Tag Archives: drinks

T&T 23 | All About Wine With Amelia Singer

Listen to the latest Tea & Tattle Podcast Episode here or on iTunes.

This Tuesday, I’m joined by the utterly delightful Amelia Singer, a wine educator and expert. You may recognise Amelia as a host on ITV’s The Wine Show and also from her videos on Jamie Oliver’s Drinks Tube. Amelia runs her online website and event business, offering a range of events, wine tastings and insights into the wine industry. I can’t wait to book one of Amelia’s Mews House Musings supper clubs, which she hosts in her own home in Notting Hill.

Amelia Singer and fellow co-hosts of The Wine Show. Photo credit: The Wine Show.

I’m a big fan of Amelia’s fun, accessible approach to wine, and I had a wonderful time chatting to her for this episode. Our talk ranged from what it’s like to be a woman in a fairly male-dominated industry, to Amelia’s favourite book and wine pairings.

We also discussed the best way to serve champagne (and surprising food that goes particularly well with bubbles – who knew fish & chips would be such a hit?!), as well as great wine bars in London and what drink to order on a first date. Amelia is such an incredible source of knowledge on everything wine related – I could have spoken to her for hours!

Middlemarch by George Eliot (one of Amelia’s favourite books)

Listen for a fun conversation on women in the wine industry, book and wine pairings, what to drink on a first date and so much more. 

Christmas Drink

Christmas Drink

Along with mulled wine, this is my favourite drink to make for Christmas parties. I find it even tastier than eggnog, and it’s incredibly easy to whip up (all it involves is putting 4 ingredients in a blender and pressing the power button). This is an old family favourite, and I find it always goes down well with a crowd. I highly recommend adding it to your own repertoire of good party fare!

Christmas Drink | Miranda's Notebook

Christmas Drink
 
A delicious drink that's perfect for Christmas parties.

Ingredients
  • I can of evaporated milk
  • ⅓ - ½ cup condensed milk (depending on how sweet you like it - I tend to use ⅓ cup)
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 tablespoons rum
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients (apart from the nutmeg) into a blender and blend well. Pour into glasses and sprinkle with freshly grated nutmeg (the nutmeg is definitely an essential ingredient - not just an optional garnish - it makes all the difference!).
  2. Enjoy!

 

What’s your favourite beverage to serve at a Christmas party?

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Recipe for a Cold Day: Ginger Tea and Honey

Ginger Tea and Honey

Recipe For A Cold Day

Turn on your current favourite tune (like the rest of the world, I’m obsessed with Adele’s Hello).

Pop the kettle on.

Chop up a piece of ginger into hunks.

Add it to your favourite teapot.

Cover with boiling water.

Reach for your favourite mug and put some honey is a small dish with a spoon.

Place everything on a tray and carry it to a cosy chair (if this happens to be by a lit fire, all the better).

Light a candle near you, turn on a light and choose a beautiful book to browse (or a novel that will engross you – whichever suits your mood). I’m currently loving flicking the pages of Donna Hay’s Seasons, which has the most stunning, evocative photography.

Throw a soft blanket over your knees, pour your tea, add honey as desired and relish in the fact you’re cosy at home on a cold, windy day.

Ginger Tea and Honey Ginger Tea and Honey Ginger Tea and Honey

I’m completely obsessed with drinking ginger tea at the moment – it’s become my go-to drink on days I work at home. I keep a teapot by me and top it up with boiling water through the day. So far it’s successfully warded off all the slight sore throats and snuffles that I tend to suffer from this time of year (ginger has great antiseptic properties). Honestly, if you’ve never tried it then start now! It’s amazing!

What’s your go to cold weather drink?

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Brandy Alexanders: Perfect for Autumn

brandyalexander

Having an evening in doesn’t mean you can’t make it a  lot of fun, and one thing I like to do to liven up a night at home is to whip up some cocktails. Brandy Alexanders take about 10 seconds to make so they’re perfect for when you get in on a Friday night after a long week.

All you need is some brandy, cream and creme de cacao. Pour 1 oz of each into a glass, stir, sprinkle with a little freshly grated nutmeg and voila – your weekend is off to a great start!

What’s your favourite Friday night tipple?

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3 Ingredient Vegan Green Smoothie

easy_green_smoothie

This smoothie is a real life saver for me at the moment when I get in from work starving and want a snack before I exercise. It’s super easy to pull together, and I generally have all the ingredients required (there aren’t many!), which is so useful, as I do tend to get a bit tired of smoothies that call for endless amounts of coconut oil / almond milk / coconut water / coconut milk etc.

Bananas are a great source of potassium, so this smoothie is a good juice if you work out quite a bit. Bananas also have high levels of Vitamin B6 which helps the body produce and store energy, and kale is an invaluable source of calcium (supposedly, kale juice has as much calcium as milk gram for gram) so is a wonderful addition, especially if you’re dairy-intolerant or vegan.

