My Cashmere Sweater Cocktail.

I don't have cocktails very often, but I have to confess that in quince season, I am more tempted! You see I have a wonderful quince and clove cocktail that just feels, and tastes, so good in the fall and winter time.




You know those days when its dark when you get home, its a little chilly, you want to feel cozy and relaxed....well, I make myself a quince and clove cocktail!  It hits the spot, I have to tell you.  Its like putting on a luscious cashmere sweater and feeling all warm and cuddled.  Thus it is my cashmere sweater cocktail

When I was in England last winter, I bought some clove cordial.  It is alcoholic - not just a fruit cordial!  But its only 5% alcohol - so less than wine.  If you get some, be prepared - it is very pink as the name "Pink Cloves" describes!


To make the cocktail, basically, you take the roasted quince that I described in yesterday's blog post and puree it in a good blender like a vitamix.



Take some of the puree, add the Pink Clove cordial and then top up with sparkling water or tonic water. For rough quantities - see the photo below.


And voila - a pretty peachy colored cocktail -  which isn't very alcoholic - but cuddles you like a luscious cashmere sweater!   If you want more kick, you can also add gin to it - so I hear!!!

What is your version of a cashmere sweater cocktail?  I think another for me would be a whisky mac. That's more a rainy day or snowy day one however.
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Through the porthole - Orange Hibiscus tea

Here is this week's infusion, made using my porthole.


In it is a Orange Hibiscus tea.  I used hibiscus flowers, rose hips, lemongrass, dried oranges, mint, rose petals and three whole stevia leaves.


Its a lovely combination and the whole stevia leaves didn't make it taste really sweet. I actually only put them in as I wanted a large green leaf so looked on my herb patch - and there was my stevia!


The tea is a lovely peachy color - a good blend of the red from the hibiscus and the orange.


I set it on the table yesterday ready for when a class sat to ate their cooking, and they were most intrigued by it and thought how pretty it looked with the sun shining on it.


Any suggestions of what I should try next to infuse in it next week?

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Through the Porthole

I got a new "toy" this week.  A porthole.


Its an infusing "vessel" - to be used for cocktails, oils, vinegars, soft drinks, dressing, or purely decorative.  I heard about them on kickstarter and thought it looked stunning.  I'd forgotten about it actually, until  mine arrived, out of the blue, this week.

So I tried it for the first time today - ready for some guests coming around this evening.

Tonight "through the porthole", is an elderflower and elderberry concoction.  I'm a big fan of elderflower and so some dried flowers are in there, a long with some elderflower syrup.  Then, as I planted an elder bush this year, and had forgotten to check for berries, I went to search and found some sun-dried berries, waiting to be picked!


I'd checked on the plant at elderflower time and they had a few bunches of flowers but as it was only a new and small plant, I didn't want to deprive it of its first harvest.  But once they had turned to berries, and dried -  I thought it was OK.

As soon as I added liquid, they started giving off a lovely red color.


I had seen a star fruit in Whole Foods last week too - and it had been ages since I had one, so it went to a good use in the porthole.

So it'll be an alternative for any of us not drinking this evening.  A little elder porthole with some sparkling water.

Doesn't it look beautiful?  What would you put in a porthole? I have lots of ideas.  Have you ever seen one before?
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Truly Scrumptious - Quince and clove sour

I've decided that my regular blog post of my favorite taste each week should now be entitled "truly scrumptious".  As I was browsing in a children's toy shop in the UK last week, they played the song "Truly Scrumptious" as background music and I realized that I knew all the words!

Truly Scrumptious, if you didn't know, is a fictional character in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.  Here's the song:


Isn't it so sweet!  It seems appropriate that tickety-boo should have a truly scrumptious regular blog post, don't you think!

I ate quite differently in England from how I normally do at home, but one flavor combination really sticks out for me from that visit. My most truly scrumptious taste in England was actually a cocktail - a quince and clove sour!  It was made with quince puree (you know how I've been looking at ways to use up all our quince!) plus a clove liquor and gin.  I think it is the nicest cocktail I have ever tasted.

I actually had two - one with gin and one without the gin!  Both were wonderful and it was definitely the cloves that made it.  They were so warming and the combination of flavors seemed so wintery and spicy.


I had to buy a bottle of Pink Cloves to bring home with me.....In fact, I think I'll have to start experimenting with it tonight.... I can imagine using it in desserts too...

What was your most truly scrumptious taste this past couple of weeks?

Update: Just poured out my pink cloves and it is really pink!  A little like mouth wash or something, and a tad off putting.....but it does taste delicious.   It wasn't that pink in the version I had.....!!!!!


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