Sorry, guys. I meant to come home and make the most delicious-sounding rhubarb and rye scones from my new favourite place for finding things to do with rhubarb. I also meant to make watermelon lemonade, because somehow it’s been 30 degrees out for the last two weeks and I’ve sort of forgotten what to do when that happens but I’m pretty sure long, refreshing drinks are in order, and what sounds more refreshing than watermelon lemonade?
Instead, though, I didn’t. Firstly, I got distracted by a boyfriend (mine, just to be clear) in a pub garden with a glass of pimms and some calamari – not a good start, productivity-wise – and then, then, somebody on twitter posted that the water at Claverton Weir, my
second new favourite swimming spot, is at a perfect temperature right now. I am not so good at resisting that kind of temptation, apparently.
Normally, I do try not to give people the impression that I am some kind of fruit-obsessed dipsomaniac. I realise that posting a recipe for rhubarb schnapps right after one for a blood orange gin cocktail will probably not help my case very much, but if I wait a suitable period of time before I tell you about the schnapps it will be too late for you to make some too, and that would not do.
You see, the recipe calls for early pink rhubarb, and there is only so much ‘early’ (how is it March already? What happened?) left in the year. I suppose you could make this with ordinary, bog-standard rhubarb, but it would not glow nearly as alluringly sat on the kitchen windowsill: this is by far the prettiest drink in my house, even in a booze cupboard which includes violet liqueur. I can give it no higher recommendation. Well, apart from the fact that it’s also quite delicious – but look at it! do you even care what it tastes like?
I have bought three new recipe books in the last week. This is an issue, as we have run out of shelf, and John stubbornly refuses to throw away any of his recipe books to make way for mine: very unreasonable, I’m sure you will agree. No? We will probably be able to find a small corner of our
library lounge to stack them in, somewhere, but I should have known better than to pick up a copy of Polpo in a bookshop last weekend. It flopped open, obligingly (it opens flat! the excitement!), on a recipe for blood orange and Campari cake. Of course, now I have to have it. I knew this would happen.
I’d not tried Campari before – it is not widely ordered at pubs in Bath, after all, and looks just a little alarming to the uninitiated – but I kept coming across references to it (along with its milder cousin Aperol) written by people whose taste has yet to fail me, and so I finally plucked up the courage to order a Negroni a couple of weeks ago. Now I am hooked. The first taste was a little alarming – Campari is a bitters, after all, and I’ve not found very many mentions of it that don’t also include the word ‘medicinal’ – but I am easily sold on a gin-based cocktail, and after the first sip the palate adjusts and the bitterness of the Campari is tempered nicely by the sweetness of the Martini. That’s what I think, anyway, but the faces of the few people who’ve had a sip of what I’m drinking might persuade you otherwise.