Category Archives: drink

gin sour

A jolly good stiff drink for pandemic times. Sour, sweet and icy.

quantities for 1 drink
1.5 oz (43 ml) good London dry gin e.g. Gordons or Bombay Sapphire

note: this is a single ‘shot’ in countries like the US
2 tsp caster sugar
2 egg whites
2 tbsp lemon juice

Put the ingredients with plenty of ice into a cocktail shaker and shake hard. Strain, rinse out the strainer, return to the shaker and shake hard again to get a fine foamy head. Strain evenly into a cocktail glass.

This is finest when everything is ice cold. Put your glasses in the freezer. Also brilliant with lime juice.

Making tea

First, a note on types of tea. Tea leaves are picked from their tree. Chinese green tea is simply dried, then packaged. It must be kept refrigerated and lasts no longer than 6 months. Beyond green tea are fermented teas of varying degree to fully fermented, or black, tea. Oolong is partially fermented. Darjeeling is a fully fermented tea, and will last a long time in a vacuum-sealed bag. Fermented teas do not need to be kept in the fridge.

Chinese green tea

Boil water then allow it cool to 80’C. Place 2-3 g of tea (about a tablespoon) in a clear highball glass and add 200 ml of hot water. The glass is for you to enjoy the appearance of the leaves. They should be very green. Brew for 3 minutes then strain into a small glass serving jug, and serve from there into small  tea cups. The tea should be drunk hot. The same leaves may be brewed 3 times, but at the same sitting.

Chinese partially fermented green tea

Take a chinese tea pot or cup and add 200 ml of boiling water to 3 g of tea. Brew 2 minutes, strain into a small glass serving jug and discard. Let the second brew stand a little longer than the first, the third longer than the second, and so on. The same leaves should yield 5-7 brews. Apparently the 3rd or 4th should be the finest. You can leave the leafs in the tea pot all day, brewing when needed.

Hot chocolate

As the Parisians make it. A drink for a king! This could be the ultimate way to take chocolate.  (yields 4 x 175 ml cups)

550 ml milk
50 ml good quality water
60 g caster sugar
100 g dark chocolate 70%, finely chopped
28 g cocoa powder, preferably Valrhona, sieved

In a good-sized saucepan, stir together the milk, water, sugar and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the chocolate and cocoa and bring to a boil again, whisking until all has dissolved and the liquid has thickened. Reduce heat to very low and blend with a barmix for 5 minutes until the chocolate is thick and foamy. Allow guests to sprinkle ground cinnamon over if they wish.

Source: ‘It must have been something I ate’


50 ml cachaca (Brazilian spirits)
1/2 lime cut in wedges
2 tsp sugar syrup

Pound lime with sugar in an old-fashioned glass with a pestle. Add ice and cachaca and shake vigorously. Pour into a rocks glass and garnish.

apple toddy (15 servings)

4 liters unfiltered apple juice
a bottle of brown rum
200 g unrefined sugar
1 vanilla pod, split
10 star anise
1 lemon, grated rind and juice
1 tbsp cardamon pods, lightly crushed

Heat everything except the rum together and stand for at least a couple of hours. Adjust sugar and lemon juice to balance the toddy’s acidity.

Just before serving heat to below boiling, add the rum and serve immediately. If your guests are thirsty, make lots!

From: Camilla Plumb

Qahwah – Saudi Coffee

I hate coffee. Apart from this wonderful, fragrant version that I first had in the desert of Saudi Arabia that tastes nothing like coffee.

Saudi coffee beans (on how to roast your own see below)
cardamon pods

Very roughly grind the coffee, grind the whole cardamon pods in a mortar. For each 200ml of water use one heaped table spoon each of coffee and cardamon, 2 cloves and a quarter teaspoon of saffron. Boil for 5 minutes then reduce heat and leave to very slightly simmer for half an hour. Taste and if not strong enough leave to simmer longer. Strain into a serving jug. Serve in very small amounts in tiny cups, together with dates, the Saudi “Sukkary” variety are the best.

Variations: some people add ground ginger or a little cinnamon or rose water instead of cloves.


Get fresh green 100 % Arabica beans. You can roast in a frying pan over medium heat or in a 260 degree C oven on a perforated baking sheet. They should be roasted to a very light golden brown, which takes between three minutes and up to 20 minutes, depending on the intensity of the heat and the roasting method you’re using so it is best to watch them closely and remove them from the heat as soon as they’re ready.

Grind your coffee to your desired fineness. The most traditional means of grinding Saudi coffee is with a mortar and pestle, although the easiest and most common way is to use an electric canister grinder. You may also find that a hand-crank style burr grinder will grind the beans quickly while giving you greater control over the fineness of the grounds. Finer grounds will result in a stronger and somewhat more bitter brew, while coarser ground give you a milder, more mellow flavor.

Noman Kidwah &

moroccan mint tea & cornes de gazelle

For this you need some Chinese gunpowder tea, using one small teapsoon per cup and good fresh mint leaves. “Wash” the tea by covering the required amount of tea with one cup of boiling water, wait one minute, strain. Half fill a teapot with fresh mint leaves, add the washed tea and boiling water. Add sugar to taste straight to the pot. It should be quite sweet!

Pour the first glass and return it to the teapot, repeat this a couple of times to mix the tea well. Taste and if required let brew longer or add sugar. Serve by pouring from quite a distance, about half a meter into small glasses to form a foamy head. This really makes a difference!

I found a wonderful pastry called cornes de gazelle in a small patisserie in Casablanca and they go very well with the tea.

filo pastry
300grs almonds, skinned and ground
120 grs sugar
50 grs butter
cinammon, icing sugar

Mix almonds, sugar, a tbsp of rosewater, a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon and butter to form a dough. Shape into little cylinders. Brush filo pastry with butter, cut into squares of ca. 8×8 cms , fill with the almonds and roll into a horn shape. Brush with butter and bake 15 minutes at 160 oC. Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve warm.