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How to Avoid Screaming Obscenities at Noisy Neighbours in Two Easy Steps

May 18, 2011 · 27 comments

in Drinks,Spring,Summer

hugo cocktail image sasasunakku

I spent the afternoon swearing at the neighbours in my head the other day. Every time I get everything done and go out on the balcony to lie in the sun – I’ve got to make the most of it while I can, it’s winter in New Zealand and I’ll have to get vitamin D injections or something otherwise – either someone starts mowing the lawn or trimming the hedges. Really loudly. It’s as if there’s a trip switch on my door. Does that sound paranoid? I think it might. Tell you what though, everyone ‘round these parts has a lawn fit for Home and Garden. I am often tempted to scream obscenities but I don’t. I am very adult and go inside and play things like Body Count at top volume in retaliation.

Claiming I drink very little and in the same breath saying I gulped down a cocktail in annoyance sounds like I’m dissembling but I assure you it’s true: I’m not a big drinker, I probably drink less than once a month. But, I tell you, these Home and Garden people they’re driving me to it because I went and made this: a Hugo, and consumed it forwith. It was my cocktail of the summer after I had it at a spring wedding I went to last year but by the time it occurred to me to tell you about it, it wasn’t summer anymore and I decided to save it so here it is now: ta-da!

You pour most of a glass of dry Prosecco, drop in a few mint leaves you’ve rubbed between your fingers and pour a glug of elderflower syrup into the glass. If you want to, you can add a twist of lime or ice cubes, though I don’t – I make good and sure the bubbly is as cold as all get out though. Maybe it’ll be your drink of the summer too.

What do you do when you’re frustrated?

Hugo Cocktail

I’ve mostly had these in what the Italians call Alto Adige and the Austrians call South Tyrol and I think that’s where they come from.

A glass of Prosecco, not quite full

A tablespoon or two of elderflower syrup, to taste

3 mint leaves, rubbed to release the oils


Sparkling water

A slice of lime and a squeeze of lime juice

Pour the syrup into the Prosecco and drop the mint in. Top with sparkling water and lime, if desired.

Print this recipe

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Three-Cookies May 18, 2011 at 11:01 am

Very funny:) You have to be louder than the lawn mowers. The alternative is to forget about the frustrations and just get drunk:)

catty May 18, 2011 at 11:03 am

Hehehe don’t be angry, my dearest Sasa, you’ll get wrinkles! But I do appreciate the need for some sunshine since you’re heading back into winter. Just pour yourself another hugo, jam that rock music loud on the ipod and ignore the mowing :)

Sasa May 20, 2011 at 2:50 pm

iPod!? I think you must be mistaking me for a non-Luddite.

Suz May 18, 2011 at 9:46 pm

Mm, that sounds very nice! Perfect for a summery day, whether outside or forced in.

I cheer myself up with cheese when I’m grumpy, frustrated or sad. I make cheese on toast, but obviously that isn’t ready straightaway, so I snack on cheese and biscuits while I wait for it to cook.

I must have missed your post on going back to NZ. It sounds so exciting! All the best with it. :)

sakura May 18, 2011 at 12:04 pm

Elderflower’s always soothing, isn’t it? As is the alcohol:) I usually go to a bookshop or library to calm down, or stuff my face with cake. It helps.

SMITH BITES May 18, 2011 at 1:37 pm

i’m laughing out loud because we have neighbors like that too . . . every single time we have a party or guests over for dinner al fresco, the neighbor gets on her riding lawn mower and for the next TWO HOURS mows her lawn. every. single. time. i can plan a saturday party and bam! the mower starts. if i try to work around her and plan a sunday . . . bam! the mower comes out of the garage and off she goes. yes, it does drive one to drink . . . and swear . . . a lot . . .

SMITH BITES May 18, 2011 at 1:39 pm

oh, i guess the point of your post was the lovely drink – LOL!!! never had elderflower but anything w/prosecco in it gets a BIG thumbs up from me!!

charleschr May 18, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Oh man, I was just listening to Body Count on the way to work this morning – excellent choice :). I don’t know that I have a specific thing that I do when frustrated other than “go do something else”. Just sticking around the source of frustration seems to be a bad idea, so anything else seems much better.

hungryandfrozen May 18, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Ugh, lawnmowing, there’s just no way to drown it out! (well, apart from more Prosecco). I bought a bottle of elderflower cordial a few years back, it’s gorgeous stuff, really need to replenish my stocks. I guess I probably tweet whenever I’m frustrated (or whenever I’m *anything* actually).

