Christmas in The Gourmantic Garden & 2023 in Review: As 2023 comes to a close, I take a look back at the year that was, what I have planned ahead for The Gourmantic Garden and share my garden Christmas cocktail.
2023 was a most unusual year. I took a sabbatical from Cocktails & Bars to finish my book, launched my Corinne Mossati website, learned all about ecommerce, set it up on this website and undertook book launch marketing activities that spanned months. On 26 June 2023, I launched GROW YOUR OWN COCKTAIL GARDEN, the first in the ‘Grow It Eat It Drink It’ Books and my time since has been taken up with post launch activities, marketing and working on the next 2 books with a third in the planning stage.
In the meantime, the garden had an exciting makeover. Once I finished writing my book, I stopped growing certain botanicals which I no longer needed and focussed on growing more perennial edibles and Australian natives. I saved two raised garden beds from landfill. The 1m x 1m raised bed replaced the repurposed computer desk I had for 5 years which had rusted. The second raised bed is 2.65m long and replaced a makeshift raised bed put together from discarded timber which was relocated to the south facing wall.
The biggest change in the garden was the addition of 2 brand new medium sized Vegepods (not sponsored) which replaced a row of repurposed old council recycling boxes and rescued timber benches that started to disintegrate. Each Vegepod measures 1m x 1m and my growing space has expanded significantly. This makes for 3 vegepods counting a small one that I’ve had for the last 3+ years.
Another gem I saved from landfill was a potting bench which I am repurposing as a garden bar. This will be in addition to the retro outdoor bar cart that someone had thrown out.
Last but not least, while planning for El Niño in the garden, I decided to cut down significantly on the number of containers scattered around the courtyard and it has made life so much easier. Garden Tetris has paid off and my tiny courtyard looks full, neat and hopefully will require less maintenance going forward.
Christmas in The Gourmantic Garden
Christmas in The Gourmantic Garden will be a relaxed and low key affair. I plan to slow down and enjoy the garden without looking at it, making a to-do list and feeling a pang of guilt over what needs to be done. I would like to do something I rarely have the time to do: sit in the garden, enjoy a coffee in the morning and a garden cocktail late afternoon as the sun goes down. Simple pleasures – this is what it’s all about.
Festive Garden Cocktail 2023
Some of you may remember my festive cherry shrub recipe using traditional and Australian native botanicals, a drink I shared with gardeners as part of my webinar last year. I have since created an elegant sipping cocktail with the traditional flavours of Christmas married with Australian natives.
Festive Cherry and Australian Native Shrub Cocktail is my festive cocktail for 2023. The recipe, which you can find on Cocktails & Bars marries dark rum (preferably Australian) with the festive shrub to deliver a complex, elegant and well-rounded sipping Christmas cocktail.
If you look closely, the cocktail is photographed next to to Woolly Bush (Adenanthos sericeus), an Australian native Christmas tree alternative growing in my garden.
What’s Ahead in 2024
Starting today, I’ll be taking a short break from the website and newsletter. At this stage, the plan is to return the second week in January with an exciting new series. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been working on the next 2 books concurrently and another in the planning stage. I’m aiming to publish the next book early in 2024. Exciting times ahead, so watch this space!
I would like to take this occasion to wish you and your loved ones a happy festive season. I hope you enjoy abundant produce from your gardens and of course, delicious garden cocktails.