Last weekend I attended the Sisterhood Camp in West Wales to do a campfire cooking and cocktail demonstration. The recipe below is the cocktail I made (Mocktail recipe to follow soon) and I wanted to show that cocktail making for a large group is perfectly easy. Jugs are the answer here so that you aren’t mixing and shaking lots of different small amounts on repeat and getting rather hot and bothered while your guests are getting gently and delicately squiffed. Making cocktails in jugs ensure you can all do this altogether.
Cocktail making can be like cooking food, some recipes are easy and quick and some require a little preparation but as long this can happen in stages and in advance then the final assembly can be a joy and part of the whole event like a welcomed glamorous guest.
I wanted to demonstrate a cocktail with layers of different flavours and textures to add a level of mystique and surprise. By roasting rhubarb in tangerine juice with crushed juniper berries and then pureed adds to the mystery. Then by including a prepared tarragon syrup means you can feel luxuriously decadent by talking and mixing at the same time.
*** little tip if you are making several jugs – pre-measure the puree to a marked point in a jug or jam jar and then use this to also measure out both the tarragon syrup and the gin (as they are equal measures) then it’s just a small matter of pouring in the Cava and having some fun.
- 200ml tarragon syrup (300g golden caster sugar, 600ml water, 2 large sprigs tarragon leaves removed and bruised. Simmer 12 minutes, strain once cooled)
- 200ml Rhubarb puree (roast for 10-15 minutes 4 stalks cut into large chunks, 1/2 cup golden caster sugar, juice of 3 tangerines, 10 crushed juniper berries. Once cold, puree and sieve)
- 3-4 lemons, juiced (depending on how juicy the lemons are)
- 200ml gin (Malfy Gin works brilliantly here)
- 2 good long shakes of Angostura bitters
- 1 bottle of chilled Cava
- handful of ice cubes
- Tarragon leaves to decorate
- Muddle (bash about a bit in bottom of jug with the handle end of a wooden spoon) the tarragon leaves in the bottom of the jug. Place everything but the Cava in the jug and then slowly add the cava mixing slowly and gently as you pour otherwise it will froth over. Allow the bruised tarragon leaves to spill into the glasses along with the ice as you pour. If you have any unbashed tarragon leaves left you can always pop them on the top of each glass but after the first jug you just won't care.
- The syrup can be made a couple of weeks in advance and sit quite happily in your fridge until you're ready. The puree can be made a good two-three days in advance (if it starts to separate just whisk back together).
Coming soon: Mocktail Lemon and Thyme Soda, Marinated Olives and Spiced Lentil Salad and how to pimp up shop-bought Hummus.
Here is more on Sisterhood and upcoming events.