Drink of the Week: Laverstoke Cocktail – 5 Smart Points

The picturesque Laverstoke Mill, the distillery where Bombay Saphire is made, is on my bucket list of places to visit. So when I saw a cocktail which had been created to mark the opening of this magical place, I had to try it.

I’m not a massive fan of ginger ale, and I’ve got to be honest, I wasn’t sure how it was going to marry with the elderflower cordial, but marry they did and for me, it was love at first sip!

In a large wine glass, mix together one measure of Bombay Saphire, one measure of Martini Extra Dry and 10ml of elderflower cordial. Add crushed ice and top with diet ginger ale. Garnish with a wedge of lime, a spring of mint and some fresh ginger. Cheers!

Drink of the Week: Hedgerow Chat – 3 Smart Points

Another gin-based cocktail this week, but this time, one that uses sloe gin. I usually think of sloe gin as a wintery option but couldn’t resist trying this surprisingly refreshing option on my summer hols.

Mix together a measure of sloe gin, 50ml of fresh orange juice, a dash of lemon juice and a teaspoon of vanilla syrup. Fill a short, wide glass with crushed ice. Pour in the gin and citrus mixture then top up with soda water. Garnish with a lemon ribbon and enjoy. Cheers!

P&O Azura 14 Night Mediterranean Cruise – Day 13: Sea Day

The first of 2 relaxing sea days as we sail home.

I started as usual with a visit to the gym before breakfast in the MDR where, for the first time this cruise, I had a full English. It’s not my favourite type of breakfast so I don’t often choose it but when Mr FFF and MIL had it last week, it looked really good. Unfortunately post-gym hunger meant that I forgot to take a picture of it.

As we’re now out of the Med and in the Atlantic, the temperature has dropped quite a bit and it was a bit windy on the outdoor decks. Luckily for us, we have a spacious balcony on the starboard side which got the sun all day and was sheltered enough to provide a very pleasant sunbathing and reading spot for me for the day.

We took a little break at lunch time to enjoy food in the MDR. I do enjoy a more leisurely MDR lunch from time to time and today’s disn’t disappoint. I had a ricotta ravioli that had been fried giving it a nice crisp texture followed by a chicken Caesar wrap which was very fresh and garlicky.

After a bit more relaxing, it was time to get ready for our final formal night which tonight had a ‘black and white’ theme. We took time to get some photographs taken at different locations around the ship as we’d like to have a nice photo of the three of us as a memento of the cruise.

For dinner this evening, I decided to try the ‘always available’ option of prawn cocktail which is a classic that I very much enjoy. This was followed by an incredibly tender roast prime rib and finally, a creamy but light Irish cream soufflé topped with a delicious piece of fudge. We didn’t want to miss the early performance of tonight’s show so decided not to have tea or coffee. It was a nice touch that the waiter still brought us a plate of petit fours which was more of the fudge that had garnished my dessert. Yum!

Tonight’s entertainment was a comedian/impressionist/musician by the name of Mark Walker who had performed earlier in the cruise and whom we’d heard good reviews of. He is Roy Walker’s (of Catchphrase fame) son and was very funny.

After the show, we went up to the Planet Bar to listen to the acoustic duo with another couple of drinks. I chose one of their gin flights: 3 samples of gin served with Fever-Tree tonic and garnish. It was £9.95 and, like the wine flights available in the Glass House, a good value way to sample a some different gins.

Tomorrow is our last day and we will again be relaxing at sea.

Thanks for reading,


Drink of The Week: Hendrick’s Gin with Cucumber

hendricks-cucumberMy previously reported education in the delights of gin continues to go well.

This week’s lesson comes courtesy of a bottle of Hendrick’s Gin from one lovely friend, and the suggestion to serve that particular gin with cucumber from the equally lovely friend who got me in to gin in the first place.

Delicious, smooth and refreshing, I poured the gin over the ice and cucumber before topping with Fever Tree Indian Tonic and muddling gently for 3sp per serving for a single, or 5sp for a double.

Mr FFF and my mum have also confirmed that this is indeed delicious.

Drink of The Week: Sipsmiths Gin with Elderflower & Lime

sipsmith-fever-tree-elderflower-limeAs I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve recently been getting into gin.

My first ever home-poured G&T, I decided to go with a classic flavour that I love and chose Fever Tree Tonic with Elderflower as my mixer and lime as my garnish.

It was delicious – refreshing and zingy with a hint of sweetness from the elderflower – and works out at just 3sp per serving for a single, or 5sp for a double.

Drink of the Week: An Introduction (starting with Gin)

Not only do I like food, I also like a nice drink.

You know how some people have a particular drink that they always order?  I’m not one of those people.  For me, what I choose to drink depends very much on the mood I’m in, and if it’s to accompany or begin a meal, what I’m going to be eating.

As with food, I love to try different drinks and experiment with different flavour combinations – unless I’m in the mood for something in particular, you can pretty much guarantee that I’m going to pick something off a cocktail menu or wine list that I haven’t tried before to see what it’s like.

As drink is so often consumed before, with or after food, I thought it might be interesting to share some of the things I try with you.

We’ll be starting with gin

A dear friend of mine has been introducing me to gin over the past few years.  She’s a big fan and I wasn’t.  But when we first went to the BBC Good Food Show together a few years ago, I joined her in tasting all of the samples on offer.  I must admit, I wasn’t keen at first (although I drank them anyway) but a few years on, I’d started to get quite a taste for it.  So I asked for her advice on which to buy.  She suggested several, and in the end, I went for Sipsmiths as they had a 35cl bottle available at Asda for £14.50 and I thought this would be a good place to start. I’ve since acquired a bottle of Hendricks from another kind friend and I’ve been trying different mixers and garnishes out over the past couple of weeks.

I look forward to sharing my drinks with you in the coming weeks.  If you’ve got any favourites you think I should try, please let me know.