Posts Tagged ‘Drinks’

Horseradish Bloody Mary's

We start every year with a great big lunch with friends, some of whom may require a pick me up after the night before. What better excuse to make some horseradish spiked vodka! Not for the faint-hearted mind and you can of course use any good-quality vodka.

Blood Mary – serves 8 – 10 

  • 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 2-3 tsp Tabasco
  • 3 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp sherry vinegar
  • 2 tsp soft brown sugar
  • 2 tsp celery salt, plus extra to serve
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus extra to serve
  • 350ml horseradish vodka (see below) or any good vodka, chilled
  • about 1 litre good-quality tomato juice, chilled
  • sticks of leafy celery, to serve
  • thyme sprigs, to serve


  • 1 horseradish root
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 tbsp runny honey
  • 1 litre good-quality vodka

To make the horseradish vodka: Peel the horseradish root and slice into long thin pieces. Put the horseradish and thyme into a clean 1 litre glass bottle. Combine the honey with a splash of vodka in a small bowl and stir to dissolve. Pour this into the bottle with the horseradish and thyme, then top up with the remaining vodka. Leave in a dark place to infuse for 3-5 days. When ready, pass the vodka through a sieve and throw away the horseradish (or make sauce!) and thyme. Return the vodka to the bottle and seal. It will keep for a long time.

To make the Bloody Mary, whisk the smoked paprika, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, sugar, celery salt and black pepper together in a large, wide jug. Pour over the vodka and tomato juice and stir well.

Divide the Bloody Mary between glasses, then garnish each with a celery stick, a sprig of thyme, a pinch of celery salt and a twist of black pepper. Serve immediately.

(Original recipe from Time by Gill Meller, Quadrille, 2018.)


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Harissa & Goat's Cheese Buns

Try these at the weekend, they’re a good accompaniment for drinks, something fizzy perhaps. They taste best hot but you can have them all prepped on trays in the fridge ready to slide into the oven as people arrive. A nice idea from two of our very favourite cooks – Sarit Packer & Itamer Srulovich of Honey & Co.

Wine suggestion: a good crémant. For fun we opened the Taille Princess Blanc de Gérard Depardieu by Bouvet-Ladubay, a Chenin Blanc-Chardonnay sparkling from Saumur. We chuckle every time with the liberal use of Gérard’s branding and his portrait on the label and on the capsule. That said it is an excellent crémant and a good match to savoury cheese bites like these.

Harissa & Goat’s Cheese Buns – makes about 20 

  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 100g butter (at room temperature), diced
  • 1 egg, lightly whisked and divided into 2 small bowls
  • 60g grated pecorino or Parmesan
  • 125g ricotta
  • 125g soft, young, rindless goat’s cheese
  • 30g rose harissa paste
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp whole cumin seeds

Put the flour and butter in a mixer bowl with a paddle attachment and combine to a crumb-like consistency.

Add half the egg and half the grated pecorino or Parmesan, along with the ricotta, goat’s cheese, harissa paste and salt. Mix together to form a soft, pliable dough.

Divide the dough into two pieces and roll each one into a log about 20cm long. Brush each log all over with the other half of the egg.

Mix the rest of the cheese with the cumin seeds and sprinkle over the work surface. Roll the logs in the mixture until coated all over. Put the logs on a try in the fridge to rest for at least an hour or up to 48 hours.

When ready to bake, heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

Cut each log into about 10 slices, about 2cm thick, and lay them on a lined baking tray. Bake for 13-15 minutes until teh cheese is golden but the buns are still soft. Serve hot.

(Original recipe from Honey & Co. At Home by Sarit Packer & Itamar Srulovich, Pavilion, 2018.)

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Preserved peppers with goats cheese & pine nuts

These are delicious and super easy to put together in advance. They will come to no harm in the fridge for a few hours but take them out about 30 minutes before you serve them so they’re not fridge cold. They look pretty piled into a bowl too.

Wine Suggestion: the hot peppers makes some wines, especially reds, taste a bit metallic. Sauvignon Blanc and Gruner Veltliner are the obvious match for the ingredients in this dish. However, as it’s Christmas and we’re in a celebratory mood we opened a Sparking Saumur and found that good bubbly makes a superb match too.

Preserved Peppers Stuffed with Goats’ Cheese & Pine Nuts – makes lots

  • 400g jar Peppadew peppers (or other preserved mini red peppers)
  • 300-400g soft goats’ cheese
  • finely grated zest of 2 unwaxed lemons
  • 1 heaped tsp of dried mint
  • 30g of mint, leaves finely chopped
  • 75g toasted pine nuts, roughly chopped

Drain the peppers and pat them dry with kitchen paper – be nice and gentle so they don’t tear.

Put the goats’ cheese, lemon zest, dried and fresh mint and chopped pine nuts into a bowl, season generously with black pepper and mix together with a fork.

Take a small plastic food bag and snip one of the bottom corners off with scissors. Spoon the cheese mixture into the bag (it’s easier if you do it a bit at a time) and use to pipe the mixture into the peppers.

Serve straight away or keep in the fridge until later.

(Original recipe from Feasts by Sabrina Ghayour, Mitchell Beazley, 2017.)

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