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

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

Earl Grey Gin Cocktail

I like tea and I like gin. I particularly like earl grey and gin based cocktails so I thought it was about time that I got creative with my cocktail shaker and tried these two tastes together. Not for my own benefit of course, all in the name of experimenting. Whenever I make a cocktail I am always amazed at how the slight slip of a hand can affect the end taste of the drink; too sweet, too acidic, too much alcohol. Then again, you can add a bit more Read more

Frozen Blackcurrant Cordial

Freezer roulette, UFO night (unidentified frozen object) or whatever you call it when you select and defrost a frozen item of interest for your dinner can result in complete success or failure. I know there are those of you with very regimented and organised freezers who don’t have this issue but I know plenty of people who have chosen what they think is a delicious beef stew for their supper only to find out it used to be a chocolate gateaux. This Read more

Basil Lime and Lemonade

If I had to choose I reckon I would choose a lime over a lemon anytime. They just seem a bit more special somehow. I've seen plenty of recipes for homemade lemonade but not that many for homemade limeade. I actually ended up using a mixture of lemon and lime juice to make this, mostly because I ran out of limes. If you give your limes a quick blast in the microwave before squeezing them you'll get much more juice out than if you squeeze them cold. Read more

Elderflower and Blackcurrant Gin and Tonic

My idea of a perfect evening when it's raining is to eat something filling then settle down to watch a film (preferably a funny one). On a sunny evening however I always try to be outside; we've been spoilt for sunny evenings recently. Sitting in the garden watching the world go by and the sun go down is improved if you accompany it with a refreshing home made drink. My home made elderflower cordial has made plenty of appearances this year and this Read more