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SIMNEL CAKE SOUR; FOOD; Brought to you by BBC Good Food's Senior Food Editor, Cassie Best.

Byline: CASSIE BEST

What better way to kick off the long Easter weekend than with a celebration tipple. We've transformed simnel cake into a citrussy sour - topped with a ball of golden marzipan for a traditional decoration.

For something a little fruitier, try a pomegranate spritzer, the perfect alternative to champagne. It makes a lovely welcome drink if entertaining.

Our classic gimlet makes a zesty spring aperitif, a refreshing way to start a Make rhubarb, pomegranate lime syrups of time and keep the fridge until ready to serve Sunday lunch. And rhubarb and custard are a perfect pairing, especially when rhubarb is bang in season. Advocaat gives a creaminess reminiscent of custard. Cheers!

Looking for an Easter cocktail with the spices of the season? This twist on an amaretto sour has a splash of orange juice and a dusting of cinnamon to give you simnel cake in a glass

25ml kirsch or brandy 100ml amaretto juice 1 lemon juice 1 orange 100ml Madeira ice 50g golden marzipan

FOR THE SPICED SYRUP

100g golden caster sugar thick strip of orange zest 1 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp mixed spice pinch dried ginger 4 cocktail sticks

1 Start by making the spiced syrup. Put all the ingredients into a saucepan with 100ml water. Gently bring to the boil, then turn the heat off and allow to cool. Once cold, pour the mixture through a sieve into a jug and chill until needed. Keeps in the fridge for a week.

2 Heat grill to high then roll the marzipan into four balls. Place on a baking sheet and grill for 2-3 mins or until the very top of the marzipan is toasted. Leave to cool then when cold enough to handle, thread on a cocktail stick.

3 Fill four tumblers with ice then pour the brandy, amaretto, lemon and orange juice, Madeira and 50ml of the syrup into a cocktail shaker with a large handful of ice. Shake well until the outside feels icy cold. Strain into tumblers and add the marzipan garnish.

Pomegranate rosemary spritzer

This deep pink Prosecco cocktail with savoury herbal notes is a really simple way to add sparkle to your dinner party drinks

200ml pomegranate juice Sprig of rosemary prosecco 4 rosemary sprigs (optional) to garnish

1 Put the pomegranate juice in a small saucepan with a sprig of rosemary. Bring to the boil and reduce for a few mins until syrupy. Leave to cool, then chill until ready to use.

2 Fill four champagne flutes with one part pomegranate syrup and top up with three parts prosecco. Garnish each glass with a rosemary sprig, if you like.

Rhubarb & custard cocktail

An elegant vodka-based drink made with advocaat liqueur and home-made fruit syrup

FOR THE RHUBARB SYRUP

85g caster sugar 300g chopped rhubarb

FOR THE COCKTAIL

100ml vodka 100ml rhubarb syrup (see above) 1 stick rhubarb 30ml advocaat 75ml lemonade

1 To make the rhubarb syrup, put the caster sugar in a saucepan with 75ml water. Heat very gently, so the sugar disappears but the water doesn't bubble. Tip in the chopped rhubarb, cover with a tight-fitting lid and increase the heat a little so it begins to boil. Simmer, covered, for about 5 mins until the rhubarb is very tender but not disintegrating.

2 Turn off the heat and tip the pan's contents into a fine sieve over a bowl.

Use a wooden spoon to gently squeeze the rhubarb so you get all the juices, but no pulp. Tip back into the pan and boil rapidly for a few mins until just syrupy. Pour into a jug - you should have about 125ml. Leave to cool.

3 Chill 4 cocktail glasses. Shake the vodka and 100ml of the rhubarb syrup together with ice until mixed and chilled down. Make small shreds of rhubarb using a vegetable peeler and place into iced water to curl them.

4 In a separate jug, whisk the advocaat and lemonade with more ice to lighten. Divide the vodka and rhubarb mixture between the glasses, straining through a small sieve to catch the ice.

5 Carefully pour 25ml of your advocaat mixture into each glass over an upsidedown spoon (the mixture should float on the surface of the vodka syrup mixture). Drain the rhubarb shreds well and use to garnish your cocktails.

Gin & lime gimlet

50ml home-made lime syrup (see point 4 for recipe) or lime cordial ice 50ml London dry gin slice of lime and an edible flower, to garnish (optional)

FOR THE HOME-MADE LIME SYRUP:

2 limes, grated zest and juice 200g caster sugar

1 Put a martini or coupe glass in the fridge to chill.

2 Pour 50ml of the lime syrup (see recipe, below) or cordial into a jug or tall glass and add a few ice cubes and the gin. Stir until the outside of the container feels very cold.

3 Strain the mixture into your chilled glass and garnish with a slice of lime and an edible flower.

4 For the homemade lime syrup, put the lime zest into a saucepan. Squeeze the juice from both limes into a measuring jug - stop when you get to about 60ml, then top it up with water so you have 100ml of liquid in total.

5 Pour this into your pan with the caster sugar. Heat very gently, stirring occasionally just until the sugar has dissolved, but don't let it boil. Strain the mixture into a heatproof jug and leave to cool. Makes 280-300ml and will last up to two weeks.

For more, see the new issue of BBC Good Food out now or visit bbcgoodfood.com

Tip PREP: 25 MINS PLUS SERVES PREP: 5 MINS PLUS 15 MINS IF MAKING SYRUP (EASILY DOUBLED) a jug when to about then top it up with
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Article Type:Recipe
Date:Apr 20, 2019
Words:962
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