This week at I Heart Cooking Clubs, we're wetting our whistles, exploring Curtis Stone's repertoire of drinks and beverages.
Checking out the drinks section of Curtis' book Good Food, Good Life, I was actually immediately drawn to his Italian Rhubarb-Orange Soda - how good does that sound?! Unfortunately, though I couldn't get my hands on any rhubarb.
I did however have everything I needed for the Strawberry-Hibiscus Punch. Hibiscus flower is one of my favourite ingredients - I love the fresh, slightly astringent flavour it brings, and the colour it adds is gorgeous.
I made a couple of changes to the recipe. Firstly, I halved the recipe, since a didn't need the slake the thirst of a whole party; I further reduced the amount of sweetener by half, and replaced caster sugar with agave. I also added a tiny pinch of salt - not enough to actually make it taste salty, but just enough to bring out all the flavours of the hibiscus and fruit. Lastly I added the juice of a lime, which did a great job of balancing out the sweetness, and really brought that nice tropical vibe.
This is beautiful, refreshing drink, and for a special occasion (or really even just for the heck of it) you could mix this with prosecco for a bit of sparkle. It would also mix well with soda water, coconut water, or even a bit of sake.
Strawberry Hibiscus Punch Recipe
Adapted from a recipe by Curtis Stone
from Good Food, Good Life
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe
2 cups water
1/4 cup agave
1/2 cup dried hibiscus flowers
1 cup strawberries
2.5cm (1 inch) piece ginger, thinly sliced
juice of 1x lime
2 cups water extra (or soda or prosecco)
Put water and agave in a small saucepan and set over medium heat. Stir until liquid just comes to a boil and the agave has fully dissolved.
Remove from heat, and add the hibiscus flowers, strawberries, ginger and salt. Leave standing to infuse for about 2 hours.
Strain into a jug, and discard the solids. Add extra water (or soda or prosecco) and lime juice. Stir to mix thoroughly.
Serve over ice and garnish with extra strawberries.
If you would like to get to know Curtis Stone a little better, and would like to wet your whistle with all the fabulous beverages my friends have come up with this week, then do go visit I Heart Cooking Clubs and check out the links.
I promised last week also to tell you a bit more about the training course which I've just done through the Matthew Kenney Culinary Academy - you can now find that post here. I hope you find it inspiring.