Category

Summer

Food & Drink, Summer

Alcoholic Rhubarb Cordial

rhubarb ideas

rhubarb ideas

Aah, rhubarb, that seasonal summer delight.  Field grown from April to September, August is a good month for finding fresh local rhubarb in the shops.  But what to make with it?

My rhubarb repertoire extends to a rhubarb crumble, which quite often ends up a bit too wet (any tips on how to avoid this gratefully received!).  After too many soggy crumbles I was after a foolproof rhubarb based recipe about as far removed from a crumble as you could get.  Then last month I came across this really easy no-cook boozy rhubarb cordial recipe on Food 52, which sounded amazing and crucially, foolproof! The rhubarb cordial does take a whole month to make so it’s not one for the impatient, but trust me, patience really is a virtue on this one!

boozy-rhubarb-cordial

My rhubarb cordial after one month

Alcoholic Rhubarb Cordial Recipe

Boozy Rhubarb Cordial

This alcoholic rhubarb cordial is the perfect grown up treat - tasty, sweet and decadent, it's perfect on the rocks or mixed with tonic, soda or sparkling lemonade.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings 500 ml

Ingredients

  • 900 g of rhubarb stalks roughly six large stalks
  • 750 ml of vodka
  • 250 g of granulated sugar
  • A sterilised 1 litre capacity large jam jar.

Instructions

  1. Wash your rhubarb stalks and chop roughly into one inch pieces.  There's no need to peel the rhubarb.
  2. Place your chopped rhubarb pieces into your jar, and add the sugar.
  3. Pour in the vodka, until all the rhubarb is covered. You'll end up with a fair bit of vodka leftover - that's ok - as long as the jar is filled to the top with vodka.
  4. Give it a good shake until as much sugar is dissolved as possible, and then leave the jar in a cool dark spot for 4 weeks.  Give it a shake every now and again to help dissolve the sugar.
  5. After four weeks sieve the mix into a bowl and discard the rhubarb (we tried to eat it.  In one word: don't!).  Decant the liquid into a sterilised bottle and enjoy responsibly!  Bottled up, it can last for around 12 months, meaning you can enjoy a taste of summer on the dullest darkest days of winter!

boozy-rhubarb-vodka-cordial

The rhubarb cordial is deliciously fruity without an overly vodka taste, and really refreshing when served with a dash of lemonade or tonic water on a hot day.  When served neat it’s smooth and warming and will make a good autumn and winter treat to warm up cold evenings.  Alternatively, for a sophisticated Bellini type drink, you could add a shot to glass of Prosecco or Champagne.

 Sidenote: I used demerara sugar as it was all I had to hand, so mine has coloured up a bit differently to how it will when you use granulated sugar.   Yours should be a little bit lighter and more pink in colour.

Main image from here, all other images my own.

Food & Drink, Summer

Strawberry Cocktail with Basil

strawberry basil cocktail

strawberry basil cocktail

One of the best parts of summer is the fact that it’s strawberry season.  I anticipate strawberry season all throughout winter and spring.  Imported strawberries out of season are a bland, tasteless, poor relation of their in-season local counterparts, so I firmly believe in abstaining until strawberries are in season.  In season they are so plump and juicy and bursting with flavour.

Although there are few things better than a bowl of fresh strawberries (top tip: don’t eat them straight out of the fridge – let them warm up to room temperature) there are a few things that are up there in the taste stakes.  One of them is this delicious and refreshing strawberry cocktail with a hint of basil.  A sip of this strawberry cocktail will both refresh and revive you on a hot summer’s afternoon, or make you feel summery even on the greyest day.

Strawberry season in the UK is from roughly the start of June until mid August.  It’s a short season so you have to pack in as many as you can!  This is a deliciously different way to get your quota of strawberries in!

You may be wondering about using strawberry and basil together, but I promise you they make great bedfellows!

strawberry cocktail

Strawberry Cocktail with Basil Recipe

strawberry-gin-cocktail

Strawberry Cocktail with Basil

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • Strawberries roughly 4 - 5 medium/large strawberries per glass
  • Fresh Basil roughly 1-2 small heads per glass, plus extra for garnish
  • Gin any kind will do
  • Tonic Water
  • Lime
  • Sugar granulated white sugar is best
  • A couple of ice cubes

Instructions

  1. Wash your strawberries, remove the heads, and in the glass mash them up thoroughly with a fork.
  2. On a chopping board, finely chop your basil (keeping some aside for a garnish), then add to the glass of mashed strawberries and mix well.
  3. Add a spoonful of sugar to sweeten and a little lime juice to taste (I used one teaspoon), and mix well.
  4. Add your ice cubes (best crushed)
  5. Add a shot of gin, and top up with tonic water.
  6. Stir, add your basil garnish and enjoy a glass of summer!

Recipe Notes

This summery strawberry cocktail with basil is the ultimate summer's day drink. The strawberry and basil in this gin based cocktail really complement each other.

basil-cocktail

If you don’t drink alcohol then omitting the gin and tonic water, and substituting lemonade or sparkling water instead would also make for a delicious and refreshing non-alcoholic strawberry cocktail.

I plan on drinking this cocktail whilst lounging in the garden with a good book!

Will you been giving this strawberry cocktail a go?

ps: if you’re looking for other strawberry based recipes, and have caught the bug for strawberry and basil, then try out these delicious strawberry and basil scones.  They will not disappoint!  If you’ve got a bit too many strawberries then try this simple tip to make berries last longer.