Happy New Year’s Eve, everyone (or Happy Hogmanay, to my fellow Scots)! It’s almost 2016! Which of course makes me think what on earth happened to 2015. It went pretty fast, but I do feel like I have a fair bit to show for it – over 160 posts on this blog, travel to places as diverse as Malaysia, Denmark and Cyprus. Oh and the new addition to our family of course. On the blog front, what were your favorites? Any guess on what the most popular posts were? Have a think and I’ll let you know soon. In the meantime, here’s a tasty strawberry collins so you have it before New Year. It’s so easy to make and delicious, you might just want to quickly pop out to get the ingredients to have one later.
I know it might not seem like strawberry season if you’re somewhere like me where it’s getting decidedly colder each day. In fact we just had our first snow! While we did have that weird warm spell over Christmas, we know we’re in for months of cold, if we’re honest. However it’s actually perfect strawberry season in other parts of the country, like Florida. I didn’t realize this until Sunday Supper, who I often post with on Sundays, partnered up with the Florida Strawberry Growers Association recently, which make me consider buying strawberries (I wouldn’t normally do this as I’d assume they were greenhouse grown and so likely tasteless). I was pleasantly surprised by the delicious smell in the supermarket as I stood in front of them – they smelled real! Anyway they make a great base for this delicious drink which is also a perfectly seasonal color.
What is a ‘Collins’?
In case you’re not aware, this is a variation on a Tom Collins, made with gin, lemon, simple syrup and soda. It’s different from a gin fizz as there’s more lemon, but is similarly a very classic cocktail. There are many variations with different spirits (you could use vodka instead) and other ingredient variations such as the strawberry here. The pomegranate syrup in this strawberry collins is my nod to the current time of year (without being something you can’t get at other times). You can miss it out if you can’t find it but it does add a nice flavor. In fact, you could add a little more if you like as well.
I know it’s another drink soon after sharing another, but it’s that time of year, whether warm and comforting, or a little sparkly and special like this one. Plus, this strawberry collins is so tasty it seemed a shame not to share. It would also be great for toasting the New Year and I’m going to be taking it to Angie and co at Fiesta Friday tomorrow as the 100th post/2nd anniversary party is continuing. And drinks are always needed, right? OK, enough excuses, just give this a try and no more will be needed. And happy new year to you. I hope you’ll join me in more culinary adventures in 2016 and beyond.
- approx 10 strawberries, less if large (plus more for 'ice cubes' if you like)
- 4tsp sugar
- 2tbsp lemon juice (approx ½ lemon)
- 3oz gin
- 1tsp pomegranate syrup/molasses (or a little more to taste)
- soda water
- ice cubes
- If you'd like strawberry 'ice cubes', freeze a few strawberries on a tray until frozen: it should take a few hours. Then transfer to a container until you are ready to use them. They'll keep for a number of months. (Plus, hey look pretty, don't dilute your drink and you can eat them after!)
- Puree the strawberries in a small blender then mix in the sugar until it dissolves.
- Put 1tbsp of lemon juice each in the bottom of two glasses. Then add 1½oz of gin to each as well. Divide the strawberry puree between the two glasses (you can strain it if you'd like to try to remove some of the seeds) and stir the mixture.
- Add the frozen strawberries to the glasses along with one or two ice cubes, if you'd like/if needed. Then top up the glasses with soda water.
- Drizzle around ½tsp of pomegranate syrup/molasses over each glass and stir through before drinking.