With Vigor

Viognier with Vigor. Another of the many themed gatherings I’ve attended lately. Another one centered around booze. (hurrah!)

It was the first time I’d ever tried Viognier and I’m sad now that I’ve been missing out! We tried 5 or 6 last night and they were all quite different but lovely in their own ways. The bottle I found by Anchorage was very fruity smelling, like melons and apricots. An excellent cheap option, and vegan to boot.

The winners though were wines by Coopers Creek and Terrace Heights Estate (THE). And us, for giving ourselves the chance to try a whole range of this full bodied “white wine for red wine drinkers”. Extra points to Jo for the idea and hosting, and to Laura who bought her cranberry white chocolate ice cream along. SO GOOD.

Honestly. People who say they would get bored if they won lotto and quit their jobs? Get a hobby and/or some friends you losers.


In shop news, orders need to be in by the weekend for shipping overseas by xmas time! After this weekend there will be a 2 week make time on custom jewellery until the new year while Super Laser Cutter Guy moves cities. As always email me (kim at cupcakesandmace dot com) or send me a convo on Etsy with any questions.

Whisky Club

Having been introduced to good whisky by Brend and his Dad I’ve come to enjoy it without a mixer, or even ice. The way it should be consumed when the bottle is single malt and well aged, but the way it’s hard to drink when it’s blended and cheap.

Our friends like a wee dram of the good stuff as well. And so the Whisky Club was born. Every so often the host of the next Whisky Club gathering will buy a bottle or two of nice whisky to share, we all contribute $10 to pay for a share of the bottle, we gather, and we drink it. There is no room for wine, beer, or cider in whisky club. Not before all the whisky is gone anyway.

Yesterday was supposed to be a triple header of fun times. Mini golf, followed by a visit to Denny’s (my first time!), and concluding with Whisky Club. Unfortunately Wellington’s weather had different plans, as it is wont to do, and we had to cancel on mini golfing. The Denny’s plan remained intact and we grabbed the biggest booth in the place and filled the table with burgers, fries, pancakes, margharitas, coke floats, cakes, and breakfasts.

I pwned Denny’s. Chilli cheese fries to share, a millenium burger (meat + meat + cheese + bun. Making Ron Swanson happy), a pomegranate margarita, and a small stack of pancakes to finish (had to make Leslie Knope happy too). I have serious doubts about how I would have managed to get home if Jo hadn’t been driving. Way too much food. Maybe it was Denny that pwned me.

An hours rest between Denny’s and whisky gave me just enough time to digest a little and make some room for alcohol. On the table was Jura, a whisky we had seen on a show only days earlier and ordered from Whisky and More (who are awesomely discounted and have super fast shipping).

Jura is the smoothest whisky I’ve ever tried. Let’s just say it didn’t take long to go through the bottle between 8 of us…so we had to bring out the personal whisky and rum stash.

Can’t wait to do it again soon.

In other fun gathering news, a couple of weeks ago Laura and Tim hosted a mid-week Simpsons party! We ate Ribwich, pizza, all you can eat seafood buffet, twinkies, pickles, cheese slices, floor pie, and donut cake. We drank skittlebrau (occasionally through red vine straws). It was great.

Vietnamese Coffee

This stuff is so good. Prior to the Asia trip my body couldn’t handle caffeine, I always figured it had something to do with my colitis, and while disappointing it just meant I couldn’t have coffee or coke like EVERYONE ELSE.

But, something magical happened in Vietnam. I tried the coffee and it was so delicious that I decided it was worth the stomach pain…and then there wasn’t any stomach pain. In fact since going to Asia my stomach has been the least sore it’s ever been in the past 10 years! I don’t know how or why, I just know that my medication is actually working really well. (I’m probably eating about 80% less dairy products as well.)

So, back to the coffee. It was delicious. In Vietnam your coffee is served with sweetened condensed milk in the bottom of the glass which you mix in to your liking. You can have it hot, ca phe sua nong; or over ice, ca phe sua da. We drank it over ice in the hot hot Vietnamese weather.


Vietnamese coffee is incredibly simple to make, a lot like plunger coffee. You’ll need a Vietnamese coffee filter that comes in three parts: the main pot, the lid, and the screw down damper; a glass; Vietnamese coffee; and sweetened condensed milk (though I have my hot coffee black now).

  • Put a tablespoon or two of sweetened condensed milk in the bottom of your glass.
  • Put a heaped tablespoon or two of coffee (Trung Nguyen is a good brand. You can get it at Yan’s in Wellington) in the filter and shake it down so it sits evenly. Screw the tamp on so it’s snug but not tight.
  • Sit the filter on top of the glass with milk in it.
  • Put a small amount of water in the filter and wait 20 seconds for it to swell the grinds.
  • Fill the filter with water and place the lid on top.

vietnamese coffee

  • Coffee will drip through fairly slowly. It seems like everyone does it slightly differently depending on how strong they want it, so don’t worry too much if it seems like it’s going too fast or slow. If it tastes not quite right you can adjust your method next time.
  • When all the water has dripped through take the lid and put it upside down on the table. Now it’s a tray for your filter! :D
  • Stir the condensed milk into the coffee and then pour it over the ice if you’re having it cold.

Ca phe sua da