Lately, strawberries. And a cocktail.
"We need to take more photographs of our life. More moments. " - Ben, last week.
And so here we are. More moments. Those favourite days working from home together. Early morning mugs of coffee after earlier morning walks on the beach. Weekends with friends eating pots de creme and weekends just us as we nestle and get to know our new couch. Strawberries, too, because it's Spring.
We had a few friends over last week. There was falafel and ice-cream, and one pretty in pink cocktail created out of a desire to infuse vodka with Turkish delight. Yasmeen came over early and helped us make lamb cigars and triangles. Later on we listened to 90s Mariah Carey songs and I spilt beetroot dip down my top. It was really, really nice to just talk and eat and drink in our new place with good friends.
So, that cocktail. We named it Sweet Red Delight because, indeed, it is sweet and delightful. But the key, friends, is the pomegranate molasses, adding tartness...vibrancy, in both colour and flavour. I've included the recipe below. But first, moments.
Sweet Red Delight
3 parts strawberry pomegranate rose syrup (see recipe below)
1 part Turkish delight-infused vodka (see instructions below)
2 parts sparkling water
To make the Turkish delight vodka, cut portions of Turkish delight into smaller portions (i.e. squares into quarters) and place in a large jar. Top with vodka and leave to infuse for at least 1 week. We used 750ml vodka for about 7 large pieces of Turkish delight.
To make the strawberry pomegranate rose syrup, start with the rosewater syrup. Place 1 cup white sugar and 2 cups water in a heavy-based saucepan then bring to the boil. Stir then simmer for ~10 minutes until reduced and thickening. Add a squeeze of a lime (or lemon) and 3 tablespoons rosewater (you can always add more later when cooled and able to taste). Cook for another few minutes until thick, then turn off the heat and set aside to cool. When cool, taste and add more rosewater as desired. This will make more than enough for this cocktail recipe but it is nice to have leftovers for cordials & desserts.
To make the strawberry pomegranate rose syrup, puree 3 punnets of strawberries (tops removed) in a food processor. Add 2 tablespoons of the rosewater syrup then blitz again. Pour into a fine mesh strainer and use a large spoon to push the smooth strawberry rose syrup into a jug (this can take a while to get all the juice through). Keep the strawberry pulp in the fridge for pancake/porridge/cake toppings. Stir 1-2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses into the smooth strawberry rose syrup and taste. You want this to be a really strong– very sweet and very tart. For more sweetness, add more rosewater syrup and for more tart flavour, add more pomegranate molasses or some lemon (I prefer more pomegranate molasses).
To assemble your sweet pommy delight, place ice in a glass then add three parts strawberry syrup to one part Turkish delight-infused vodka. Stir then top with 2 parts sparkling water. Taste and adjust with more strawberry pomegranate rose syrup, vodka or sparkling as desired.