Category Archives for Drink

A Winter’s Cocktail – Gin Gin!

Back in the summer, I was sent a rather lovely looking bottle of Foxdenton Rhubarb Gin and asked if I would like to come up with a recipe for it to post here on my blog.  I enthusiastically agreed (being a big gin lover AND a big rhubarb lover) but then life got in the way and SEVERAL polite reminder emails later, I found myself at Christmas and the bottle, still unopened.  Thankfully, my brother has stepped in and heroically taken up the gin drinking, cocktail making mantle.  I'll leave him to tell you the rest....

Meddling with the classics can be a risky business.

However, as the film director Baz Luhrmann showed in 1996 with his award-winning adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, and the car manufacturer Jaguar achieved in 2013 following the launch of the F-Type as a successor to a quintessential English sports car, its predecessor – the e-Type, experimentation is distinctly satisfying when the results are so warmly received.

Christmas in particular is a time when altering tradition can be viewed with disdain, however, then it was that upon receiving a bottle of Foxdenton Rhubarb Gin, I found myself challenged to create a delicious alternative to one of my all-time favourite drinks, a G&T.

I delved into some distant memories from working in a cocktail bar near Leeds while at university there (Suburban Style Bar in Horsforth if anyone knew it?!) – about ten years ago depressingly – and after giving the contents of my new bottle of mother’s rhubarb ruin a good sniff, decided to add two of my favourite cocktail ingredients…

rhubarb gin

After filling a (recently acquired) G&T glass (a collins glass would work equally well) with crushed ice, I poured in 70ml of the Foxdenton Rhubarb-y goodness, followed by half a 330ml can of ginger beer, a few dashes of Angostura bitters and garnished with a slice of orange.

The mixture needs a good stir, or better still, shaken over ice in a cocktail shaker before pouring over the crushed ice; and the result? A refreshingly punchy drink that works as comfortably post-Christmas dinner as it would on a summer’s evening, sat in the garden as the sun goes down.

All that’s left is to give it a name. The temptation is to be simple and go with ‘Rhubarb Gin and Ginger’ but for my money this lacks imagination. However, after drinking two or three of these, the mind’s not as sharp as it was, so I leave it to you, dear reader…send your suggestions on Twitter and mention @EatDrinkCookUK or add it to the EatDrinkCook Facebook page.

Peace!

As long as I live, rock will never die.

Nick ‘the guest writer’ Nixon

Drink: Grapefruit Gin & Tonic Slushie

A sip or two of this citrus slushie will start your spring BBQ with a swing. A great twist on the classic gin & tonic, this drink is sharp and refreshing with more buzz than a bumblebee in a sunflower….

gin and tonic slushie

A friend of mine recently posted a picture on Facebook of their first BBQ of the year (yes, I’m looking at you Matt!) and I have to say, much as I love a good BBQ, I have found the weather a little too much on the chilly side to be tempted to the dust off the grill and fire-lighters just yet (and by that, of COURSE I mean, get hubby to dust off the grill and fire-lighters).  That being said, I definitely feel like the season of outside eating is just around the corner, and it’s definitely not too early to start planning that first spring or summer BBQ with friends…or to start taste testing this fabulous Grapefruit Gin and Tonic Slushie to make sure it’s up to scratch.  You’re such a good friend to care so much about getting it just right! 😉

gin and tonic slushie

Apart from the fact that it’s just more pleasant to eat a meal in the garden, the warmth of the sun on your skin, the sound of birds singing in the trees; it also makes entertaining so much easier and somehow less formal.  People can be ushered quickly through the house (before they notice you haven’t hoovered) and out into the garden, where you welcome them with a little drinky…

gin and tonic slushie

Slushie the Campfire Slayer

(I’m sorry.  I had to.  It was just too good).

…Which brings me to the purpose of this post.  Assuming you’re not as brave as my friend Matt and you haven’t yet had your first BBQ of the year then I urge you to include these as an aperitif when you do.. They’re a (ahem) ‘citrus’ twist on an old classic and they’re both refreshing and just alcoholic enough to kick your afternoon or evening off with a pleasant buzz.

