Drinks

Oh I Say

Yay, the heat is on! It's that time of year where I have no qualms of switching the television on during the day, casting aside any work that needs to be done, all in the name of that prestigious lawn tennis tournament that is Wimbledon. This tournament has been a big part of my childhood. From Dan Maskell's velvety voice and his iconic phrase 'Oh I say,' whenever a player produced an outstanding shot, to the traditional eating of strawberries and cream and of course most importantly, the spectacular tennis. Bjorn Borg was my tennis hero and I was lucky enough to witness his dominance of the grass courts at Wimbledon, in his legendary semi-final match against Vitas Gerulitis.

Wimbledon has been basking in the heat over the last few days and Pimm's seems to be the order of the day. There is a Punjabi version of a non-alcoholic cooler which is prepared during the sweltering hot days of the Indian summer. An Indian lemonade called Shikanjvi is made using lemons or limes, sugar, black Himalayan salt, (Kala Namak) and roasted cumin powder. This thirst quencher is an acquired taste and a sweetened version can also be made. It's basically the lemon juice that makes the drink so refreshing. I've concocted a summer cocktail that is cool and reinvigorating. So whether you're at Wimbledon, Henley Royal Regatta, Hampton Court Palace Flower Show or the F1 at Silverstone, revel in in these balmy nights, sip slowly and enjoy this delightfully refreshing cocktail.

Lemonade Cucumber Mimosa

Serves 4

  • 1 Large Lemon
  • 4 cm Piece of Cucumber, grated
  • 3 Sprigs of Mint
  • 3 Sprigs of Lemon Verbena
  • 120 ml Water, chilled
  • 2 tbsp Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Water
  • 35 cl Prosecco
  • 4 Long Pieces of Cucumber

Method

  • In a small pan heat up the sugar and water until the sugar has dissolved and the liquid is clear and not grainy. Allow to cool.
  • Squeeze the juice of the lemon and place into a cocktail shaker.
  • Add the cucumber, mint and lemon verbena. Muddle all the ingredients together in the cocktail shaker.
  • Add the chilled water. Put the top onto the cocktail shaker and shake away.
  • Divide the lemon mixture between the 4 Champagne flutes through a small sieve, filling a third of each glass.
  • Top each glass with Prosecco.
  • Concertina each length of cucumber onto a small cocktail stick and place into the glass.

Tips

  • I am a Champagne purist and I don't like to use it for Mimosas and Bellinis, therefore it is better to use a good quality Prosecco.
  • Obviously adjust your quantities according to your needs.
  • If you don't have any lemon verbena, just use mint, although I grow both in pots in the garden and it's easy enough to grow. It can also be used in Pimm's.
  • This Mimosa also makes a great brunch drink.

Congratulations!

I've been so busy over the last few months. My oldest son got married and for weeks before the wedding a million things were buzzing around my head. However, I would like to dedicate this first post to my beautiful new daughter-in-law. Now things have settled down somewhat, I decided that it was fitting to congratulate the couple with a delicious drink. Champagne was so last month, especially in our house! A vibrant cocktail is far more apt. Indian weddings are colourful affairs, so I think a Pomegranate & Orange Martini infused with a hint of Cardamom fits the bill; an homage to the nuptials.

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Pomegranate & Orange Martini with a hint of Cardamom

  • 35ml Vodka
  • 105ml Orange Juice (freshly squeezed)
  • Fresh Pomegranate
  • Pinch of Ground Cardamom
  • Orange Rind

Place the vodka and orange juice into a cocktail shaker and squeeze in a quarter of the fresh pomegranate. Don't worry if any of the seeds fall in. Add a pinch of ground green cardamom. Place the top onto the shaker and shake away. Pour the 'shaken' martini into a martini glass and add a long curled piece of orange rind.

So there we have my colourful and refreshing cocktail...and all that remains for me to say is 'Congratulations darling and welcome to the family!'