Cocktails are not something I know much about. There was a certain bar in Baker Street we used to frequent when I was a student, where a certain Aussie barman gave us half price cocktails when he was in a good mood. But sadly his moods took a turn for the worse when his overtures were rebuffed by one of our group. Other than that, I can probably count my cocktails on the fingers of one hand – maybe two if pressed. However, there is something rather alluring about them and I expect if I had an independent income I’d drink more of them. So when Urvashi of Botanical Baker challenged us to come up with some summer cocktails, I just couldn’t resist.
Although I’m not much of a drinker – honestly – I do make my own liqueurs: sloe gin, cassis, rhubarb schnapps and various other vodka infusions. I’ve had some cocoa nibs soaking in vodka now for over six months, so I figured it was time to test out my attempt at chocolate extract and concoct some chocolate cocktails. Having used three rose flowers to make some rose sugar, I was left with one glorious bloom. Sadly the weather was not favourable, so I thought I’d harvest it before it got blown away. What better use than to make rose syrup which would be perfect for a summer cocktail.
This is what I did:
Rhubarbarella (Rhubarb & Rose Cocktail)
50ml rhubarb schnapps
50ml lemon balm tea
10ml chocolate extract
squeeze of lemon juice
Ran a little lemon juice around the rim of a glass then dipped the glass into a saucer of rose sugar (caster sugar). Placed all the above ingredients in a well sealed jar and shook. Strained into the glass and added a sprig of lemon balm.
Chocadoodledoo (Chocolate & Mint Cocktail)
50ml Mint schnapps
10ml chocolate extract
50ml single cream
Placed the above ingredients into a glass and shook well. Strained into a glass and added a sprig of mint
Rhubarbarella was the star of the show. Rose and rhubarb had already proved themselves as a flavour pairing in the last lot of Nonnettes I made so I had high hopes. It was delicious, fruity, refreshing and with a definite kick – of chocolate as well as alcahol. The rose flavour added a layer of sophistication, or so it seemed after a few sips ……. The colour was alluring and I impressed myself with the sugared glass. I’d be happy to drink this all summer long, which by latest reckoning, ends tomorrow.
Although the chocolate came through quite powerfully, I wasn’t quite so taken with chocadoodledoo due to a slight bitterness from the mint schnapps. Next time I’ll add some sugar to counteract this. It was certainly bracing, the mint schnapps being noticeably stronger than the rhubarb. However, I’m not giving up on this one, there will be a next time.
* Rose Syrup The rose syrup was absolutely delicious and I can see many uses for it, not least added to sparkling water and used as a drink. I made it by adding 200g golden caster sugar to 200ml water and putting this on a low heat until fully dissolved. I added the petals of a deep red rose and left to not quite simmer for half an hour. I then strained the syrup into a bottle and left to cool.
As I have used mint and lemon balm in my cocktails, I am submitting this to Karen’s Herbs on Saturday. A challenge I keep meaning to join in, but somehow keep forgetting about.