Thirsty Foodie (16)
Now's the time to make your delicious fragrant Elderflower Cordial, capturing the taste of summer. You must pick the elderflowers on a dry, warm and sunny day, when the flower heads are fully open. They must be perfect, with no trace of brown blossoms or squatters. Do not wash them so make sure that you pick them from an area where they are unikely to have been contaminated by wildlife or passing vehicles.The cordial will keep for several weeks in a cool pantry, several months in the fridge or alternatively freeze in plastic containers and it will keep for a year. Citric acid is available from chemists and DIY wine making suppliers, also worth looking in Middle Eastern shops.
It's no secret that I'm a bit of a grape nut and enjoy exploring and attempting to keep up with the ever changing world of wine. So I liked this paperback/pocket sized reference guide to English and Welsh sparkling wine the minute I saw it. In this day and age of Googling and online reviews it's great to see a book covering one of the wine world's most promising developments in the last few years. The rise of English, terroir driven sparkling wines. Travelling around more than 50 vineyards in England and Wales, author Stewart Wilde celebrates the vineyards that produce the best of English sparkling wine, all using the 'traditonal method' (French 'methode champenoise') and all having won awards at regional or national level. In my opion the three most important elements of wine are land, grapes and weather and in this book you will find details of terroir for each vineyard, the grapes grown, tasting notes and an engaging insight into the winemakers and their craft. And that just leaves the urge to go and try a glass or two of some wonderful English fizz myself.
We were introduced to this gorgeous Venezualan Diplomatico rum at Victualler in Wapping. Well worth a visit if you like organic, biodynamic, raw and natural wines. A lovely enthusiastic owner who is happy to share his knowledge too!
My kind of festival with an inflatable pub full of gin. Also a curry tent, an East Anglian beer tent, plus a baps and wraps stall. It starts on Friday 17th June at 5pm and from noon on Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th June. There'll be other entertainment including an inflatable obstacle course, bungee racing, crazy golf, lawn games and a kids bouncy castle. There is live music too.Entry is £5 per person (under 3's go free) & includes all activities & unlimited squash for the kids.
The perfect pre-drink drink. Drink on a hot summers day, after cutting the grass. Mix the French bitters with pilsner or a wheat beer for a perfect apertif. Or nip to Duck Soup in Soho and enjoy with a plate of green beans, anchovy, soft boiled egg and sour dough crumbs.
I wheeled out my cocktail trolley last night and had a little go at a molecular mixology. For those of you that are non the wiser I mean chemistry with my cocktails. Cheeky Monkey had sent me a Cosmopolitan R-Evolution kit to try out and the neatly packed box had all the tools and mysterious substances to create "cranberry foam", "citrus caviar" and an "encapsulated cosmo".Instructions were easy to follow and really good illustrations and tips made sure that the finished cocktail looked like it did in the book. It was a little messy and took a little time to create the cocktails (citrus caviar needs to sit for 30 mins to let air bubbles escape) It all worked really well except for the encapsulated cosmo which I really couldn't get to work, but then I had just drunk three Cosmopolitans.
On Friday last week I so enjoyed the Thos Peatlings Christmas Wine tasting. Over 70 wines to taste, a lighter purse and some cracking wines wending their way to the suffolkfoodie HQ for Christmas.
Two days later I was invited to an informal tasting and dinner at Pea Porridge. Ian Steel from For the Love of Wine ( he was also at Peatlings, hidden in his favourite corner of the cellar) brought a vast selection of Italian wines to taste. Pictured is Rosso Passo 2010, Lenotti, which he also showed at Peatlings. We slurped, tasted and enjoyed a fabulous dinner. Neil Courtier from Grapesense also joined the party. We talked wine and food, ate too much and shared each others knowledge. If you would like to learn more about wine then take a look at Neils website. He has some brilliant courses.
Today I made 18 lemons and two bottles of vodka into Limoncello. Not quite Limoncello because the very complicated internet recipe I found requires filtering and doesn't use vodka, because apparently it affects the taste. But I am going to try it and see - and bought this new microplane grater for the purpose.
This hot weather has proved to be the perfect moment to crack open the new bottle of Rhubarbe Liqueur. We were offered this at the recent Thos Peatling summer wine tasting, along with a Barbados Rum Sixty Six and Taylor's Velvet Falernum... more of that later! The liqueur is quite simply like drinking sweet, liquid rhubarb. It's made by macerating (in alcohol) both green and pink rhubarb for two months. Delicate, light pink colour and with the smell of freshly cut rhubarb, it's sweet and sherberty and reminiscent of those childhood rhubarb and custard boiled sweets. Delicious over cracked ice, or try one of these cocktails below - all measures used are 1 oz, or use your own friendly measures, but remember, drink responsibly!
Gin and Rhubarbe
1 measure Rhubarbe Liqueur
1/2 measure lime juice
1 1/2 measures gin
1 measure soda water
lime slices, for garnish
Combine rhubarb syrup, lime juice, and gin in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake for 10 seconds and strain into a glass. Top with the soda water. Serve with lime slice.
Rhubarb n’ Rye
1 1/2 measures Rye Whiskey
1/4 measure Rhubarb Liqueur
1/4 measure Fresh Lemon Juice
1/4 measure Sweet Vermouth
Stir, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a curl of orange rind.
2 measures Cachaca Cane Spirit
1 measure Rhubarb Liqueur
½ measure Gomme syrup
1 full lime ( quartered, squeezed and muddled into the liquid)
Shake vigorously with ice and strain into glass.
4 measures Rhubarb Liqueur
3 measures Tequila
1 measure Lemon Juice
half measure of Gomme syrup
Muddle the strawberries in a cocktail shaker, add ice followed by all the other ingredients. Shake, filter and pour and serve.
Beers from Old Chimneys Brewery (Market Weston), Brandon Brewery (Brandon), Green Jack Brewery (Lowestoft), St. Peter's Brewery (Bungay), Grain Brewery (Aldeburgh), and Iceni Brewery (Mundford) are all available in this new beer shop. I'm hoping that since I responded to their press release, a couple of bottles might be heading my way because I'm fed up with yoghurts.
Well this is my latest aperitif discovery, served in a French provincial airport bar (would you ever get this at Stansted...?) and totally delicious, especially if the rosé is cheap and cheerful. Just a splash of grapefruit in the glass turns it into something altogether more ooh la la! If you parlez francais you can see how to do it here in the video but le monsieur uses fresh juice instead of syrup. We thought home made onion rings were the perfect canape for this.
Went into the new 'Polish' shop in Bury just to see what they had. Came out with some Cherry ciders and a piece of smoked pork. The very helpful lady isn't Polish but Lithuanian, and speaks five languages but not English, so have a look round and point at what you want.
According to this weekend's OFM wine feature, so we need to go to Bar Pepito in London and see what they've got or do another Ryanair weekend sherry-tasting-for-teenagers in Jerez.