I was struggling with the loss of summer last month. A few Autumn acclimatisation cocktails later and I am back with the seasonal programme. I am out a lot enjoying the scarf and gloves weather (I'm really going for walks so I can listen to the Serial podcast).
When I get back after a late afternoon ramble a warming cocktail seems like just the ticket. This weekend I hope to get organised enough to make it in advance and bring it out with me in a flask.
This is a really easy cocktail. A light sugar syrup infused with spices forms the base and is topped up with sloe gin. You can make a little or a lot of the base depending on how many people are coming out to enjoy the Autumn weather with you.
2 parts water (I used 2 cups)
1 part sugar (I used 1 cup)
1 part apple juice (I used 1 cup)
spices: cinnamon stick, star anise, cardamom pods, juniper berries
squeeze of lemon
sloe gin or vodka
Heat the water, the sugar and the apple juice with the spices in a saucepan. Bring to the boil and allow to simmer for at least an hour. Your house is going to smell fantastic at this stage. Strain out the spices, return to the pan and add a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Ensure the mixture is nice and hot. Warm a cup or heat proof glass with boiling water. Half fill the glass with the light syrup and then top up with sloe gin. Garnish with lemon slices and spices.
You can hear me talking about this Autumnal cocktail on the Flavour programme (Cambridge 105) at 12 noon today.