While autumn will always be my absolute favourite time of year, I can’t help but love summer for it’s glut of produce and gorgeous edible flowers!
As I write this, I’m sat in my garden watching the family of blackbirds that live in one of the hedges munching on apple cores, the dominant robin nibbling away at the bird table and the new arrival – a beautiful spotted starling – trying out some freshly ripened bramble berries that would make today’s breakfast extra special!
Summer just feels relaxing and everything is in abundance! So I wondered a few weeks ago, what could I make that’s different to my normal crumbles and squidgy British puddings that would delight on a warm summer’s evening…cocktails!!
And within this thought I had this criteria:
- I wanted them to be fun, seasonal and delicious
- I wanted to cocktails to work for both alcohol and alcohol free drinks
With the last one you might be asking ‘why Adrianne would even contemplate alcohol free cocktails?!’ and yes dear reader I hear you, understand you and on some days agree with you!
But on a school night or when I’m feeling virtuous or let’s face it last nights hangover is too strong the thought of a refreshing cocktail that’s different to the standard lemonade is brilliant!
The other bonus is once you have the syrups, you can cater for alcohol based drinks or alcohol free depending on your mood and what your guests fancy.
In the end I looked at was seasonal and what went well together.
The end results were:
- Cinnamon spiced rhubarb
- Gooseberry with mint and lemon
- Cherry and lime
Each were incredible and all produced an amazing colour of pinks and reds.
Along with the edible flowers, these delicious cocktail syrups are solidly classed in the ‘showstopper’ category 😉 and would be perfect for dinner parties, events and simply just for you!
Gooseberry with mint and lemon cocktail syrup
I’ll be releasing the other syrup recipes via my newsletter soon! If you haven’t signed up, simply pop your email here. Every subscriber really helps me to continue this journal!
For now though, here’s the household favourite that works deliciously with gin or soda water and ice, the Gooseberry with Mint and Lemon Cocktail Syrup!
Because you’ll be straining this syrup, I don’t personally see the need in topping and tailing your gooseberries. You can though if you want to.
- 400g fresh gooseberries washed
- 250g caster sugar
- 2 inch long piece of lemon rind
- 10g mint leaves
- 200ml to 250ml water
- Potato masher
Let’s Get Cocktailing!
- To your pan add the gooseberries, lemon rind, mint and 200ml of water.
- Bring the mixture up to a boil and stir so the sugar dissolves.
- Put the mixture over a low to medium heat so it simmers.
- After 5 mins, the gooseberries should be breaking down and releasing their juice. If the mixture is thick, add the 50ml of water. If the mixture is runny then drink the 50ml for a little hydration haha.
- Cook for a further 5 mins and take off the heat.
- Leave the mixture to infuse for an hour.
After the hour, make sure you have a suitable sterilised container to keep your syrup in.
A jam jar or similar is perfect!
Strain your syrup in to the jar and keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Pairing Your Syrup
With the gooseberry, mint and lemon syrup, this works brilliantly with ice, plain gin and a floral tonic water.
For alcohol free, ice and sparkling water is all you need! You could use lemonade, but this can make the overall drink extremely sweet!
Make Your Own Edible Flower Ice Cubes
If like me, when you go for it you REALLY go for it! Then try making your own edible flower ice cubes as extra beautiful garnishes for your drinks.
Simply add your flowers to an ice cube try and fill with water – done!
You can also layer the ice cubes for a different effect. Put a flower or two in then fill with a small amount of water. Allow to freeze fully before repeating the process until the ice cube tray is full!
A note on using edible flowers
Not all flowers are edible and most are covered in pesticides so choose your supplier carefully!
Personally and professionally I get mine from Maddocks Farm and they provide organic edible flowers in pretty much every combination you could want!
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