Fruits of Your Labours
by Sheila Swerling-Puritt
Summer in Canada is on the wane, which means long hot sunny days and lingering languorous evenings are soon to be a thing of the past. I don't know about you, but I find that entertaining starts to move out of those evenings (and wonderful vacation afternoons) and concentrates in the weekends. Sunday brunch (and on into the afternoon) remains a big favourite with me, providing a great transition from the season's luscious sticky tropical fruit cocktails to quick and easy late summer and fall fruit drinks.
Canadians are blessed with a wide variety of delicious fresh fruit juices and fruit wines, which make for delicious mixing. Good juice adds depth and dimension to any drink, and works well with most spirits. Juicy cocktails glow with sweet spices, making them perfect partners for autumnal desserts.
Harvest time also offers Canadian mixologists a wonderful bounty of fruit to use as garnishes for your tipples. You'd be amazed how far an apple can take cinnamon-laced rum-based drinks, while plums add a crisp crunchy dimension to gin-based cocktails.
Be creative. Visit your local farmer's market and scoop up some of the available fruit and juices. Bring on those fragrant spices experiment perhaps with cinnamon or nutmeg. Here are a few cocktails to guide you in your research.
Here is one that is low in alcohol and not bad in the calorie department.
Apple Sherry Daiquiri
- 2 oz. Lustau Palo Cortado Sherry
- 1½ oz lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 1½ tsp. superfine sugar
- ¾ oz. apple juice
- Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
- Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass.
- Garnish with a slice of fresh apple which has been dipped first into lemon juice then sprinkled with a little ground cinnamon.
Golden Apricot Sour
- 1 tsp. superfine sugar
- 1 oz. lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 oz. apricot brandy
- 1 oz. apricot juice
- ½ slice fresh apricot and a maraschino cherry for garnish
- Mix sugar and lemon juice until sugar dissolves.
- Combine ingredients with ice cubes in a cocktail shaker.
- Shake, strain into a sour or pony glass.
- Garnish with a slice of apricot (run the used lemon piece over the apricot to keep its colour) and a maraschino cherry.
Little Jack Horner
makes 10 servings
- 1¼ cups sugar
- 1½ cups water
- 5 plums pitted and each cut into 5 wedges
- 2 large limes cut into 10 wedges
- 15 oz. Broker's Gin
- Sparkling water
- Cook sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat, until sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil.
- Stir in plums; remove from heat.
- Remove plums and cool, then refrigerate syrup until cold.
- Fill 10 highball glasses ¾ full with ice.
- Squeeze 1 lime wedge into each glass; add wedge to glass.
- Stir ¼ cup syrup and 1½ oz. gin into each glass.
- Add sparkling water to fill; stir
- Garnish with plums.
For those evenings when it begins to get a bit cool, but you want to remain outdoors. (By the way, this coffee is also delicious made with chilled coffee).
Dear Mr. Goldie
- 2 oz. Drambuie
- 5 oz. hot coffee (I prefer espresso; regular or decaffeinated coffee works as well)
- Whipped cream
- Ground cinnamon for garnish
- Pour Drambuie into a cup.
- Add hot coffee. (You don't need to add sugar, as the Drambuie is sweet.)
- Top with whipped cream.
- Sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon over the whipped cream.
- Sip through the whipped cream.
For more information, you can contact Sheila at email@example.com.