So one day you find yourself standing in your kitchen with a lot of stolen autumnal produce and you decide you need to make a cocktail.
Ok that's not strictly true.
We've been scoring a lot of windfall produce lately thanks to our neighbours. Whenever we're out for a walk around the village we can't seem to stop ourselves from leaning over the fence to scoop up a couple of apples or pears. Occasionally we can even be spotted guilty loading our pockets to bursting point. Some might call this scrumping; I would call this resourcefulness and a commitment to zero waste but let's not split hairs when produce tastes this good. I should say that my neighbours are fully aware of what we're doing. Rather thoughtfully, they've taken to smiling and turning away as they see us coming, as if they understand that the bounty tastes better somehow when we scoop it from right under their noses. Elicit fruit scored by scrumping makes me feel very nostalgic and homely somehow.
I'm fairly sure that's how I came to crave something mulled to drink. I was having a wistful moment where I pictured hopping across a dry stone wall to a forbidden orchard and discovered boughs heavy with produce. I started thinking about pies, pressing apples for cider and suddenly I felt very cosy indeed. This homely affection seems ever so slightly at odds with the fact I appear to be turning into a petty thief.
All things mulled are brilliant and at some point I will share my ultimate mulled wine guide (SPOILER: it's rocket fuel) but for now let's talk about apples and pears and what happens when you add ginger and rum. Oh yes.
With our glut of pears, I'd decided to make some purée. Pear purée is my daughters favourite thing since she was a wee one so while making up this recipe I thought I'd pop some in and was so pleased with the results. It takes this winter cocktail somewhere a little more substantial and comforting. What better way to warm hands cold from stealing fruit than a warming mug of mulled pear and ginger?
So if you're ready...
3-4 tbsp pear puree
5 cardamon pods, gently bruised
2 tbsp of syrup from stem ginger
1 nugget of stem ginger, finely grated
Juice of 1 lime
1 litre cloudy apple juice
2-3 shots of Spiced Rum (I'm a big fan of Captain Morgan's or Kraken)
To make the puree, I simply chopped several pears, covered them with about a centimetre of water and simmered for 15-20 minutes on a low heat. Once nice and mushy, I usually blitz them in the food processor.
1. Add the puree, cardamon pods and ginger syrup to a saucepan and gently warm enough to infuse.
2. Stir in the grated ginger and lime juice before adding the apple juice and cinnamon sticks. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally for 2-3 minutes. (I tend to use the lime to cut through the sweetness of this recipe so do fiddle here for your own preference)
3. Add the rum and serve immediately into glasses or tip into a flask, grab some enamel mugs and enjoy an autumnal picnic with a truly warming beverage.
If you like seasonal cocktails, you might enjoy my Pinterest Board, Cocktail Love which is kind of my happy place to cruise for new drink ideas. You can also pin this post thanks to the handy image below: