French For Cocktail [Lychee Martini]

Every year my most important job on Christmas Day (and Christmas Eve and Boxing Day) is being chief cocktail and pudding provider.

FYI I do Nigella's Prodigious Pavlova every single year. Clue’s in the name - it's so damn good!

Last year I discovered the lovely Ed Bains' (of Randall & Aubin fame) Rhubarb Bread & Butter pudding - it’s incredible and definitely on the menu again this year. Edie is going to make Banoffee Pie, and I’ll probably do a trifle too.


And no, we don’t have twenty-five people coming for Christmas, but it’s the law to have at least four puddings available over the Christmas feasting days. Well, it is in our house anyway.

Anyway, I’ve decided to go with a Lychee Martini as my cocktail of the month as it's what I'll be serving at home this Christmas (although I do have Advocaat in the house for a classic Snowball too!) and I'd forgotten how good they are so I might actually start consuming them as of this evening.



This is the Lychee Martini recipe from Lure Fish Bar in SoHo, New York - a restaurant that holds a special place in my heart, and although it’s been *quite* a long time between drinks there (like, errr, ten years!), I’ve been holding on to this bit of paper - the recipe extracted from the bar tender many moons ago, and I’m rather sentimentally attached to it! 



The recipe is for a single drink, but if you're planning on making them en masse, you could make some cucumber juice by peeling and blending a couple of cucumbers and straining it through muslin into a small jug, then use about a tablespoon per drink.



For the lychee puree, I use tinned lychees blended with some of the syrup from the can. Sweeten to taste with sugar syrup if necessary - this is the only sweetness you'll be adding, but the syrup they're canned in is usually sweet enough - depends on the brand.

You will need:

45mls vodka (or gin)
3 thick slices of skinned cucumber 
Splash of lemon juice
30mls lychee syrup (I make mine from tinned lychees with a bit of the syrup. Add sugar syrup to taste if necessary)
One whole lychee for a garnish

Method: 

Add cucumber to cocktail shaker and muddle (skip this step if you've pre-prepared cucumber juice and just add everything together)
Add ice and all other ingredients into cocktail shaker and shake vigorously.
Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a whole lychee and a strip of cucumber peel if you fancy.



Tip: You can top with a dash of soda water to make these go a little further, and to stop yourself getting too drunk, too early on Christmas day. Or not.

Featuring 'Amber' cocktail glasses, 'Todd' and 'Tilly' oak chopping boards, 'Gracie' linen napkin, 'Atla' candle plate and 'Rhomb' candle all from Broste Copenhagen. I really REALLY love these Amber glasses that look like they have toffee dripping down the stems - they're so beautiful, and these chopping boards are gorgeous (and practical too, obvs!) and will definitely be put into use for a cheeseboard on Christmas day.

This post is in collaboration with Broste Copenhagen, available from Heals and Selfridges.





French For Cocktail: The First In a New Series [Dark & Stormy]

Anyone who slightly overdid it as a teenager with a particular type of alcohol will attest that it can be enough to put you off for life. For me it was rum. Until a maybe a year ago, I'd not touched the stuff (white rum aside) since I was 16, but I have a renewed love for it now having discovered the joys of a Dark & Stormy.

French For Pineapple Blog, French For Cocktail, Dark And Stormy

I love a cocktail or three. If you don't already know that, you're possibly new around here (so welcome!) and maybe you don't follow me on Instagram as they're quite a regular theme in my life.

For me a cocktail represents fun and celebration, so what's not to like? Those that know me, also know that I don't drink beer or wine (much to my husbands constant disappointment), but I do love fizz. Champagne if possible, but I also love Cremant, and will probably never turn down a glass of Prosecco or Cava. But cocktails? Cocktails are my jam.

So it made sense to introduce a regular cocktail feature to the blog, with a recipe of course, and it's also a fun way to showcase some lovely barware.

French For Pineapple Blog, French For Cocktail, Dark And Stormy

Each month there will be a recipe (classic, invented or reinvented) with a new brand sponsor.

Rather perfectly timed is the upcoming addition of bar tools to Made.com's Blaze collection, which I've used for this very first installment. The set of four brass finish tools includes a strainer, ice tongs, bottle opener and a spirit measure, housed on a pretty stand with a marble base.

I've agonised over what cocktail should be first. Something really fancy was my first thought, but then I decided that actually, keeping it pretty simple will mean you're more likely to try it for yourself. Especially if you're new to cocktails. I'll save fancy for Christmas.

This one is a crowd pleaser (unless you don't like ginger, in which case, come back next time). My husband likes these and he's not really much of a cocktail person. They're quick and easy to make, and don't require many ingredients.

French For Pineapple Blog, French For Cocktail, Dark And Stormy

So without further ado, here's my Dark & Stormy recipe, which was my drink of choice at our beloved local burger restaurant that's recently closed down, and inspired by their version.

What's nice about a Dark & Stormy is that it's fresh because of the lime juice, but the ginger beer gives it a certain spicy warmth, so it's great for all seasons.

French For Pineapple Blog, French For Cocktail, Dark And Stormy


You will need: (per drink)


Ice
40mls rum (I like to use a golden rum like Havana Club 3 Year Old Rum for this recipe, but you can use dark rum if you prefer)
150mls ginger beer (I use Old Jamaica, you could go more posh if you like)
Juice of one lime
Half to one teaspoon of sugar syrup (optional)
Angostura Bitters
Fresh grated ginger (optional for a more fiery version)
Slice of ginger and extra lime to garnish

Method:


Add a few cubes of ice to cocktail shaker, followed by the lime juice, rum, sugar syrup, and grated fresh ginger if using, shake and strain into a tumbler with plenty of ice.

Top with Ginger Beer and add three drops of Angostura Bitters

French For Pineapple Blog, French For Cocktail, Dark And Stormy

Garnish with a slice of fresh ginger and a wedge of lime. Enjoy!

This post is in collaboration with Made.com and features their Blaze Cocktail Shaker and bar tool set, and Ria Tumblers.

Drink responsibly folks!