Spring is my favourite season. It’s when the year starts in earnest in a way. March and April more than make up for the misery that is January and February. One of the highlights of this point in the calendar is when it’s nice enough to sit outside.
Our back garden is nothing much to look at, but I love getting outdoors and enjoying a drink once the kids have gone to bed. Particularly during the more challenging days of parenting, otherwise known as the school holidays!
In order to enjoy this warmer weather, I’ve employed the Power of Frozen. There are many advantages to this. Food retains more nutrients when it has been frozen. I think it also helps keep its flavour, plus there’s the fact that it’s both convenient and more affordable.
My local Iceland has plenty of frozen fruit in stock at the moment and what better way of putting it to use than making a cocktail with it?
Particularly as new research suggests we should consume ten items of fruit and veg a day instead of five. That’s one extra portion sorted already!
I decided to try my hand at blueberry gin cocktails. There are several slightly different recipes online so you can chop and change ingredients to suit your taste. I used the following, which should make between six and eight servings.
- 500g blueberries
- 175g sugar
- 450ml gin
- Juice of four limes
- Handful of mint leaves
- Soda water
As the name suggests, the key ingredient of blueberry gin cocktails is the fruit syrup. This is easy to make.
Heat the blueberries with a couple of tablespoons of water and the sugar, mashing them in the process. Bring to the boil then simmer before sieving and leaving to cool.
Once the syrup has cooled, put the mint leaves, lime juice and gin in a jug or jar. Then add the syrup and stir.
To serve, put some ice cubes in your glass of choice, pour in the cocktail until the glass is a quarter full then fill to the top with soda water. And that’s that.
The blueberry gin cocktails were very refreshing. I have to admit that I worried they were going to be too sweet when I tried a teaspoon full of the syrup while I was making it, but the mint and lime – plus the soda water, of course – tempered it nicely.
A lovely way of taking the edge off a busy day! If you don’t drink alcohol or want to make a version that the kids can enjoy, simply leave out the gin.
You may also want to replace the soda water with lemonade for younger palates. If so, I suggest reducing the sugar when making the syrup. Just to reduce the risk of them bouncing on their beds on a sugar high when you are trying to relax!
Which fruit cocktails and mocktails do you enjoy at this time of year?
Disclosure: this is a collaborative post.