until the mid 1950s. And speaking of Shows, let's talk about the recently re-branded Melbourne Royal Show. Last year they changed it's name from "Royal Melbourne Show" to "Melbourne Royal Show", claiming it offered a "point of difference"! Personally, I'm not entirely convinced, however, a little conjecture never hurt anyone. Did you know that the annual Melbourne Royal Show, located at the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds, has been running since in 1848, 25 years before the first Myrniong Shows were conducted! Shifting our focus to something delightful and timeless – our Cocktail of the Week: Show Boat. This gem was featured in the 1937 Café Royal Cocktail Book and credited to J. W. Mellisha. It is gin-based with fruity aromas and a c

Stone's Throw

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This week we travel a stone's throw away while, at the same time, heading back to mid 19th Century. In 1855, the surveyor responsible for mapping out the anticipated community of Myrniong was John Hardy, whose legacy is commemorated in the naming of Hardy Street. Interestingly, the area that now serves as the Recreation Reserve was initially earmarked for a cemetery. While no cemetery exists in Myrniong today, it is worth noting that The Plough once housed a morgue during this era. By 1857, the landscape of Myrniong was evolving. A map from that year outlined plots allocated for 3 religious denominations and the Recreation Reserve. Out of these, the Church of England was the only one to materialize in 1867. The Catholic Church was established in Korobeit in 1864 and the Presbyterian Church found its home further up Pentland Hills Road for the convenience of that strong-Scottish community. Before the construction of the Pentland Hills' Presbyterian Church, the community gathere

Gone With The Wind

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This week, we celebrate the blending of today's arctic blast with the classic film " Gone with the Wind ". About 5 years ago, one of our guests at The Plough shared a most delightful memory with us. It was 1937, when he and his newlywed wife were heading to Sydney after their wedding. During those times, a polio scare had police diligently monitoring interstate borders (something which I couldn't comprehend when hearing this tale, however I now have an appreciation of what this actually meant). As he explained, they were driving a "Touring Car on a windy day", and back then, you needed a permit, displayed on your windscreen, to travel interstate. When they reached the border, a policeman inquired, "I see you're from out of state. Where are you folks from?" Our guest replied ‘from a little place called Myrniong near Bacchus Marsh’. The policeman replied: ‘Not where Kate Foley’s pub is?’ Surprised, our guest asked how the policeman knew

Manhattan

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This week we answer the question: "What came first: The Old Fashioned or Manhattan"? The Old Fashioned is the original cocktail, with it being initially recorded as the Whiskey Cocktail around 1861, coincidently around the time that The Plough was first licensed! It consisted of whiskey, sugar (gum syrup), bitters & ice. The Manhattan came about 15 years later – in the mid-1870s as a result of vermouth gaining popularity. Bartenders always wanting to try something new, created the Manhattan, starting with even amounts of whiskey and vermouth. Nowadays, the ratio has changed. So, while the Old Fashioned came before the Manhattan, it is the latter that we are featuring today, in recognition of every special man we relish in our lives, particularly as we lead into Father's Day. __________________ Manhattan 60 mL Wild Turkey 30 mL Cinzano Rosso 2 dashes Bitters Mix all ingredients with ice. Stir well Strain into Coupe glass (no ice) GARNISH cherry & orange

Espresso Martini (0%Alcohol)

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This week's cocktail is for the Chauffeurs out there, and is my way of ensuring you don't miss out! No Alcohol Espresso Martini (a.k.a. Chauffeur's Choice) Superbly created so you cannot detect the lack of alcohol in this delicious Frocktail* (*A cocktail you drink when you are out somewhere special, usually wearing your favourite Frock) My link between history and today's cocktail is it feels like ages that I have been working to perfect this recipe for a non-alcoholic Espresso Martini – and I reckon I've cracked the code! This is my Frocktail... ... and the 3 beans traditionally refer to: health = vigor wealth = prosperity happiness = joy _____________________ Espresso Martini. 0%Alcohol 45 mL Lyres Coffee Liquor 10 mL Vanilla Bean Palermo 20 mL sugar syrup 10 mL Aquafaba Double shot expresso coffee Make coffee into a chilled glass with 1 x ice cube In Boston shaker, add ingredients then shake for 30 secs. Strain then dry-shake Pour into chilled Gold-rim mart

