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Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Cranberry Fizz - A non-alcoholic drink for Christmas

Photograph by Kevin Summers
Finding interesting drinks for those who don't, or can't, drink is always a bit of a challenge but I would certainly raise my glass to this gorgeously festive Cranberry Fizz from Lindy Wildsmith's latest book, Artisan Drinks.

Artisan Drinks celebrates the pleasure to be had from making your own drinks. With over 100 recipes for both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, Lindy Wildsmith takes you from the freshly harvested ingredients to the finished product in your glass.  Along the way, she rediscovers artisanal techniques and takes a wholesome approach to sourcing natural ingredients for infusing macerating, pressing brewing and fermenting your own drinks.

Lindy Wildsmith is a great believer in the importance of good, seasonal ingredients and connecting with the land, people and business around you.  Her love of nature, the changing seasons and the countryside have inspired her interest in both curing and preserving an making drinks.

Kevin Summers has been a photographer for 20 years, working advertising, editorial and television commercials.  His main focus is still life and food photography and he has worked with Delia Smith and Nigel Slater.

In the Introduction, Lindy takes us back to her childhood memories as well as the revival in artisan food producers, but the message is clear, nothing is quite as good as the drinks you make at home yourself.  There are also a couple of pages on Sourcing and Seasonality, whether from the garden or foraged from the hedgerow, there is lots of useful advice and a helpful artisan drinkmaker's year chart.

Still waters run deep - Cordials, syrups and soft drinks contains everything you need to know to make and keep soft drinks safely.  The recipes include Italian lime siroppo, Ginger Cordial, Instant Lemon Sherbet, Rose Petal cordial, Spiced blackberry tonic and Rosehip syrup.

Family Fizz - Alcohol free sparkling drinks will be well received by most people and make a great alternative to alcohol at celebrations. Recipes include the classic Elderflower 'Champagne', Nettle Beer, Lavender Spritz, May's dandelion, ginger and liquorice beer and Cranberry Fizz.

A global resurgence - Beer, cider and perry we used to make our own beer years ago first from a kit and then we moved on to hops and fuggles.  I've never made cider but my mother has many stories of exploding bottles of cider made by my grandfather!  The recipes include Woodforde's Nog, Festive spiced ale, Three Counties cider and perry and Old English 'Champagne' sparkling perry.

A very good year - The wine list we made wine too, using everything from sloes to carrots, all those bubbling demi-johns used to be gathered around the inglenook fireplace. Recipes include Rhubarb wine, Clover flower or dandelion wine, Beetroot and Marjoram wine, Carrot Wine and Bully Lane red berry wine.

And now for something stronger - liqueurs, digestifs and pick me ups many of you may have made and enjoyed sloe gin, so here there are recipes for some alternatives. Recipes include Bourbon Shrub, Limoncello San Vigilio, Nocino (Italian Walnut Liqueur), Cherry Brandy and the delightfully named Herefordshire Vet - aromatic fruit liqueur.

Taking the plunge - punches, cups and party drinks as Christmas is just around the corner, these party drinks will certainly liven things up.  Recipes include Old English cider cup, Rosemary and Thyme perry infusion and Wassail - Christmas Spiced Ale,

Happy Hours - artisan cocktails and elegant mocktails for those who want to serve a sophisticated drink there are plenty of ideas, recipes include Bejewelled Pink Elephant, Damson Gin Fizz and Jumping Jack Flash.  Mocktails include Garden Path- Lavender ice cream soda, Tropical Storm , Flirty and Pussyfoot.

Oasis of Calm - teas, tisanes and spicy brews some great ideas for something other than breakfast tea.  Recipes include Herb garden tisanes, Lime and other flower infusions, Ginger root and lemongrass tea, Middle Eastern cardamom coffee and Hot tangerine and nutmeg chocolate

The book finishes with a comprehensive Glossary and Directory of equipment suppliers and on line retailers in many different countries

Cranberry Fizz
makes 2 litres (3 pints 10fl oz)
On festive occasions this stunningly colourful drink can be dressed up for the non-drinker at the party.  Vary the fruit in this recipe to make vibrant fizz at any time of the year - rhubarb in spring, soft fruits and cherries in summer and blackberries in autumn.

500g (1lb 2 oz) cranberries
Finely pared rind and juice of 1 lemon
Finely pared rind and juice of 1 orange
300g (10.5 oz) sugar cubes
1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
2 litres (3 pints 10fl oz) boiling water
2tsp (10g) baker's yeast or 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
Pinch of caster sugar
4 tsp (20ml) warm (not hot) water

You will also need
Large earthenware crock or deep bowl
Mouli-legume (food mill) or mincer
2 x 1 litre (1 pint 15 fl oz) sterilised plastic (PET) bottles with screw caps

Put the fruit in the crock or deep bowl and crush with a potato masher or the end of a rolling pin or, even better, put through a Mouli-Legume or mincer.  Add the citrus zest and juice, add the sugar cubes and the cream of tartar.  Pour the boiling water over the top, stir and leave to cool until lukewarm.

When the liquid has cooled sufficiently, mix the yeast and caster sugar with the warm water, stir into a paste and add to the liquid. Cover with a clean cloth and leave for 48 hours.

Using a slotted spoon, skim and discard any debris that may have floated to the surface.  Strain into a large jug and use a funnel to pour into bottles.

Making and keeping: Make in winter.  Keeps for 2-4 weeks in a cool place.  Once open drink up within a few days before the sparkle subsides.

I simply ran out of time to make this recipe so can't give you my opinion on the taste and ease of making.  I hope to make some before Christmas comes so we can enjoy it in the holidays. 

Artisan Drinks by Lindy Wildsmith
Published by Jacqui Small (@JacquiSmallPub)
RRP £25.00

To order Artisan Drinks at the discounted price of £20.00 including p&p* (RRP: £25.00), telephone 01903 828503 or email and quote the offer code APG236.
*UK ONLY - Please add £2.50 if ordering from overseas.

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At 10 December 2014 at 11:45 , Blogger Unknown said...

Sounds like a great book. I've dabbled with my own cordials and a little bit of brewing but it's something I'd like to do more so I've popped this on my Xmas wishlist :)

At 10 December 2014 at 19:25 , Blogger Janice said...

Thanks Kevin, I'm sure you would enjoy the recipes in this book.

At 11 December 2014 at 03:38 , Blogger Cakespy said...

Cool! I drink alcohol, but not all my friends do. This is perfect and much cooler than that apple fizzy stuff they sell in the store.

At 11 December 2014 at 12:59 , Anonymous Findia Group said...

I like your blog!thanks for all these informations

At 15 December 2014 at 09:39 , Anonymous Bintu @ Recipes From A Pantry said...

Love the sound of this. Especially for making mocktails for our girls evenings.

At 16 December 2014 at 16:33 , Blogger Helen - family-friends-food said...

This looks lovely - not sure I have enough time though!

At 22 December 2014 at 21:21 , Anonymous kellie@foodtoglow said...

Just seeing this, Janice. It sounds just the most perfect non-alcoholic drink for Christmas. Pinning, Stumbling etc. Love it


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I love to read your comments and try to reply when I can. I have had to enable comment moderation due to high levels of spam, so it may take a little time before your comment is visible. Please let me know if you make one of my recipes or if you have any questions I will try to answer them. Janice

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