Non alcoholic cocktails #3

A twofer this time.

Part 1:
Beetle Bailey Cream
6 parts single (whipping) cream
2 parts Lyres American Malt
1/2 part thin Chocolate syrup (e.g. Monin, or the now discontinued Alchemy Divine)

Combine and stir to mix. I am reliably informed that it tastes at least as good as a certain named Irish Cream.

Serve as-is or...

Part 2:

YB35 (because it is 2/3 of a B52)
15 ml Lyres Coffee Liqueur
15 ml  Beetle Bailey Cream

Pour the Coffee Liqueur into a shot glass or shot martini glass. Gently spoon the Beetle Bailey cream on top so that it forms a distinct layer.

The result is rich, slightly sweet, and full of the caramel malt coffee you would hope for in such a drink.

As I did not have any orange-based not-spirits to hand, this is where I stopped, hence the YB35. If you were to add a third layer of such, I would then call it a Valkyrie (the XB-70).

Non alcoholic cocktails #2

An original of mine. I was wanting something strongly on the bitter side, with just a very slight hint of sweet.

So here it is, again based on the Lyres' not-spirits, combined with bitters from the Australian Bitters Company (who do a huge range of exotic bitters).

Spicy Chest
30ml Aperitif Rossi
Dsh lemon juice
2 Dsh Barrel Bitters
10ml Tonic syrup

Mix or shake and pour into an old fashioned tumbler with a little ice.

A little spicy, distinctly bitter, and very clearing. Just the thing for between courses.

SFF Music Video of the Week #42

Hope everyone knows where their towels are!

Let's have a look at what must be a made-for-MTV bit of popcorn.

Despite sounding like the name of a group, this is mostly a solo effort - with Mani Hoffman chipping in to help complete the work. Although utterly popcorn, it is also dangerously infectious, and is altogether far too dancable.

With that warning in mind, clear a space around you, and prepare to be taken over by The Superman Lovers (featuring Mani Hoffman) and "Starlight", from 2001.

Non alcoholic cocktails #1

A classic of Italian culture is the Campari & Gin - but this is not the better known Negroni, which adds Vermouth.

I do not drink - but I also welcome the chance to drink something not sweet.

Enter Lyres Spirits. They produce a wide variety of what can only be called non-alcoholic spirits. As much as a contradiction as that may sound, they have created a wide variety of drinks that mimic classic spirits.

So, here's my take on an Italian classic:
15ml Aperitif Rossi
30ml Dry London Spirit
Splash of soda
1 cherry to garnish (or a slice of capsicum, or an olive)

Shake or stir the not-spirits, pour into an old-fashioned tumbler with a little ice, and add soda and garnish.

The end result is dry and fragrant, with a hint of bitter, and a warm after-glow. All of this makes for a drink that is at once soothing and inspiring. Just the ticket to end off a hard day's server-wrangling, or to start off a new blog series.

SFF Music Video of the Week - #41

Let's revisit the multi-talented Lindsey Stirling, this time joined by Lzzy Hale in a steampunk clockwork fantasy in a snowglobe, and escaping your boundaries.

Here is 2014's "Shatter Me", by Lindsey Stirling, and featuring the voice of Lzzy Hale.


Want to have a go at docking a Dragon to the ISS?

SpaceX have released an HTML5 docking simulator for the Crew Dragon, apparently based on the actual crew training simulator. It is very funky, and very interesting to try out.

Oh, and much like the real thing, it works best with a touch-screen!

You can play with it at .

SFF Music Video of the Week - #40

Wow... 40 weeks in...

OK,this week I have a treat for me. One of the best bands of the 80s  that the 2000's produced.

Hailing from my home state (well, one of them anyway), these folks are an icon of the Australian music scene.

Formed as a duo from two other bands (at least - if you've not been in at least 4 bands with overlapping members in Australia, you're just not trying), The Sleepy Jacksons and Pnau, they embraced the 80s New Wave, and never looked back.

They have embraced genre as a way of life, and their stage shows reputedly reflect that.

This video was shot up in Lancenlin and Cervantes, a few hours north of where I live. It is dream-like, fantastic, and just all-round amazing. I hope everyone enjoys "Standing On The Shore", from 2009, by the inimitable Empire Of The Sun.

Bonus video - Corona and the Pirate Twins

It seems that Thomas Dolby's kids have more than a touch of genius about them as well.

And lockdown is getting to them, too.

SFF Music Video of the Week - #39

Delerium are another band that frequently venture into the the realms of genre for their videos.

This one is one of their more nightmarish, featuring a man drowning in air. As a bonus we get the haunting voice of Rani Kamal - the daughter of Australian adopted musical treasure Kamahl.

So shiver at the video, and be entranced by the music of 2001's "Underwater" by Delerium.

SFF Music Video of the Week - #38

Ok, let's turn to Iceland again. Of Monsters and Men have created something very fun here, with the band demonstrating very little skill as adventurers, but a talent for making a very good friend.

I hope you enjoy "Little Talks" from 2011.

SFF Music Video of the Week - #37

I fully expect that manysomea couple at least one of my readers have been waiting for this iconic 80s video to make an appearance.

Featuring a blend of hand-drawn pencil animation and live-action footage, this video was an instant classic, and made the song a 1985 number one hit in the USA, and one of the best selling singles of all time.

But this is not the original - the original version (by the same band, from 1984) had a far less popular response, and a far more boring video. It was a flop outside of Norway.  Remixed and re-released a year later, it soared to remarkable heights, and has stayed there year after year, and is one of only five songs on YouTube to exceed one beeelion views.

So here you have it, Aha's 1985 release of "Take On Me", as remastered from the original 35mm film in 2019.

Water Lilly with bees

The lockdown due to The Nineteen does have a few benefits. One of the ones of working from home is that I get to spend a bit more time in the garden, and appreciating it more.

Today, I was treated to this lovely sight:

SFF Music Video of the Week #36

This one took a little more hunting than usual to find.

I first saw this at JAFWA back in 1995, and it is one of those videos that stays with you. Created by the inimitable Hayao Miyazaki, with music by pop duo Chage & Aska, this is not so much a music video as a short movie with a musical soundtrack.

I won't say much about this one, so sit back and enjoy "On Your Mark", by Chage & Aska, as interpreted by the master of anime, Miyazaki.

SFF Music Video of the Week #35

Duran Duran are a band we shall revisit in the future. Today, we're going to look at a spin-off project - Arcadia, and their hit "Election Day".

Full of all the excesses and fetishes of the 1980s New Romantic movement, this is, to my mind, the quintessential video of the genre - beating out Spandau Ballet's "Vienna" by a carefully mussed whisker. But is it genre? This is one of several videos I've had to consider carefully, and, in the end, it just falls on the SFF side of the fence.

Throughout the video there is a sense of odd - little things, like the game being played (and the implied effects of said game). There are other hints as well - for example there are the horse-men, who appear to be tightly bound by some unbreakable force that they are in a constant struggle against.

On top of that is a certain desperation to all the sensuality - an impending doom of some kind. (I'll conveniently skip over the fact that it was made at the height of Thatc…