Here’s the recipe! You can stick to just kale, banana and avocado, which still makes an excellent smoothie, but I do like to jazz it up a little with some lime juice and fresh mint when I’m feeling fancy.

3 Ingredient Smoothie
 
A super easy smoothie that's perfect for a pre-workout snack!

Ingredients
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 cup kale
  • 1 banana
  • ¼ avocado
  • Juice of ½ a lime
  • Handful of mint leaves
Instructions
  1. Blend the kale, mint and water together first (you need to put your blender on the highest setting and blend for quite a while until there aren't any large bits of leaf left).
  2. Add the banana, avocado, lime juice and blend again until smooth.
  3. Enjoy!

 

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Orange Blossom Iced Tea

Orange Blossom Iced Tea

I first had Orange Blossom Iced Tea at the fabulous Honey & Co, and I knew I had to recreate my own version at home so I could drink it much more regularly. This beverage is as refreshing as it is delicious, and it’s the perfect drink for a hot day (or indeed, to bring a little sunshine into a rainy day!). I rather enjoy sipping a glass whilst reading an inspiring yoga book.

Orange Blossom Iced Tea

Orange Blossom Iced Tea
Serves: 4
 
A refreshing, delicious take on classic iced tea.

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 earl grey teabags
  • 2 mint teabags
  • 800 ml boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon orange blossom water
  • I orange, sliced
  • sprigs of mint leaves to garnish
  • Ice cubes
Instructions
  1. Place the 4 teabags in a pitcher, along with the sugar and boiling water. Stir and allow to cool at room temperature until cold.
  2. Once cold, add the orange blossom water and stir. Then, add ice cubes, orange slices and mint leaves to taste.
  3. Pour a glass and enjoy!

 

Do you have a favourite iced tea recipe?

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‘This is the Life’ Summer Cocktail

Summer Cocktail | Miranda's Notebook

This summer cocktail recipe is inspired by my Canadian grandmother. I couldn’t help but think of her when the idea for this drink came to me. When my grandmother first visited me properly in London, we had a fabulous time as I introduced her to my favourite London haunts, as well as the delights of a classic G&T for our evening aperitif (I imagine she’s since got most of Regina,Saskatchewan hooked by now too). We travelled around London, Yorkshire and Oxford together, as well as further afield to Vienna. These trips were before the days of hashtags, but if I had been on instagram then, every picture would no doubt have been tagged #thisisthelife.

So, in honour of my grandmother, I’ve created a ‘this is the life’ cocktail. It’s not a G&T, but I think she’d still love it! Served with a Rachel Khoo inspired dip of pea, mint and preserved lemon, it couldn’t be better and is my new quintessential summer drink.

Summer Cocktail | Miranda's Notebook Summer Cocktail | Miranda's Notebook Summer Cocktail | Miranda's Notebook Summer Cocktail | Miranda's Notebook

A mere sip of this cocktail is enough to have you sighing deeply, kicking off your shoes and trotting out to the garden to relax in the sun. There’s something wonderfully refreshing about this drink, and it definitely sets a holiday tone!

'This is the Life' Summer Cocktail
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Your quintessential summer cocktail! I recommend serving with this easy to whip up pea dip - absolutely delicious!

Ingredients
For the cocktail
  • ¾ - 1½ oz Campari per glass (depending on how strong you like it - I went for ¾)
  • ¾ cup freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
  • ¾ cup freshly squeezed blood orange juice
  • sprig of mint and grapefruit peel to garnish
For the dip
  • 350 grams freshly shelled peas
  • 1 preserved lemon
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 large bunch of mint (leaves only)
  • 150 ml creme fraiche
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Instructions
For the cocktail
  1. Pour Campari into glasses, add ice-cubes and top up with grapefruit and blood orange juice.
  2. Mix together with a spoon, then add a sprig of mint and peel of grapefruit to garnish.
For the dip
  1. Cook the peas in salted, boiling water until tender. Drain and then rinse in cold water.
  2. Finely chop the preserved lemon into small pieces and mince the garlic.
  3. Place the peas, mint, preserved lemon, lemon juice, garlic and creme fraiche into a food processor and blend until smooth.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. This dip is best eaten on the same day, as it gradually looses its bright green colour.

 

Do you have any recipes inspired by a loved one? What’s your standard summer drink?

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Iced Mocha Recipe

Iced Mocha Recipe | Miranda's Notebook

A little while ago, I was sent a package filled with Kokoa Collection hot chocolate tablets. Kokoa Collection source only the best cocoa beans from the best cocoa growing regions around the world, and the quality of chocolate is exceedingly good.  I’m definitely something of a hot chocolate fiend (it’s hard not to be when you grow up in Switzerland), but even I haven’t been able to cope with too many hot drinks in this weather. What I have been drinking a lot at the moment is virtually anything with ice in it. Ice tea, water, coffee – it’s all good. Ever since getting these hot chocolate samples, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about iced mocha, so I decided to come up with my own recipe.

