I am a little surprised by the number of cocktails I have developed for this blog. I’m not a big cocktail drinker but somehow I cannot help myself – the minute I start thinking about different ways to work with interesting fruits, vegetables, herbs or spices, I start to imagine about how they might translate into delicious cocktails. A pint of luscious red currants from the Ottawa Farmers’ Market was this week’s inspiration – not quite enough to make jelly, too many seeds in the little red orbs for jam or a condiment. Then I thought about how red currants are similar in flavour to cranberries, which led me to the lovely Cosmopolitan. I think this is my new favourite drink.
For the red currant juice
- 1 pint (approx 300 g) fresh red currants
- 2 cups water
- 1/3 cup (90 mL) sugar (add up to 2 tablespoons/30 mL if you prefer things sweeter)
For the cocktail
- 2 ounces (60 mL) vodka
- 1/2 ounce (15 mL) Triple Sec or other orange liqueur
- 1 ounce (30 mL) red currant juice
- 1/2 ounce (15 mL) freshly squeezed lime juice
For the juice
- Put red currants and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
- Pour the berries and water into a cheesecloth-lined sieve or colander elevated over a bowl. Allow to drip for 5 minutes. Do not squeeze or press down on the fruit while it is dripping as this will make the juice cloudy.
- While juice is dripping, wash the pot that you cooked the berries in.
- Return the juice to the clean pot along with the 1/3 cup (90 mL) sugar. Heat, stirring, just until sugar dissolves. Taste the juice and if it is too tart for your liking, add up to 2 tablespoons (30 mL) more sugar.
- Pour the finished juice into a clean 2 cup / 500 mL glass jar. Cover and refrigerate until chilled. Juice can be stored in the fridge for one week or frozen for up to a year. If freezing, make sure to leave at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) headspace at the top of the jar.
For one cocktail
- Fill a cocktail shaker (or clean 500 mL/2 cup glass jar with a tight lid) with ice. Add vodka, Triple Sec, red currant juice and lime juice.
- Cover and shake for 1 minute to thoroughly blend and chill the drink.
- Strain into a glass and garnish with either fresh red currants, a lime slice or and orange slice.