Grapefruit Gin and Tonic Slushie

Grapefruit Gin and Tonic Slushie
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 100 ml gin
  2. 300 ml tonic water
  3. Juice of 1/2 a grapefruit
  4. 2 tsp sugar
Instructions
  1. Mix your ingredients in a jug and then pour into a shallow baking tray - I use the disposable foil ones
  2. Pop your tray in the freezer for 2 hours
  3. Now break up the forming ice with a fork and spoon into the glasses of your choice
  4. Grate a bit of grapefruit, lime or lemon zest over and serve with a straw
Notes
  1. For an extra twist, add a splash of elderflower cordial to the glass once you've spooned in the ice.
Eat Drink Cook http://www.eatdrinkcook.co.uk/
 In a party mood?  Then try one of these great drinks too!

Chai Baileys

Sangria

sangria

Raspberry & Lavender White Hot Chocolate

Soothing, warm and creamy, this liquid heaven in a cup contains the classic combo of rich white chocolate, & sweet, tangy raspberries. Add the delicate floral undertone of lavender and you’ve got something pretty special…

(or is that pretty AND special??)

I love food.

really love food that tastes amazing.

But I really, REALLY love food that tastes amazing AND looks beautiful.

Raspberry & Lavender White Hot Chocolate

This recipe sort of fits the bill. It hits two out of three of my criteria.  It tastes unbelievable, it looks so pretty that you almost can’t bring yourself to touch it (almost…) but, it’s not technically, well, ‘food’.

So yeah, you got me – it’s a drink.  I guess the title of the post kind of gave me away. The good news is, chocolate in its liquid form actually contains no calories!* Hurrah!

(*this is what’s known as literary licence. go with it…)

Raspberry & Lavender White Hot Chocolate

For Emergencies ONLY

Now, I have to be quite strict about this. A warm, luxurious mug of Raspberry & Lavender White Hot Chocolate is not to be made (or drunk) lightly.  It is the absolute height of indulgence and should be saved for occasions fitting of such extreme deliciousness.  I’m talking, being dumped, getting fired or accidentally shrinking your favourite outfit here.  This isn’t for minor disasters like nail breaks or unwelcome pimples.

For further guidance on the correct foods to eat when life throws you a curve ball then please read my ‘Food Hugs’ series 🙂

Raspberry & Lavender White Hot Chocolate

Now, I don’t want to seem over-dramatic here, but (in the words of Jack Bauer) hundreds of thousands of people may d…desperately need this kind of solace in a mug. Don’t you think it’s your duty to help me get the message out there?

Go on, do your good turn for the day and tweet it out!

Right, now I think you’ve earned the actual recipe for this masterpiece in a mug, this classic in a cup, this treasure in a tankard…(actually, you’d have to be a pretty hardcore chocoholic to drink a whole tankard of it. It’s pretty rich…still, challenge extended, I guess?)

Raspberry & Lavender White Hot Chocolate

Raspberry & Lavender White Hot Chocolate

(Makes 1 oh-so-pretty-oh-so-tasty mugful – not to be confused with ‘muggle’)

Raspberry & Lavender White Hot Chocolate
Serves 1
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Ingredients
  1. 100 g raspberries
  2. 1 tbs icing sugar
  3. 1 tsp corn flour
  4. 300 ml milk
  5. 1/2 tsp edible lavender
  6. 50 g white chocolate
Instructions
  1. Push the raspberries through a sieve, into a small bowl and then mix in the icing sugar and corn flour to make a smooth syrup
  2. Meanwhile, put your milk and lavender on a low to medium heat, watching it carefull to ensure it doesn't boil
  3. Once it is steaming and just bubbling around the edges of the pan, take off the heat and strain to remove the lavender
  4. Now add back to the pan and put back on a gentle heat
  5. Add 3 tbs of the raspberry syrup, whisking in each one as you go
  6. You can now add the chocolate a bit at a time, continuing to whisk to help the chocolate to melt
  7. Pour into your mug and drink your troubles away into creamy, chocolatey oblivion 🙂
Eat Drink Cook http://www.eatdrinkcook.co.uk/

Strawberry Peach Iced Tea

You know those really hot, oppressive summer days when the air feels heavy and no matter what you do, you just can’t get cool?

