All posts tagged: lime

Seasonal Cocktails: Blackberry Smashes

I’ve had several episodes over the past month of being reasonably sure the English summer is over, and, in the grand tradition of English weather, it keeps subverting my expectations. A miniature mid-September heatwave has hit us (which will doubtless be over by the time I publish this, or even by the time I finish typing this), and it’s making me want to go back to Lillet and elderflower and sparkling wine. It seems appropriate then to make some seasonal cocktails with another fruit which sits on the border of summer and autumn, the blackberry. Around here, blackberry season stretches from June until November, and I remember always being able to pick the berries growing wild in the hedgerows around this time of year. As they’re a particularly soft and squishy fruit, it’s easy to muddle them and extract tons of flavour from them in cocktails. I’ve stuck to muddling here to make the best use of the fresh fruit, but there are plenty of cocktails out there which use crème de mure, or blackberry …

Cocktail of the week no. 17: the Daiquiri

Yesterday, August 16, was National (or International, I’m not quite sure) Rum Day! Thank goodness for my Instagram feed and the many many cocktail enthusiasts I follow for alerting me to this important fact. And what better way to celebrate than with arguably the definitive rum cocktail, the daiquiri. Invented (or at least first recorded) by an American engineer living in Cuba at the turn of the 20th century, the daiquiri seems like one of those cocktails that should always have existed. It’s just rum, lime, and sugar, gloriously simple. There are other notable classic cocktails which stick to the same basic formula – the French Caribbean Ti’ Punch with rhum agricole and cane syrup, the Brazilian Caipirinha with cachaça. Fittingly for a drink invented by an American in Cuba, its most famous association is with Ernest Hemingway, who lived in Havana for nearly twenty years. A prodigious drinker with ecumenical tastes, his capacity for downing daiquiris, double daiquiris, and Hemingway daiquiris, became notorious at his favourite bar, El Floridita. That last personalised version of the drink, …

Cocktail of the week no.12: the Cosmopolitan

Yes, I know. But it’s really a great cocktail! I’m sure Sex and the City ruined this as a serious cocktail (or is it the fact that it’s pink and has vodka as the base spirit?), but I like Sex and the City, I’m not averse to pink drinks, and frankly, I quite enjoy combining the two. (Cosmo + bathtub + SITC on iPad = excellent Saturday night. Too much information?). A good Cosmo is just pale pink with a hint of cranberry juice – the fresh lime should really be dominant. It’s a pretty strong drink, nowhere near as sweet and delicate as it looks. The cranberry juice just sweetens it up enough to be palatable, and you really need a smooth vodka for this one. Ingredients: 1 1/2 oz vodka 1/2 oz Cointreau 1/2 oz cranberry juice 1/2 oz fresh lime juice Shake all ingredients over ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a twist of lemon or orange.

Cocktail of the week no.10: the Last Word

I’ve been dying to make this cocktail for ages, having had a great riff on it recently in a bar. It’s such a surprising mixture of flavours and a brilliant example of a drink that has had a real renaissance lately. It sounds like the oddest mixture of ingredients – gin, maraschino liqueur, green Chartreuse, and lime juice in equal parts, but it somehow works fantastically well.  This is a cocktail which was only recently rediscovered (in 2005!) after long being out of favour.I don’t know how it fell out of favour in the first place, because it’s absolutely gorgeous. Somehow all these very powerful ingredients all manage to bring something out of each other that you wouldn’t get from each one alone. The strong, floral maraschino combines with the herby Chartreuse and the lime juice to make a flavour that suggests a powdery, perfumed apple. It’s such a weird combination of fresh, zippy flavours with flowery aromatics. I only bought a miniature Chartreuse for this, because I wasn’t sure how much I’d use it, …

Cocktail of the week no.3: the Margarita

Again with the limes… These freshly made margaritas are so clean and bright – like a little blast of summer in January. We’re tempted to make these every time we make fajitas, which is OFTEN. 2 oz blanco tequila 1 oz Cointreau 1 oz fresh lime juice Shake the ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass (one day I’m getting proper margarita glasses, I feel it will be worth it). If you like a salty rim, run a lime wedge round the edge of the glass and dip it in salt. Garnish with a lime wheel.