All posts tagged: recipe

Sloe Gin And What To Do With It

Sloe gin is one of those drinks I think of as quintessentially English – something you pick up in farm shops in the autumn or that Miss Marple might have made in her spare time. It’s not really gin, exactly, but a fruit liqueur made by macerating sloes in gin. I’m not convinced I’ve ever seen a sloe in real life, but they’re the fruit of the blackthorn tree, and essentially a cousin of plums and damsons. I’m told they’re not particularly pleasant to eat (I think if you’ve ever eaten an unripe damson you get the idea), but with the addition of sugar they can be transformed into jams, pie fillings, and of course this lovely deep red, sweet-tart liqueur. If you’ve got access to a blackthorn tree, you can harvest the sloes right around now, in October and November, and make your own sloe gin pretty easily. For a simple sloe gin recipe, (plus instructions for a similarly seasonal quince syrup and how to combine them), I found this great post on Mother’s Ruin. I sadly do not have …

Put A Plum In It: Stone Fruit Cocktails for the End of Summer

England seems to have taken the beginning of September rather seriously, and it has been raining and grey since the 1st. It’s not fun to let the summer go, but in an effort to be thankful for small mercies, I am appreciating the little gift of being still in the season of peaches and nectarines, apricots and plums. I find I’m always taken by surprise by these fruits, as they come just when autumn is more on your mind, but they’re essentially blowsy, sunshiney fruits (except for plums – I definitely find plums autumnal). So I made time in my busy schedule of looking out of the window at the rain and frowning this weekend to come up with some drinks which capture a bit of stone-fruity sunshine. Some more successfully than others. I will say at the outset that it can be a bit tricky to get the flavours of fresh, non-citrus fruit into a drink. They tend to get overtaken by the spirits or the liqueurs, and then the sugar and any citrus you chuck in, so it’s …

Seasonal citrus again: blood orange and rosemary mocktail

Still on a blood orange kick over here – I cannot get enough of this winter citrus, and as I’m starting to feel the first stirrings of spring, I’m trying to use it as much as I can. This time I used it to make a mocktail – not everyone wants to drink all the time. (Is mocktail the worst word ever? Virgin cocktail does not sound much better.) I wanted something fresh but herbal, and I used a recipe I found on this blog, which is an awesome resource I’d never come across before. As well as juicing about a million blood oranges for this, I also made a rather exciting rosemary simple syrup. The two combined to make a lovely sweet/sour refreshing drink, topped off with soda water. As the recipe originally states, you can easily add vodka (or gin) to this to make an actual drink. To make the simple syrup: Boil one cup of water and one cup of sugar in a small saucepan. Add in about four sprigs of rosemary and …

Seasonal cocktail: blood orange and bourbon

It’s blood orange season, finally! You can tell because they’re all over Instagram. Naturally I wanted to make something with these photogenic fruits, and came across this beautiful drink in an old post at Love and Lemons. I definitely can’t photograph it as well as the original, partly due to lack of skillz and partly due to SAD-inducing lack of decent daylight, but hopefully you get the idea of how pretty it is. (Should I rearrange my life to make cocktails in the early morning and catch the light? Probably wouldn’t go down well at work.) I love that citrus is in season in winter. It’s always just what I need in miserable January. This is not just a good-looking drink, it’s a fresh yet wintery concoction, easy on the liquor, with a bit of sparkling water to lighten it up.  Super tasty, super refreshing, could drink about 10. But won’t. I changed the proportions a bit, and made it with equal parts bourbon and blood orange juice, and added just a splash of water. You could alter …