I should start this recipe by referring to one of the earliest recipes, written in 1895, that specifies the following:
“Dissolve a small lump of sugar with a little water in a whiskey-glass; add two dashes Angostura bitters, a small piece ice, a piece lemon-peel, one jigger whiskey. Mix with small bar-spoon and serve, leaving spoon in glass.”
Many more recipes followed since these early days. One of the most current ones was shared with me by my close friend Jimmy together with a story.
He used to mix old-fashioned whiskeys at his father’s bar somewhere at the suburbs of New York. His recipe was much enjoyed by elder ladies who were particularly asking for Jimmy’s old fashioned whiskey. This is actually a slight different version from what he shared with us.
- 2 oz/shots rye whiskey (usually Canadian Whiskey) or Bourbon
- juice from 1/2 orange
- 1/2 oz/shot grenadine home made syrup
- 4 dashes Angostura orange bitters
- 1/2 oz/shot maraskino syrup
- 2 maraskino cherries
- 1 orange peel
And now what?
In an old fashioned glass add the orange juice, the Angostura bitters and 1 maraskino cherry. Squeeze the cherry with a pestle.
Fill the glass with ice and add the whiskey and maraskino syrup (this is the liquid where the cherries are preserved in). Stir the mixture with a spoon. Leave the spoon in the glass and top up with the grenadine syrup, maraskino cherry and orange peel.
It’s pomegranate season and the local street food markets are filled with juicy and delicious pomegranate fruits. Apart from a healthy and flavourful fresh juice you can also prepare some fresh grenadine syrup and spice up your cocktail bar.
Our home made grenadine syrup, no preservatives no food colouring. Only natural colours and flavours!
- 2 big pomegranates (ripe, If you are able to scratch the skin using your fingernail and gentle pressure then is ripe). They should give you approximately a big cup of juice
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 12 dashes of Peychauds aromatic bitters or other bitters like Angostura (optional)
And now what?
The process is simple. We do not want to damage the flavours and vitamins so no boiling involved for this syrup.
First you get the juice out of the fruit. I usually use a fine sieve and a pestle to squeeze the seeds and extract the juice.
Squeeze the seeds with a pestle and extract the juices
Once you have the juice, add equal parts caster sugar. This is a recipe for a 1-to-1 simple syrup. I estimate that 2 ripe fruits will give you a big cup of juice thus you should add equal quantity of caster sugar. You can always adjust this based on your taste and the use of the syrup. At the end add the bitters and shake well until sugar is dissolved in the liquid.
Enjoy your syrup with cocktails and sweets.
You can refrigerate the syrup for up to a month.
Today we are going to make a super delicious and easy to make eggplant dip. This is a very traditional Greek dip however you will find similar recipes all across the Mediterranean region so I will definitely not claim the origin of the recipe.
Our flavourful eggplant dip on top of an olive oil rusk. Delicious!
- 6 medium eggplants. That should be around 2 kg, the size is similar to a tenis ball
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (try to get the best quality you can)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
- 1/2 cup crashed walnuts (I use my hand to crumble them)
- 350gr yogurt (you can always use more or less depending on your taste, more yogurt will give a lighter texture to your dip)
- 2 tbs white wine vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
And now what?
Start by roasting the eggplants in the grill of your oven for approximately 30 minutes or until your eggplants turn soft and tender inside. You can test with a fork if they feel easily squeezed. Then set them aside to cool down so they are easier to handle. Remove the inside in a bowl with a spoon.
Roast the eggplants. Bring to room temperature and remove the inside in a bowl.
Add half of the olive oil and start blending with a fork. I usually don’t use any food processor otherwise your dip will turn too creamy. Keeping the texture of the materials really brings more flavour and body in this recipe. Keep adding more olive oil until your mix has absorbed all of it, this will only take 2-3 minutes. Then use a garlic press to squeeze the garlic in the mixture, add the yogurt and keep blending with your fork for another minute until you have a nicely blended mix.
Blend in the olive oil with a fork. Add the yogurt and keep blending the mixture. Continue with adding the walnuts, parsley.
Continue by adding the walnuts and parsley as you keep stirring your dip with the fork. Finish with salt, pepper and vinegar to taste. I usually like a stronger taste of vinegar and I will go and add more than 2 table spoons but keep this measure as base and then after tasting add a little bit more.
Enjoy your dip with toasted bread, rusks, tortillas or pita bread.