Green & Gold Malaria

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What a week we have had! The build-up and pride we all shared for our Matildas Soccer Team.  They stood tall on the international stage and captured the hearts of the entire nation.  The emotions we all felt can be difficult to explain, until I recalled a book I bought 25 years ago, and would like to share with you. This could be the prescription for us to understand why we all experienced the emotions of the past few weeks. I offer to you an abridged version of Rupert McCall's "Green & Gold Malaria" _________________ Green and Gold Malaria by Rupert McCall The day would soon arrive when I could not ignore the rash. I was obviously ill and so I called on Doctor Nash. This standard consultation would adjudicate my fate. I walked into his surgery and gave it to him straight: `Doc, I wonder if you might explain this allergy of mine, I get these pins and needles running up and down my spine. From there, across my body, I will suddenly extend - My neck will feel a shiver

Long Island Iced Tea

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This week is Afternoon Tea Week celebrating a tradition from 1840s where dinner wasn't served until as late as 8pm. Back then, lunch was never a large meal, so to avoid becoming hangry mid-afternoon, a mini-meal was served Consisting of crustless, finger sandwiches, pastries, cakes and, of course, scones, jam and cream. This traditional quickly evolved into something more Social around the time of Queen Victoria's reign (mid-late 1800s), becoming a "reception" of two or two hundred for societies best! Today I will be presenting a Tea Cocktail - the famous Long Island Iced Tea, First created in the early 1970s for a contest to create a new mixed drink to include Triple Sec (or Cointreau). We use short shots to reduce the level of alcohol, keeping everyone nice and tidy. Long Island Iced Tea 15 mL: Cointreau, Tequila, Vodka, Gin, Bacardi 15 mL Sugar Syrup 30 mL Lemon Juice 110mL Pepsi Shake all (except Pepsi) with ice Strain into Schooner Glass Fill 3/4 full with ice

Truffle Martini

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5 August 2023 Earlier this week, we hosted our local Bacchus Marsh & Historical Society at The Plough to share this fabulous building and her history of years gone by. We were all blessed to hear Pat Shanahan share his personal recollections, as well as everyone who willingly contributed their memories of early days at Myrniong. Conversations on the day included the origins of the name "Myrniong". One popuar suggestion was that the area was named after the local and prolific edible root, whose Aboriginal name was "Myrnong". During 1840s-1860s this region was referred to as "Blow's Flat" after William Wootten Blow, an early land selector of Myrniong. Consensus appeased that this may be simply "locality" rather than "legislative naming convention". Not surprising, as this is how they referenced the hotels, e.g. Tyson's Hotel (The Plough), Jenkin's Hotel (Pentland Hills), Drury's Hotel (Mt Blackwood) etc. As per his p

Lyres Amaretti Sour (0%Alcohol)

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30 June 2023 LYRES AMARETTI SOUR Created in 1974, the year prior to the new section of the Western Freeway opened, bypassing the Myrniong township. Sweet & sour, and non-alcoholic with a frothy Almond BUZZ! You have got to try it – Enjoy your "Dry July" with us at The Plough. Amaretti Sour 0%Alcohol 75 mL Lyres Amaretti 15 mL Lemon Juice 10 mL Sugar syrup 15 mL Aquafaba (chickpea juice) 3 cashed bitters Pour all ingredients into cocktail shaker Add ice and shake hard for 15-20 seconds Strain ice out, then reshake for 10-15 seconds Pour into old fashioned glass, fill with ice GARNISH cherry & lemon on skewer

Yellow Belly Martini

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23 June 2023 This week we celebrate the Tour de France, racing over 3,400km Reputed to be "the world's greatest bicycle race", it had its humble beginnings in 1903 as a clever newspaper marketing strategy. The Editor and the Sport Reporter of L'Auto, a sports publication, promoted the inaugural annual race to increase newspaper sales, with the tour consisting of six stages covering 2,428km. To conquer this arduous Tour, cyclists had to tend to their own repairs along the way while cycling at night to meet the demanding average of 405km per stage. The race proved to be a resounding success, quadrupling L'Auto's newspaper sales. However, the future of the Tour de France was uncertain after the following year's race which was marred by cheating riders hitching train rides during the Tour and sabotaging their competitors' bikes. In response, stringent rules governing cyclist behavior were implemented the following year. Since then, the Tour has been rac

Clover Club (0%Alcohol)

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16 June 2023 Today we are celebrating our Zero % Alcohol cocktails, of which we have many to offer:  "Plenty of buzz without the alcohol – it is a real thing!" Clover Club cocktail predates prohibition in the U.S., named after a men's club around 1882. Its popularity waxed and waned, floating in and out of fashion. It's reputation wasn't done any favours when the 1930s Home Bartender's Guide recommended it for  "Tuesday Afternoon Sewing Club" and "Crazy-Quilting Parties".  (This will certainly ignite this blog's algorithms...) Clover Club 0% Cocktail 5 Raspberries 45 mL 0% Gin 15mL Lemon Juice 15mL Grenadine 20 mL Aquafaba Shake all ingredients with ice Strain out ice, then dry shake Pour into gold-rimmed martini glass GARNISH: Sprig of mint

Fantale Cocktail

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9 June 2023 Today we find ourselves transported back to the year 1911. During this time, the population of Myrniong stood at 261, which was approximately 40 more residents than it has today. The opening of Pykes Creek took place, marking a significant event in the area. The Licensing Reductions Board convened for the Bacchus Marsh district and made the decision to decrease the number of hotels from 11 to 6. While the Plough Hotel managed to survive, the Myrniong Hotel faced a different fate. The establishment was compelled to close its doors, leading to the owner, Elizabeth Tyson, receiving a compensation of 435 pounds. The licensee, William Hooton, was also compensated with 40 pounds as a result of the Board considering his annual turnover to be minimal, thus influencing the assessment. Subsequently, the building was leased to the local Mailman, Ernest Robertson, and his wife Esther. They transformed it into a confectionery and greengrocers shop, operating it until 1938. when they rel

Tarte Tatin Cocktail

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  2 June 2023 1880s: William Lauder, a farmer at Ingliston in Ballan, with his wife, Elizabeth, and 12 children, previously ran the Drapery business in a store adjoining The Plough. They took over The Plough license from Mary Ryan and ran both the hotel and store for about 4 years. They moved onto the Commercial Hotel in Romsey leaving Grace Purcell to become Licensee for some years. Meanwhile in France... 1880s saw two sisters, Caroline and Stephanie, operating a family Hotel called "Hotel Tatin" 170km south of Paris. Stephanie worked in kitchen while Caroline ran the Hotel. One story describes the origins of the Tarte Tartin: due to overcooking apples in butter and sugar for apple pie, she tried to rescue the dish by topping the pan with the pastry base before finishing it in the oven. Served the pie by turning it over: thus the upside-down tart, and fame for evermore! Our Dessert Special today with the accompanying Tarte Tartin Cocktail Tarte Tatin Cocktail 45 mL Vanilla V

Kir Imperial

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  26 May 2023 Today we celebrate International Day of Chardonnay. Our wine list carries more than 40 different chardonnay bottles from all over the world.  Today we are going back to 1841, to Dijon, Burgundy France.  First commercial manufacturer of Creme de Cassis, a blackcurrent liqueur  100 years later, elected Mayor of Dijon: Catholic Priest Canon Felix Kir, discovered that the region's stockpile of Red Wines was confiscated by the Germans during World War 2.  To address this surplus of white wine, Kir created a beverage by adding Creme de Cassis to Chablis (local chardonnay from Burgundy), thus the name KIR.  A variation you might be familiar with is the contemporary cocktail "KIR ROYAL" which replaces chardonnay wine with champagne or sparkling cuvée, still adding to it the Creme de Cassis.  My variation for today's Cocktail of the Week will use a raspberry liqueur, from Chardonnay country in French Dijon, topping up with our Sparkling Cuvee, which is made using

Peach Melba Cocktail

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  19 May 2023 Dame Nellie Melba was born on this day in 1861. 6 weeks later, The Plough Inn opened on this site. Dame Nellie's real name: Helen Porter Mitchell. She used the pseudonym MELBA after her hometown of Melbourne. Around 1892 she was performing at Covent Gardens in London.  After each performance, she dined at French chef Auguste Escoffier's restaurant. He created 4 dishes in her honour, one of which being Peach Melba.  Owner & Licensee of The Plough in 1892 was Mary Kerr, who ran the hotel for 7 years. Peach Melba Cocktail 45 mL Vanilla Vodka 22.5 mL Peach Schnapps 22.5 mL Creme de Cassis 45 mL Cream Fill cocktail shaker with ice Add all ingredients Shake for 20-30 seconds Strain into Gold Rim martini glass