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Happy Hour Cocktail: Mackay Martini...

My parents house move was successful and they are now busily settling in to their new home.

One of the house warming gifts they received was a bag of bush lemons from a friend’s garden. I had never heard of them before and they are certainly strange looking things.

They have a very intense lemon flavour which adds a wonderful fresh zing. I use lemon zest on pasta, in salads, soups, in muffins, breads and on yoghurt. It really brings a fresh summery pick me up to so many dishes.

Lemon juice is ideal for salad dressings, marinades and as an addition to drinks – particularly cocktails.

Last night for happy hour I decided to make one of my favourite drinks: a gin martini. A martini needs a good helping of lemon peel and it gave me a great excuse to try the bush lemons.

It was lemony and delicious and provided a welcome happy hour break from unpacking boxes!

Luna Raye’s Mackay Martini


1 ounce good quality gin ( Bombay Sapphire or Tanqueray are ideal choices)

1 capful of dry vermouth

3 generous strips of bush lemon peel (if you can’t get ahold of bush lemons use the peel from regular UNWAXED lemons).

Add about 1 tsp of fresh lemon juice.


In a glass add 3 ice cubes.

Add the capful of dry vermouth and swish around the glass coating the ice cubes and bottom half of the glass.

Add the ounce of gin.

Add the bush lemon peel and juice.

(If you aren’t using bush lemons then add the unwaxed peel and juice of a regular lemon).


If only the oven was working I would love to use the lemons to make a lemon drizzle cake.

Bush Lemon

Bush Lemon an essential ingredient in the Mackay Martini

Mackay Martini

Mackay Martini

Happy Hour Cocktail: Negroni...

Happy hour is a family tradition. After the day’s work is done we gather together for a cocktail (or two) before dinner.

We talk about the days events, have a laugh and sometimes even indulge in a tv show. While in Australia my husband and I have become addicted to The Millionaires Hot Seat.

Today we settled in to watch the show with a fantastic cocktail called a Negroni. My dad first made these for us many years ago and we were instantly taken with the crisp bitterness of the drink.

This isn’t a traditional recipe in that we use slightly less Campari and Sweet Vermouth but these measurements are a personal preference. For a more traditional Negroni just use equal measurements of Gin, Campari and Sweet Vermouth.

Luna Raye’s Happy Hour Negroni


1 ounce good quality gin
1/2 ounce Campari
1/3 ounce sweet Vermouth


Mix ingredients over ice in a small tumbler

Stir with swizzle stick