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Strawberry Spritzer versus Wine

November 11th, 2012 | Posted by Ruby in Drinks - (Comments Off on Strawberry Spritzer versus Wine)

A little while ago I decided to take a break from drinking alcohol for health reasons.  This is not really as bad as it sounds – I usually have a glass or 2 of wine with dinner that’s all – nothing wildly excessive.  Well maybe a bit more at the occasional party – but that’s normal isn’t it?

Anyway in the absence of wine with my evening meal I needed to find an alternative and since I don’t drink sodas and citrus juices are for breakfast it had to be something else.

As I had a punnet of strawberries in the fridge at the time I decided to try making some sort of spritzer.  After a number of attempts I am now posting my standard recipe.

I might add that I have also tried this recipe using a number of other fruits with mixed results.  Peaches and nectarines work well.  Blueberries, blackberries and raspberries don’t work well, and I think the plums were a little late in the season and therefore they weren’t as flavoursome as I would have liked.  I’ll try them again next summer and let you know.

The resulting drink is refreshingly light with a good fruity aroma and a hint of sparkle and as long as you’re not expecting it to stand up to a glass of good Burgundy you may be well satisfied.

Recipe

What you need:

1/2 cup castor sugar

1/2 cup water

1 punnet strawberries

500 ml sparkling water

How to prepare:

1.  Place the sugar and water in a saucepan and heat gently stirring till the sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil and boil briskly for a few minutes to reach a thin syrup consistency.

2.  Clean and hull the strawberries (remove the green stems and leaves), slice the large ones in half then add to the hot syrup and cook for a further 2 minutes.

3.  When the strawberry syrup has cooled (add some ice cubes to speed up the process if you like), transfer to a suitable jug and blitz the mixture to a smooth-ish liquid

4.  Place in the fridge until ready to use.

To serve: fill half a wine or cocktail glass with the strawberry syrup, add a few ice cubes and top up with ice cold sparkling water. Enjoy.

 

Lunchtime Lemonade

August 8th, 2012 | Posted by Ruby in Drinks | Lunch | Summer - (Comments Off on Lunchtime Lemonade)

Cool, refreshing Lemonade

When summer finally arrived in London it was time for a refreshing home-made lemonade.  Lemonade always reminds me of the Organic market in Bryanston (Johannesburg) located at the Michael Mount Waldorf School.  This Saturday morning market served the most sublime freshly made Lemonade. (also moonlight markets on Tuesday evenings)

Recipe

You’ll need:

½ cup castor sugar

1 cup water

1 cup lemon juice (squeezed from 3-4  large lemons)

plus 1½ cups ice water

ice cubes

mint leaves

1 lemon sliced

 

To prepare:

  1. Place the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil – boil for about 5 minutes until you have a thin syrup – remove from heat and allow to cool
  2.  Pour the syrup into a 1 litre serving jug and add all the remaining ingredients

 

Note: you can use cold sparkling mineral water instead of the ice water to produce a sparkling lemonade (both are equally refreshing).