I could barely contain my excitement, when the Refined Chef announced our new theme: a quadrennial sporting event, in which most countries participate, hosted by London, one of our favourite cities. Could it be time again for the Bar-lympics? YOU know… those competitive drinking games, originating in the ancient city of Barlympia, situated halfway between de Baa and de Lew. Drinking IS a sport, right? I’m fairly certain that all of the Refined Chef contributors are medalists and representatives of their nations’ drinking teams… Just in case he meant that OTHER global sporting event, practise our twist (double full in, full out, OF COURSE!) on the classic Olympic cocktail, our Opening Ceremony. Let the games begin!

Brandy,Orange Liqueur, Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice, Orange Zest

Ground Nutmeg, Match(es)

Fill a shaker with ice. Add 1 part premium orange liqueur, 2 parts of brandy (I used a VSOP for its smooth taste – no need to break out the XO for a mixed drink!), and 2 parts of freshly squeezed orange juice. Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass. Add a dash of nutmeg. Flame* an orange peel over the drink, rub the peel around the rim, and garnish the OC with the orange twist. Let’s face it – drinking is a perennial event for the Refined Chef contributors. We don’t recommend attempting strenuous activity after imbibing an Opening Ceremony.

*How to Flame an Orange Peel

Peel a strip off an orange, about the length of your forefinger; a bit of pith on the zest is ok – it makes it easier to squeeze. Make sure there’s nothing above your cocktail that might be set alight. Light your flame (I prefer a match to a lighter), and hold it above your cocktail (if you hold 3 fingers together on their sides above the rim, you have the right height). Hold the orange peel with the zest side closest to the flame (not too close that you blacken the peel; you want the peel about the same distance from the match that the match is from the cocktail). Squeeze the peel over the lit match. Enjoy the pyrotechnics of your very own torch, before you douse it in the cauldron. Practise makes perfect, or you may get to know the local fire brigade – it’s a win-win situation! Miss O.

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