strawberries

A Day For Gin

World Gin Day is celebrated on the second Saturday in June. This is a day to enjoy all things gin. For some of us, World Gin Day is every day!

I’ve always loved gin. I love the aromatics and the infinite flavours you can play with. The only things gin needs in order to be called gin is distilled alcohol and juniper berries. After that you can add anything else and it’s still a gin. In fact the name gin is derived from juniperus, the Latin word for juniper.

One of the more interesting gins I have recently discovered is and Australian gin called Ink. It was the deep blue/purple colour that drew me to the bottle. I then discovered that this blue/purple colour changes to a light purple/pink when you add tonic water. I was entranced! I was also very happy that this gin was not just a gimmick, but a beautiful tasting one as well.

IMG_4296

Ink is infused with 14 different botanicals including butterfly pea flowers. It is these flowers that give the gin its bright colour as well as its colour changing properties. Butterfly pea flowers are considered an aphrodisiac as the flowers resemble female genitalia. Not surprisingly their scientific name is derived from the Latin for clitoris – Clitoria ternatea.

With that in mind I started thinking of a way of showcasing this delicious and unusual gin while adding a feminine touch 🙂 After much thought I really couldn’t go past a classic gin and tonic with the addition of strawberries. Strawberries are associated with Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, after whom aphrodisiacs are named.

Strawberry Gin and Tonic

IMG_4294

Ingredients
60ml gin
1 strawberry, sliced lengthways
90ml tonic water

Instructions
Pour the gin into a glass.
Add the sliced strawberry.
Allow to marinate for 10 minutes.
Add the tonic water.
Enjoy!
Makes one mixed drink.

For more gin drinks, check out my recipes for Glow In The Dark Gin & Tonic, Gin Alexander and Sage Mulled Wine.

Advertisements

Jam And Cream 

In my blog post, The Battle of the Cream Tea, I explored a major issue in scone serving etiquette – in what order do you put the jam and cream on the scone? The answer is if you’re from Devon you put cream first then jam and if you’re from Cornwall you put jam first then cream. The rest of us can chop and change to suit our tastes 🙂

Inspired by this delicious dilemma, I thought I would take all the guess work out of the scone saga and simply combine the jam and cream. I added chia seeds for the fun of it but also to thicken and stabilise the mix. My version is heavy on cream so you can play around with the proportions and add less cream or more strawberry jam if you like. You can also try different berries and fruits.

Whipped Cream with Strawberry and Chia Jam

IMG_2498

Ingredients
for the jam
1 cup fresh strawberries, roughly chopped
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon icing sugar
2 tablespoons chia seeds

for the cream
2 cups cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons icing sugar

Instructions
Place the strawberries in a bowl and crush with a fork.
Stir in the lemon juice, icing sugar and chia seeds.
Allow to set for 5 minutes.
Using a wire whisk, whip the cream, vanilla and sugar together until stiff peaks form.
Fold the strawberries through the cream.
Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 hours.

I’ve solved one culinary conundrum and now to begin another! A traditional partner for jam and cream is British scones, but the recipe below is for American biscuits. If you’re not American, biscuits are cookies but for Americans, biscuits are a type of scone. There are some differences between American biscuits and British scones but for me there is not much difference once I cover them in lots of butter, jam and cream. That’s right – butter! The original Cornish teas had butter which was spread on the scone first followed by jam and cream.

To add to the conundrum, the biscuits below are not rolled and cut or patted into shapes. Instead, the dough is dropped onto a baking tray. That’s why they are called drop biscuits 🙂

Drop Biscuits

IMG_1397

Ingredients
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup cold buttermilk, additional buttermilk may be needed
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

Instructions
Preheat the oven to 220C / 425F.
Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt.
In a medium sized bowl, stir together the buttermilk, honey and butter until small clumps form.
Add the buttermilk mix to the flour mix. Using a wooden spoon, stir until just combined and the batter pulls away from the sides. If the batter doesn’t come together, add more buttermilk a bit at a time until the batter can be scooped up easily but is not too wet.
Using a standard sized ice cream scoop, drop batter onto baking trays. You should get about 6 per tray.
Bake for 10 – 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve with butter or jam and cream or both.