Sasa May 20, 2011 at 2:51 pm

It’s so easy to make and so expensive to buy – pinch some elderflowers and cook them up with citric or tartaric acid and sugar basically, will post a recipe soon.

milliemirepoix May 18, 2011 at 2:03 pm

oh, I share your pain! I have neighbours who have been renovating their house/garage/drive for, I swear, the better part of a year at least. Ever since I moved in here. And only from about 7-10am on weekends. Seriously!!! I would be tempted to have this cocktail for breakfast, if I could dig my head out from under the pillows and drag myself out of bed at that hour on a weekend. It’s pretty summer-friendly, yes, but seems quite breakfast/brunch-friendly too :)

My Little Expat Kitchen May 18, 2011 at 2:43 pm

I know how it feels to have noisy neighbors, and I don’t mean the regular noises that everyone makes but over-the-top banging and shouting noises. No lawn mowers here, city living excludes that, but still, totally annoying.

I don’t drink a lot either but I love cocktails. I’ve never tasted elderflower before, what does it taste like?
Great pic!

p.s. I’m so happy you liked the tart :)

katie@cozydelicious May 18, 2011 at 3:52 pm

I have never had a Hugo but it sounds awesome. I love prosecco!

Stephanie May 18, 2011 at 7:24 pm

First, I find a cup/pot of good black tea. I add milk. I look around for honey. Generally, the day is going badly enough that there’s no honey to be found and I have to add sugar.

Second, I find chocolate. A good amount. No piddly little piece will do. I’m talking a whole bar and I mean quality.

Third, I sit and find something to distract myself while I consume my tea and chocolate. Preferably a novel or a lovely food website like this.

dosankodebbie May 19, 2011 at 12:31 am

Ha ha. By amazing coincidence, your photo and your title are a PERfect match for a cantaloupe etegami I painted just this week. I wish I could show it to you. I guess I’ll have to post it on my blog… :p

Nic@diningwithastud May 19, 2011 at 2:28 am

Sounds delish! I like to cook when I am frustrated. I also like walking through the home and living section of Myer lol – I find it soothes me

Vivienne May 19, 2011 at 5:13 am

i curl up in bed with foetal position and when i realise it’s no use i get up and bake myself some cookies while turning up my fav jazz music :)

this looks like such a refreshing drink and one i’d happily sip whilst making those cookies.

A Plum By Any Other Name May 19, 2011 at 1:37 pm

One glass of wine never hurts, nor does anything called the “hugo” cocktail. Good luck with all that tamarind!

Su-yin May 22, 2011 at 1:48 am

Chocolate helps a lot with frustration, I always have some with me at work which is when I’m most likely to get frustrated! Survival 101.

This cocktail looks yum, I love elderflower so this is right up my street!

Alessandra May 22, 2011 at 7:14 am

I like the prosecco cocktail for sure :-). I don’t really have problems with the neighbours, when you will visit you’ll understand why!

Have a good Sunday, and try to get that vitamin D, it is getting colder here!


Zoë May 23, 2011 at 3:33 pm

Sugar + alcohol does it for me. I’m not a big drinker either (read: lightweight about to have my UK citizenship revoked for drink-related-patheticness) so I go for a little rum + lime juice + demerara sugar = instant frustration reliever.

Although I have just discovered, on making an orange cake spiked with Cointreau at 9am, that raw cake batter can also get you pished if you don’t drink very much to start with. Hic.

Sasa May 26, 2011 at 10:37 pm

Cointreau at 9am….

Lana June 12, 2011 at 6:22 am

My sister lives in Frankfurt with her German husband. She says that the only country she is willing to move to would be Austria, because it is even neater and cleaner then Germany. Her husband rolls his eyes, hates that about Austria (and he definitely mentioned the length of lawn grass and its perfection:), and wants to move to Thailand or the Philippines:)

Playing loud, obnoxious music always helps when dealing with inconsiderate neighbors. We have a big collection of country music (husband is a fan, being born and raised in American South), and that’s my weapon of choice – the whiniest, the best:)

This cocktail sounds great for the summer! If only I can get some Edelweiss:O)

vicki July 25, 2011 at 9:04 am

Love the Hugo, a dear Italian friend had tipped me this one just at the start of summer and I feel it has really made the sun shine!
Sadly we all have to wait until next year to make more, but it is worth waiting for.
and as for neighbours why not make it a personal challenge to see how many times the lawn can be cut in one week by having friends over ever night?

saltandserenity September 1, 2011 at 8:22 am

I have never heard of a Hugo, but i think I might just become a big fan! I love anything with Prosecco in it. I will have to ask for one when I go to Italy next month. Funny post!

Sasa September 7, 2011 at 5:38 pm

Let me know if you enjoy it ^-^

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