Doing anything feels like wading through water and that’s just emphasised by the dampness of your clothing and brow…

What you need is my Strawberry and Peach Iced Tea – sweet, refreshing summer in a glass…

Strawberry Peach Iced Tea

Fruit teas, herbal teas and green teas are a bit like blue cheese, caviar and olives. I’m not comparing them taste-wise (although in the case of some green teas, I’m not sure that comparison would be far off the mark..) What I’m saying is, you feel like you really ought to like them because, well they’re super cool right?  Only, try as you might, you just don’t get it.

(Actually, truth be told, I TOTALLY dig olives – not literally – they’re picked from trees dontcha know? … but you get the idea.)

Strawberry Peach Cordial

Maybe it’s just me, but there’s something about fruit teas, iced tea and all that malarky, which just isn’t British.  We have our tea steaming hot and in a mug (or teacup) thank you very much.  A teapot is preferred, a biscuit to dunk is a treat – and don’t get me started on when the milk should be added.… it’s a steaming hot topic and no mistake.

Strawberry Peach Iced Tea

I briefly dabbled with mint tea just after the birth of my second son – but more because of its supposed ability to settle an upset tummy than because I thought it sounded particularly tasty. I must confess, I was pleasantly surprised.  It wasn’t awful.  That’s as far as I’d go. Put it this way, I had my son in February 2014 and I haven’t managed to finish that box of tea bags yet…

Seth

More recently, a friend enticed me to try more of a spiced tea – with cloves, cardamom and cinnamon.  It was pretty tasty.  I haven’t finished that box either.

For more of my musings on tea, check out these posts..

Food Hugs

My Chai

strawberry peach iced tea

This year, I thought I’d have a go at making my own version – Peach and Strawberry Iced Tea.  I mean, iced teas are a pretty big deal in a lot of places so there must be something to them right?

As it turns out – YES! 

The first step was to make a Peach & Strawberry Syrup, which by the way, makes your whole house smell amazing so if your home is on the market, then the time to  make this is just before you have people coming for a viewing. Guaranteed sale. 🙂

stawberry peach cordial

Peach & Strawberry Syrup

(Makes approx 700 ml)

2 peaches, chopped

200 g strawberries

200 g caster sugar (if you have vanilla sugar then use half this and half normal caster)

500 ml water

  • Bung everything in a saucepan on a medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Bring to a gentle simmer and then turn off the heat
  • Using a fork, mush up all the fruit to get out as much of the juice
  • Leave to cool completely
  • Push through a fine sieve or muslin cloth (depending on just how pure you want it) and then funnel into a bottle.

Strawberry Peach Iced Tea

strawberry peach iced tea

You will need

tea bags

water

Strawberry Peach Cordial

I haven’t put amounts here – it really depends on whether you want to just make a glass for you or a jug. The basic directions are:

  • Make tea – leaving to brew as long as your personal taste desires (I find, if left too long though, it makes the drink a touch bitter – you’ve been warned!)
  • Leave to cool completely
  • Pour 1/3 cordial and 2/3 tea and then add ice
  • Go outside in the sun and feel refreshed!

PS – I don’t own one (yet) but if I did, I would absolutely serve this Peach Tea in one of these amazing clear teapots!

Strawberry Peach Cordial

The fantastic thing about the Strawberry Peach Cordial that you’ve just made is that it will keep in the fridge for a week or so and can also be used for these gorgeous drinks..

