Elderflower, Cucumber and Mint Fizz

The elderflowers are here and it is the best time of year. If I was more of a poet I’d have come up with a second line to go with that. I’ve been shoving elderflowers into various different things for years: cordial, gin, crumble and sugar to name a few. I wanted to try something a little different, and a bit less time consuming this time round, to get that wonderful elderflower fragrance down my neck as soon as I could. A celebration of late Read more

Orange and Rosemary Martini

I'll stick a herb in pretty much anything and adding or infusing herbs in drinks or cocktails is always delicious. My Orange and Rosemary Martini is particularly excellent for two reasons: first, it uses those fantastic big oranges that you can get at this time of year and second, that faint hint of rosemary is so distinctive it makes for a really refreshing martini. It looks inviting, it's easy to make and the flavours take the edge of a plain martini Read more

Lime, Thyme and Quince Gin Cocktail

I made my quince gin as a way to use some of those delicious fuzzy fruits that grow in the garden. The gin has come out a wonderful, pale canary yellow colour and makes a divine gin and tonic. It is in fact so delicious that it deserved a mix up of its own, something to complement the quince’s distinctive flavour. I love using herbs in drinks and puddings and I wanted to add a botanical twang to this drink. A Lime, Thyme and Quince Gin Cocktail Read more

Quince Gin

Having put quinces through their baking paces (adding them to crumbles or baking them with honey) I wanted to see how else I could use them. Steeping them with gin seemed like a logical step; the unique flavour of quince I thought would work really well. I set about making some quince gin and I made a little film about it too! It’s the first film I’ve made and I have a new YouTube channel too, check it out below! You will need: 750g quinces, Read more

Lemon Iced Tea

Sometimes I make something for the first time and I wonder why it’s taken me so long to get round to it. Iced tea is one of my favourite drinks, especially lemon iced tea, but other than a passion fruit and jasmine version I concocted a few years ago I’ve not made my own since. I wanted to make some to take on a recent picnic as I thought it would be nice and refreshing in the late summer sun. Considering this only uses three ingredients, I used Read more

Grapefruit, Lime and Basil Agua Fresca

I've toyed with the idea of making an agua fresca for a little while. What with the focus on Brazil and South America at the moment with the Olympics I have seen a few frescas popping up on menus. But I wondered, is it worth the effort, isn't it just easier to squeeze a bit of fruit then water it down? Well yes, but it turns out it's just not the same. And the (what might seem an unnecessary step but take my word for it it's definitely needed) sieving Read more

Bergamot Gin and Tonic

I am very familiar with the flavour of bergamot, being an avid Earl Grey fan, but I had never seen or tasted the bergamot lemon itself. A mystical fruit that I thought was confined to tea makers and lucky Mediterranean gardens. Then I found I could order some beautiful organic ones along with my veg box; it would be rude not to. My first thought when I got them was to add a slice to some hot water, just to smell and taste them. But then I remembered Read more

Slojito

I have been so busy this year that I have run out of time to make my own sloe gin. It’s not the end of the world though as I have some of last year’s stash left and once that’s gone there are some delicious ready steeped and drained sloe gins around. As much as I enjoy a classic sloe gin and tonic there’s much enjoyment to be had mixing up something different. One place you can find some inspiration for new drinks to try is thebar. I found Read more

Crussh Book

The idea of smoothies and juices I really like; getting the nutrients (with or without the fibrous parts) in a convenient way really appeals. Not least because it gives me something to do with a fridge full of vegetables other than soup. The only thing that puts me off is the thought I needed another piece of kitchen equipment to be able to make my own. The publishers of Crussh, Nourish Books, got in touch to see if I'd like to try out the new book. Read more

Elderflower, Cucumber and Mint Gin

I love this time of year in Britain; when the weather is getting warmer and warmer but it hasn’t quite got to the muggy stage and it’s still nice and cool at night. There are flowers in the hedges and the fruit has started growing on the trees; most of my time is spent outside and as far as I’m concerned, shoes are optional. I have done plenty of cooking with elderflower in the past and it seemed an ideal time to try out something slightly different Read more