Vanilla Sea

One of the many good things about living in London is, of course, the excellent shopping. I’m not referring to Kings Road, Bond Street,  Portobello or such but the excellent choice for food. From artisan cheeses and Caribbean vegetables to Polish Delis and farmers markets, we’ve pretty much got it covered.

And of course there’s Borough market. On one hand it’s an overpriced tourist trap, on the other it’s the only place I know to get fresh horseradish for a Bloody Mary. It also has a regular turnover of stalls selling small production produce that’s hard to source elsewhere.

One such recent find from a jam and juice producer was something I’d never heard of before,   – Sea Buckthorn juice. It’s off the charts in vitamin C content with a distinctive, sour-sharp flavour and a pleasantly viscous consistency. I couldn’t wait to get it home and put it to use in a cocktail.

On the tube I decided the juice along with an added sweetener  of passionfruit cordial, was exactly what I needed to go with some vanilla-infused bourbon I’d been saving. Delicious, and with all those vitamins, good for you.

As a substitute for the Sea-buckthorn you could try juiced (or pureed and sieved) mango, peach, nectarine or, and this would be my first choice, cape gooseberries. Any of these fruits would also make a good garnish but I strongly recommend a basil leaf as well – the aroma really complements the drink.

Vanilla Sea

1 Vanilla Bourbon
1 Sea Buckthorn juice
1 Passion fruit cordial
0.5 Lillet Rouge
Dash Angostura bitters

(Use a 50 ml measure)

Shake all the ingredients and strain into an ice filled, old-fashioned glass. Garnish with slice of peach, basil leaf and blueberries.

Tips: To make passion fruit cordial mix 1 cup of Demerara sugar, 1 cup of water and the flesh of 4 passion fruits in a pan. Simmer until sugar dissolved and sieve out passion fruit seeds, ensuring all the flesh is pushed through. If you don’t have vanilla bourbon use vanilla sugar instead of Demerara or add a vanilla pod to the syrup.

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