Strawberry Peach Prosecco

Just a splash of cordial at the bottom of the glass before pouring your Prosecco and hey presto 🙂

Strawberry Peach Prosecco

Sparkling Strawberry Peach Cordial

A great one for the kids this one.  Just add sparkling water.

Sparkling Strawberry Peach Cordial

One last thing…

If you’ve enjoyed this post or this recipe then please do share it with your chums and let me know in the comments.  I’d love to hear from you!

Summer Cocktail: Rose Peach Punch

I’ve purposefully posted this on a Saturday because I just knew that as soon as you saw it, you’d want (no, need) to sample it immediately.  Obviously, I don’t want you getting into trouble at work so I thought the weekend was best (apologies for those of you who work at weekends – tough times ahead for you guys!)

Rose Peach Punch

Peaches are at their absolute best at this time of the year.  Full of sweetness and of chin-dribbling juice. So I’ve been taking full advantage of them while I can – I mean you could just turn one meal into a complete peach-fest! How about Chicken & Peach Tagine to start, Peach Tart for dessert and some of this Peach Punch to drink? Too much peach? I’m not sure that’s possible.

Rose Peach Punch

Before we dive into the recipe, I feel an explanation is in order for my glaring omission of the accent at the end of ‘Rose’ in the title.  This wasn’t an editing error, I purposefully left it out because, although the base of the punch is rosé wine, the taste that I wanted to highlight was the delicate floral note of rose water.  Too much and it becomes soapy, but just a smidge and it really adds something wonderful to the sweet peach and crisp wine.

Rose peach punch

Cloudy lemonade lightens the whole drink and makes it acceptable for daytime consumption without fear of falling asleep in a drunken heap by 5pm. Let’s not be this guy

Rose Peach Punch
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  1. 3 ripe peaches
  2. 1/2 tsp rose water
  3. 1/2 tbs agave nectar
  4. 300 ml rosé wine
  5. 300 ml cloudy lemonade
  6. ice
Instructions
  1. Peel the peaches and roughly chop them
  2. Pop them in a food processor along with the agave nectar and rose water
  3. Blitz until smooth and juice-like
  4. Now (if you can be bothered!) pass the juice through a sieve - you should end up with around 300 ml
  5. Pour the peach juice into a jug
  6. Add the rosé and the lemonade
  7. Top up with ice and give a good stir
Notes
  1. Feel free to replace the agave nectar with sugar or even honey - also, if you like it super sweet then you can always add more
  2. I like to serve these in Champagne glasses to make them feel super-special 🙂
Eat Drink Cook http://www.eatdrinkcook.co.uk/

 

 

My Perfect Sangria

Chilled, refreshing summer in a glass…each sip takes you closer to your favourite holidays to Spain and further from the humdrum of the working week!

Now, I’m conscious that this may be a controversial subject.   Many of you may already have a tried and tested recipe for Sangria and will be indignantly wondering who I think I am to be claiming the ‘perfect’ recipe.  Let me just clarify right here, right now – this recipe is my perfect recipe but I don’t make any claims on the title of the perfect recipe…(although I’m fairly confident it’s pretty close…)

Sangria holds a special place in my heart.  It takes me back to wonderful family holidays, staying with my Auntie and Uncle in Spain.  Big jugs of it were made up as part of the pre-lunch preparations. Various nibbles would be set out and plastic garden cups assigned to all.  Ah,  that first, cool, sweet sip.  Just pure bliss. Pure, summery, holiday bliss.

Sangria

This is the Sangria that I was taught to make on those very holidays – there are no spirits and no chopped fruit (apart from oranges).  It’s simple, refreshing and can be sipped gently all afternoon if one so desires, without too much danger of ill-affect!

By all means, feel free to add more chopped fruit or even spirits if you’re looking for more ‘buzz’ – but just know, none of that is necessary.

