Archive for the ‘Drinks’ Category

Fig leaf wine apéritif

1 September 2018

Some people will consider this the first weekend of autumn, but, succomb as I may to those plums and first apples, I am holding on firmly to summer for a few more weeks until the equinox.

I prepared this fig leaf apéritif about a week ago, and as it only takes three to five days to infuse, now is still the right time to make a bottle for those last late summer evenings. There won’t be much of a thematic clash, September is fig season after all.

This recipe is particularly exciting for those of us who live in the North, as it just uses fig leaves. So for all optimistic boreal gardeners and green city dwellers (most neighborhoods have a garden with a fig tree stretching its branches above the fence within reach of the sidewalk…), who monitor those fig trees with anxiety and trepidation, monitoring the evolution of each fruit, this is the solution. Even if the figs never ripen there is a path straight to Provence with this apéritif.

The recipe comes from Thom Eagle via Diana Henry about two years ago. It bears repeating every year.

Fig leaf wine

10 fig leaves
One bottle (75 cl) dry white wine
160 g sugar
One giant glug of vodka

Crumple the fig leaves and place them in a clean jar with the white wine, sugar, and vodka. Stir or shake well, and leave to infuse for 3 to 5 days.

Strain out the leaves and pour into a bottle with a tight lid.

Serve over ice.

Quail eggs with cumin salt

22 June 2017

IMG_1372

Since we’re talking about apéros, here is one of my favorite things to accompany those pre-dinner drinks.

The idea is from Moro The Cookbook, which I talked about in detail some time ago. Re-reading now what I wrote then has inspired me to delve back in, because in the intervening years the only things I’ve made from the book were the Pimentón roasted almonds and these quail eggs; there is so much more!

It’s hard to overstate the simplicity: Boil the eggs — four minutes. Run them under cold water. Toast the cumin seeds lightly, grind them with some sea salt.

It can be made ahead. It’s so simple, so pretty, and so good! And now that we’ve all stopped smoking, we need something to occupy idle hands while drinking our negronis.

IMG_1356

Quail eggs with cumin salt recipe from Moro The Cookbook

Quail eggs (a dozen serves about 4)
2 tsps cumin seeds
1 tsp sea salt

Boil the quail eggs in a gentle simmer for 4 minutes. Remove from heat, run under cold water, let cool.

In a small saucepan, roast the cumin seeds on low until just beginning to change color, about 2 to 3 minutes.

In a mortar, grind the cumin seeds with the sea salt. Transfer to a small serving bowl.

To eat, peel each egg and dip it in the cumin salt for every mouthful.

After-school lemonade

26 June 2015

IMG_0533

One day I will write extensively about London weather, or rather the interesting relationship the English have to English weather. Today I am just enjoying another one of those glorious summer days we’ve had this year, hot afternoons that simply scream of cooling lemonades. I usually just wing it, here I paid attention as the proportions seemed just right.

4 lemons

3 tablespoons light brown sugar

Large sprig of fresh mint

Ice cubes

Sparkling water

Juice the lemons. Pour the juice into a large jug over a few handfuls of ice cubes. Add the sugar and stir until it’s completely dissolved. Add the mint and give it a swirl.

Pour the juice into each individual glass to about a third full and top up with sparkling water.

Summer cocktails | A collaboration with Tick Tock and Dragonfly Teas

18 September 2014

DSC_0664

Amid all the end of school mayhem — concerts, plays, graduations, visitors, not to mention tedious driving-test obligations — and just before leaving for a boisterous and fun summer in Brittany, I made cocktails.

I may have mentioned that some years ago, somewhat by chance, I developed a fascination for cocktails. I spent an awful lot of nights in the then very timid cocktail-bar offerings in New York, engaged in earnest conversations with bartenders about obscure drinks, bitters and spirits, latest creations. So when Tick Tock tea company approached me recently to develop tea-based cocktails with their Tick Tock and Dragonfly brews, I was immediately excited. I didn’t expect the process to be quite as fun, engaging, challenging, and, ultimately, rewarding, as it turned out to be.

It is no secret that tea is a choice ingredient for mixologists, most often used to infuse a spirit, usually gin. I used this method in the Moonlight Flight, a riff on the Aviation, which was always one of my favorite cocktails. Dragonfly’s Moonlight Jasmine tea here transforms the austere classic into a delicate, subtly floral drink.

But I also used brewed tea in many mixes, and loved how it not only brightens stiffer drinks into fresher summer mixes, but also imparts layers and complexity.

DSC_0591

The recipes are all on the Tick Tock blog and Dragonfly Tea website. Check them out!

Swirling Mist Julep

Moonlight Flight

Tick Tock Aperol Spritz

Tick Tock Pimm’s

Green Tea Watermelon Cooler

Earl Grey Iced Tea


%d bloggers like this: