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Saturday, 24 March 2012


In the interests of continued financial prudence – to which I referred in an earlier post – I’ve utilised some elements in my latest creation which might not as a rule find themselves in a chic cocktail.
Yet needs must.
                                                         Keen for my next cocktail...
                                           a prudent chap. Remember him?

A few weeks ago, I had made a bile o’ jam, as they say in Aberdeen – the rhubarb and ginger variety.
As a result, I had half a jar left of stem ginger pieces still covered in their thick, gooey juice.
Also wilting away at the back of the cocktail cabinet was half a bottle of Liqueur de Framboises, a strawberry concoction hunted down in Fortnum’s for an earlier creation, and still exceedingly potable, given its 21% alcohol volume.
So get to work then, mister, I ordered myself. The guests will be here any minute.
It’s more common for the dear better half to do the ordering but she’s making herself even more beautiful at the moment.
The name I’ve given it – Ginger Pop – will appeal to those of un certain age but don’t let the kiddies get anywhere near it, whatever you do.

Serves four
2 fl oz good vodka taken straight from the freezer
1 fl oz Grand Marnier
1 fl oz juice from jar of stem ginger
Good dash of orange bitters
Juice of half a lime
12 black seeded grapes
4 tiny chunks of stem ginger
Chocolate sauce
Caster sugar.

Place four or five ice cubes in a cocktail shaker
Add the remainder of the ingredients
Shake vigorously
Remove Martini glasses from the fridge where they’ve been chilling
Smear a smudge of chocolate sauce on the base of each glass and attach a grape to each. (This is an idea I got from Nightjar, the fab cocktail bar I wrote about last time.) The thick consistency of the sauce will ensure the grape adheres to it. (I used a yum variety: Chocolate & Orange Fudge Sauce from Fudge Kitchen, a wondrously thick extravagance which you can – not without a certain degree of guilt – eat straight from the jar with a spoon.)
Run a wedge of lime around the edge of each glass then dip it into a saucer of caster sugar
With each of four cocktail sticks pierce a grape followed by a stem ginger fragment then another grape
Pour the liquid into the glasses
Place a fruit-laden cocktail stick into each

As is customary, you’d wait until the magical Cocktail Hour of 6pm to serve these (even if I do say so myself) delights. But the clocks spring forward later tonight so we’re going to neck ’em at five o’clock.
Radical, what?!
All things ginger have a deep resonance in certain parts of the country, not least the west of Scotland. You may know someone such as the following... If so, don’t advertise it.

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