Iced Mocha Recipe | Miranda's Notebook

This is a super treat to enjoy mid-afternoon in your garden, with a few chocolate coated espresso beans alongside.

Iced Mocha Recipe
Serves: Serves 4
 
A refreshing summer drink that provides a mid afternoon pick-me-up

Ingredients
  • 4 tablets of Kokoa Collection White, Ivory Coast chocolate
  • 1 cup of strong, hot black coffee
  • ½ cup of milk
  • ½ cup evaporated milk
  • A few drops of almond essence
Instructions
  1. Pour ¼ cup of freshly made, very hot coffee over the 4 tablets of white chocolate in a jug.
  2. Stir briskly until the chocolate has melted.
  3. Once you have a smooth paste, add a few drops of almond essence, the two milks and the rest of the hot coffee. Whisk all together and allow to cool in the fridge.
  4. When the mixture has cooled, serve it in glasses filled with ice and enjoy!

 

What’s your favourite summer drink?

Disclosure: I was sent this hot chocolate collection, but I wouldn’t have written about it if I didn’t enjoy it!

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Strawberry and Elderflower Daiquiri

Strawberry and Elderflower Daiquiri Recipe | Miranda's Notebook

After having such a fun time strawberry picking, I couldn’t get the idea of a refreshing strawberry daiquiri out of my head. It seemed the perfect way to make use of some of my berries, so I set about creating my own version of the classic summer cocktail. I’ve always loved the combination of strawberry and elderflower, and I have to say, they’re pretty delicious flavours in a cocktail!

This daiquiri recipe should probably come with a warning: they are dangerously delicious and very moreish, but they do have a kick, so  – tempting as they are – I wouldn’t recommend drinking too many! Strawberry and Elderflower Daiquiri Recipe | Miranda's Notebook

What’s your favourite summer cocktail? Do please let me know if you try this recipe!

Strawberry and Elderflower Daiquiri
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
A delicious, refreshing cocktail that is perfect for summer.

Ingredients
  • 8 large strawberries (or equivalent)
  • 3 fl oz white rum
  • 2 tablespoons St Germain Elderflower Liqueur
  • 4 teaspoons white sugar
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Mint leaves to garnish
Instructions
  1. Place ingredients (apart from mint leaves) into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Sieve the mixture into a jug.
  3. Half fill two cocktail glasses with crushed ice and pour the liquid over top.
  4. Garnish with mint leaves and enjoy!

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Rhubarb Fizz Cocktail Recipe

Rhubarb Fizz Cocktail Recipe | Miranda's Notebook

When I had a rhubarb fizz at Salon Brixton, I absolutely loved it, and I was determined to recreate my own version at home. This really is the perfect springtime cocktail, and if you have some rhubarb syrup leftover, so much the better! It tastes absolutely delicious drizzled over fromage frais, yoghurt or ice-cream. You can also use it to make a non-alcoholic soda. Just add a couple of tablespoons to a glass and top up with sparkling water. I am, in fact, now rather addicted to having rhubarb syrup with my yoghurt and granola in the morning and am planning to cook up another batch over the weekend. Luckily, it’s incredibly easy to make and takes barely any time.

Rhubarb Fizz Cocktail Recipe | Miranda's Notebook

To make these rhubarb fizz cocktails, then, first you will need to make rhubarb syrup:

Rhubarb Syrup

Ingredients:
2 cups thinly sliced rhubarb
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest.

1/ Add all the ingredients to a large pan, bring to the boil and then allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the rhubarb has turned to pulp and the syrup is thick.

2/ Take off the heat and allow the mixture to cool, then push it through a fine sieve with a wooden spoon (I kept the remainder that didn’t go through the sieve to use as a sauce drizzled over fromage frais for dessert that night – delish!).

Rhubarb Fizz Cocktail Recipe | Miranda's Notebook

Ok, now it’s on to making up the cocktails! For these drinks, I used some raspberry gin I’d made using this recipe. You could use any gin though, or simply stick to sparkling wine.  I also got a little fancy and garnished the drinks with some poached rhubarb (which I made by adding 2 inch pieces of rhubarb to a pan, along with a little sugar and water, clamped the lid on top and let cook for about 7 minutes, until the rhubarb pieces were tender but still held their shape). A slice of lemon would do just as well though!

Rhubarb Fizz Cocktails

Ingredients (per glass)

2 tablespoons rhubarb syrup
1 tablespoon raspberry gin (or any gin you like!)
pink cava
poached rhubarb to garnish

1/ Add the rhubarb syrup and raspberry gin to a glass and top up with pink cava.

2/ Give the glass a stir and add a piece of poached rhubarb to garnish.

Rhubarb Fizz Cocktail Recipe | Miranda's Notebook

I must warn you, these cocktails are seriously addictive! Do you have a favourite drink recipe for spring?

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