By now I think you all know how much I love foraging. There is something selfishly smug about snuffling around the undergrowth to unearth one of Mother Nature’s little treasures and turning into something primal and beautiful.
So, when I discovered a small copse with a bounty of cobnuts whilst walking Peanut, we grabbed our faithful poop bag and snaffled the lot (yes, the poop bag was clean, yes peanut ate loads so as not to suffer from FOMO)
Orgeat is a classic cocktail ingredient, made with blanched Almonds. Sating true to my concern with the provenance of ingredients, I took a British twist (cobnuts are a green hazelnut)
The result is divine, especially when paired with the sweet, earth tones of Cinnamon and Bourbon. A dash of chocolate bitters rounds this off perfectly.
240g Shelled Cobnuts
1tsp Orange Blossom Water
For one drink:
20ml Sweet Vermouth
5ml Verjus/ Lemon Juice
20ml Cobnut Orgeat
Ginger Beer and Ice to finish
1. Begin with the Orgeat. Add the cobnuts to a pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
2. Drain off the water and add the cobnuts and measured water to a blender. Blend to a slurry and transfer to a bowl. Cover and stand at room temperature overnight.
3. The next day, strain the nut milk through a nut bag or muslin and squeeze out all the liquid. Measure the Liquid and add an equal weight of sugar.
4. Add to a pan, bring to a boil and simmer 3-5 minutes or until syrupy. Allow to cool completely before mixing in the cognac and orange blossom.
5. Transfer to a sterile bottle and chill in the fridge (this will keep for 2 months)
6. For the cocktail, add the bourbon, vermouth, verjus, orgeat and cinnamon to a cocktail shaker with some ice. Shake for 30 seconds to combine and shill and strain through a hawthorn strainer into a glass.
7. Add some ice, top up with ginger beer and serve.