Ruby Red Gin Quencher

IMG_5391 I have been lucky enough to be asked by Waitrose Cellar and Hendrick’s gin to develop a cocktail. There were two categories – hot or cold cocktails featuring gin. Fortunately for me I was assigned the chilled cocktail. I’m not the biggest fan of hot alcohol and would struggle to create one – however, I will test the recipes submitted for the challenge, as you never know I might change my mind after the right drink! Actually I was not the biggest gin connoisseur – but then again I’d only really drunk it as gin and tonic in the occasional pub or bar, which most probably didn’t use any premium gin. And I know the premium brands such as Hendrick’s offer much more reward in terms of flavour and refinement. This challenge has indeed opened my eyes. Hendrick’s gin is a flavoursome, fresh feeling, cucumber and rose-tinged delight. So, with my complimentary bottle of fine gin, I’ve spent a highly enjoyable festive season playing around with possible flavour combinations. I had initially thought of a gin and champagne-based cocktail as suitably celebratory for the festive season, but I found the combination too confused. Was it a cocktail? Was it a flavoured fizzy wine? That idea was quickly shelved. I am always a fan of using ingredients that most people are likely to have at home, rather than unusual additions that can only be sourced online or in very specialist shops. Clementines seemed a suitable choice as I’m sure most people have a few specimens hanging around in the fruit bowl after Christmas. Pomegranate may not be particularly everyday but does have a lovely festive red colour and is quite ‘now’. As it turns out it’s a really pleasant combination to use those two fruits and works equally with or without the gin. They are both on the sweet side, particularly as I have used a dash of grenadine so this needs a little balancing with lemon juice, and it’s mighty refreshing. Ice brings it all together. In the end I think my ruby red gin cooler is quite a stunner of a cocktail – fruity, quenching, fizzy, tangy and a bit sweet. Bottoms up and a Happy New Year to all!

Ruby Red Gin Quencher IMG_5387 For each cocktail

  • 1 measure (10ml) Hendricks gin
  • 1 measure (10ml) grenadine syrup
  • 2 measures (20ml) pomegranate juice
  • Juice of 2 clementines
  • Measure of lemon juice (to taste)
  • Lemonade to top
  • handful of ice

– Fill a glass with ice

– Pour in the gin (if using), pomegranate juice and clementine juice

– Add the measure of lemon juice, stir

– Pour in the grenadine down the edge of the glass so it settles at the bottom of the drink

– Top with lemonade, and adorn as you wish. IMG_5383

Jewelled Couscous

I keep on admiring the beautiful pomegranates in the shops – they look so tempting with the expectation of those beautiful little rubies inside. So, I’ve been thinking of a way to use these little jewels in an exciting way.

This jewelled couscous is colourful, tasty, and a great way to make a statement. Ideal served at room temperature as either a side-dish or a salad. A perfect little pop of colour in these bleak, cold winter months.

Jewelled Couscous (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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serves 4-6

  • 1 cup of couscous
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 tbsps lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1 handful of sunflower seeds, toasted
  • 2 spring onions, sliced
  • 1/2 a pomegranate
  • 1 handful sultanas (optional)
  • 1 large handful parsley, roughly chopped

– Pour the couscous into a flat-ish bowl

– Place water, lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper into a saucepan and bring to the boil.

– Once boiling, pour over the couscous. Cover and let stand for 20 minutes.

– Fluff up the couscous with a fork and add the other ingredients.

– Serve at room temperature

 

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