For this recipe, rather than using specific measurements, I’ve used proportional representation – that way, you can make it work for whatever size jug you’re using.

sangria

My Perfect Sangria

You will need:

1/3 red wine

2/3 cloudy lemonade

Oranges

Ice

  • Fill your jug about 1/3 full with red wine
  • Now cut your orange into quarters or eighths and squeeze the juice from each segment into the jug, before dumping them in too
  • Now add plenty of ice
  • Finally, top up with your lemonade and give the whole lot a good stir
  • MUST be drunk outside in the sunshine (the sangria that is – not you!)

Super simple, super refreshing and super tasty – cheers! 🙂

Five Cool Foodie Ideas From Pinterest

Get your foodie inspiration firing and your taste buds zinging with my cool foodie ideas from Pinterest!

I’m a little bit addicted to Pinterest.  It’s one of those dangerous places where you can innocently go while you have a spare 5 minutes, only to realise 2 hours later, that your children are unfed and your washing un-cleaned…but hey, you’ve got some bitchin’ ideas on what to do with that funny space under the stairs!

Those of you who already follow me on Pinterest may have come across my ‘Cool Foodie Ideas’ board.  This is where I pin away all those clever little culinary tricks that I spot while browsing for inspiration.  Today I want to share a few of those gems on my blog.

(By the way, if you don’t follow me on Pinterest, then for goodness sake put that right now!)

Follow Eat Drink Cook’s FABULOUS Pinterest boards

So, without further ado, let’s dive right into the wonderful world of Cool Foodie Ideas from Pinterest!

1: Watermelon Ice from Taste & Tell

This is such a simple concept but I’ve never thought to do it before! This summer I will definitely be giving it a go. Doesn’t it look refreshing?

cool foodie ideas

Image from taste and tell

2: Nutella & Banana Sushi from Paging Fun Mums!

I LOVE this! How cool do this little sushi look?  Another super-simple idea that produces really fun and exciting results.

Nutella-Banana-Sushie (4)

3: No Washing Up Ham, Egg & Cheese Bread Bowls from Recipe Tin Eats

This takes one pot meals a step further, using no pots at all! I’m all for it.  These would be great for taking on picnics don’t you think?

cool foodie ideas

Image from Recipe Tin Eats

4: Frozen Banana Bites from She Knows

These little guys look absolutely amazing! I think they’d make great little treats to serve guests with a cup of coffee after dinner. 🙂

cool foodie ideas

Image from She Knows

5: Pineapple Infused Vodka from My Baking Addiction

Ok, so this one is more of a ‘Cool Drinkie Idea’ than a foodie one – but it still definitely deserves a place on the list because it sounds delicious!

cool foodie ideas

Image from My Baking Addiction

So there they are – pretty cool I think you’ll agree!  Let me know in the comments what other cool foodie ideas you find 🙂

Five Ways to Five-a-Day

You need never be unhealthy again!

So, Summer is creeping slowly and frankly, rainily (is that a word??) to our doorstep once more and I for one have started the annual ‘oh lord, I’d better start eating a bit better so I can fit in those shorts’ thoughts.  Not only that, but I live in endless cycles, of ‘I must eat more healthily’ followed by ‘oh, I’m too tired, I don’t care – I’m getting pizza‘.  I actually LOVE fruit and veg so I really have very little excuse not to get my five-a-day, and yet… somehow I very often don’t!

My ‘Five Ways to Five a Day’ series attempts to offer a few friendly tips on how we can all make life a little easier  and a little healthier for ourselves.  Plus, it’s my opportunity to present to you my FIRST ever vlog – you have no idea what technical hoops I (and my patient hubby) had to jump through, manoeuvre around, upload and reformat…

So, without further ado, I bring to you, Smoothie Packs – and I’m not talking facials here…

Enjoy, be kind, like and share! 😉

No. 1: Smoothie Packs

Five smoothie packs, so that you have a quick, healthy start to the day from Monday to Friday. No muss, no fuss.

The five smoothies that I’ve chosen were aimed to use the same selection of fruits so that you’re not going out and buying a million fruits and letting loads go to waste.  The great thing with smoothie packs though, is you can just chuck in what you fancy!

