The cold snowy weather means that it has been a quiet week in the garden. Ken has planted Red Russian Kale, Bronze Fennel and next week we will plant our heirloom tomatoes. I can’t wait until summer when we have a tunnel full of those multicolored bad boys!! We have to grow them from seed before that though, so I am glad we are starting early.
This week we filtered our hedgerow alcohols. Last autumn we made various damson, sloe and bramble alcohols. Gins are my favorite to drink on their own but they all make exceptional cocktails. Cocktails have become so fashionable and it seems that every bar I go into has a similar generic list, which always promises more than it delivers. When we decided to make our own list of cocktails and soft drinks it was important that they were not just delicious, but also interesting and made from ingredients we had grown or foraged.
On the list at the moment we have kale and elderflower martini, damson sour and chervil root liqueur .The Yorkshire rhubarb season has started so we have a rhubarb and thyme cocktail too. The homemade drinks have become very popular, so much so that its all hands on deck when guests arrive just to keep up with the demand! I enjoy shaking cocktails I feel a bit like Tom Cruise in that film. Some of the guys shaking styles leave much to be desired which is hilarious.
We make a Douglas Fir Sour to match with our final course ‘Douglas Fir’ on the tasting menu. I was out foraging fir with my dog Penelope in the snow this week. It won’t be long now before we are foraging for much more – the wild garlic and nettles will soon be shooting through and I can see a nettle tipple in the pipeline. Roll on spring!