Category Archives: Ingredients

Happy New Year – The Winter Martini

Damson Gin

Happy New Year everyone. This year I promise to try and update this blog more regularly and to try and stop thinking of it as homework and thus a chore.

Well another Christmas has come and gone, and I have put on about a stone by eating various combinations of pork wrapped in pastry. This year though the Christmas hit was the Christmas Martini that we invented a sassy alternative to the regular classic martini. This does require preparation though, about 3 months in advance!

The advance notice is required for the Damson Gin which is a doddle to work.

Damson Gin

Get a pound of damsons and freeze them, this will split the skins to make the damsons infuse the alcohol better. Grab the damsons out of the freezer and put them in a large kilner jar (i used a litre one) with 750ml of cheap gin (don’t bother with Bombay Sapphire!) and 4 heaped tablespoons of caster sugar.

Shake once a day for the first week, then once a week for the remains weeks to Christmas. The longer you leave it the better it gets but I guess you could get away with doing it just a month before Christmas. After a while, the gin will take on a nice pink hue, delicately flavoured by the damsons.

Cheers! The finished Martini with a boozy Damson treat

To make the Martini add two parts of the gin to one part vermouth and shake through ice. Garnish with one of the damsons for a boozy treat at the finish.

Once drunk, don’t be tempted as we were, hungry for more, to add gin and shake like a madman as it just won’t work. Instead enjoy the alcohol sodden fruit with a good vanilla ice-cream for a post Christmas treat!


The humble baked potato

Delicious baked potato

Delicious baked potato

Pretty gloomy day at work. Needed carbohydrates when I got home. Did baked potatoes the proper way, an hour and a half in a medium oven. Squeezed it and I thought it wasn’t done as it was rock hard but as the skin cracked I realised that it was just the crisp carapace that was hard, inside was poetically fluffy. Served it with butter and maldon salt. Cheered me up a bit…

The Humble Harrods Pie

** Update ** Lots of pastry so mash would be an overload. Ended up stir frying mushrooms and baby courgettes with plenty of salt pepper and flat leaf parsley. Was yummy. Made a dry martini as well. Making a cocktail for one is so goddamn decadent!  Hmm wheres that Green and Black white chocolate ice cream with raspberries.

Cor! What a beauty! Tonights meal will be built around this wonderful Steak and Damson pie from Harrods. *TIP* head down there on a Sunday as they price them all down. Yes! I was shocked too, even Harrods do end of day pricedowns. I hovered around a whole Fois Gras too but the counter assistant wouldn’t budge. Am not sure what to put with this crisp crusted delight but going by previous constructions it will probably involve a big dollop of mash, some asparagus and some carrots.

Harrods Pie

Harrods Steak and Damson Pie