My other yummy smoothies

Banana Smoothie

Pineapple & Coconut Smoothie

Top Tip: to get extra goodness in there, why not pop in a handful of green leaves, like spinach or kale?

The Final Touches

  • Add the contents of your frozen smoothie pack to your blender
  • Now, add your chosen liquid – here are a few examples…
    • Milk
    • Fruit juice
    • Coconut Milk
    • Almond Milk
    • Ice cubes
  • Blend until smooth and enjoy 🙂

 

Recipe: Pineapple & Coconut Smoothie

Sweet, tangy pineapple and fresh tasting coconut – a real taste of the Tropics!

Goodness in a glass…

There’s something about a smoothie that makes me feel pretty saintly – even the ones that are actually filled with ice cream and syrup!  I think it’s the coolness and flavours of fresh fruit.  You just know it’s doing you good. 🙂

This one is a real taste of Summer.  It takes the flavours of a Pina Colada and turns it into something suitable for breakfast (not that I would ever want to discourage you from drinking pina coladas at breakfast too!).  I had some this morning, using an old, tired pineapple that was going brown and would otherwise have been headed for the bin.  In a smoothie, its ripe, juicy deliciousness was able to shine through.  Add in a splash of creamy coconut milk and you’ve got yourself a tasty, refreshing (and pretty healthy!) start to the day.

pineapple & coconut smoothie

Want to know more about pineapples, their history AND just how darn good they are for you? Take a look at this great article by Helen Nichols at Well-Being Secrets.

Pineapple & Coconut Smoothie

(or ‘Pina Coloothie’ as I like to call it…)

You will need:

300 g pineapple (peeled and chopped)

100 g ice cubes

100 ml coconut milk*

  • Add the pineapple, ice and coconut milk to your blender
  • Blitz until smooth (I leave for a minute or 2 so it’s nice and frothy)
  • Pour into glasses and add any garnishes you fancy – grated chocolate, pieces of pineapple, coconut shavings, mint….the world’s your oyster!

*I use the low fat version – plenty creamy enough for me

pineapple & coconut smoothie

Important note

If you want to add a splash of rum then it certainly wouldn’t go amiss! Possibly not for breakfast though – unless you’re expecting a really bad day….

Check out my other smoothie recipes here…

Banana Smoothie

Blueberry Muffin Smoothie

Smoothie Packs

Recipe: Banana Smoothie

You’re just 3 ingredients and 30 seconds of whizzing from a super scrummy, super healthy banana smoothie breakfast!

This is probably one of the easiest smoothies you could make, so if you’re a smoothie newbie then it’s a good place to start.  There are endless combos  that you can try, but today we’re keeping it simple and staying classic.

banana smoothie 2

Banana Smoothie

You will need:

1 frozen chopped banana

1/2 pint milk

1 tbs honey

  • I should start by saying that if you don’t have a frozen chopped banana then don’t let that put you off making this recipe – a handful of ice will also suffice or in fact neither will still make for a cool smoothie because presumably you keep your milk in the fridge…
  • Anyhoo – on with the instructions – they’re pretty complex so I hope you can keep up…
  • Stick your banana, milk and honey in a blender
  • Whiz until smooth
  • Pour into your glass of choice
  • Devour greedily and feel smug about joining the smoothie brigade 🙂

Banana smoothie

If you’re feeling all fancy…

Why not top your smoothie with a handful of granola or maybe some shavings of chocolate.  Perhaps a few chopped nuts? Or if you’re feeling really naughty, then a dollop of vanilla ice cream never goes amiss.

My other smoothie recipes

If you liked this one, you’re going to LOVE my other smoothie recipes. Go on – check them out!

Pineapple & Coconut Smoothie

Blueberry Muffin Smoothie

Smoothie Packs

What’s your favourite smoothie recipe?

Please share your fave smoothies in the comments – and if you like this one then share it with your chums!