Friday, 7 September 2012

Fabulous Friday: L'heure d'apéro

Les Bons Vacances

Rachel, Trémolat, France

Cocktail hour is coming to you directly from France this week, courtesy of the local pizzeria/bar where I am indulging in a glass of cold rosé in order to take advantage of their free wifi; I have to endure such hardship for this blog! 

The French custom of the apéro (shortened from apéritif) is one that I, probably unsurprisingly to any regular reader of this blog, am particularly keen on.

The apéro can mean anything from a drink before dinner, having some neighbours over for a drink and a few nibbles, to apéros dinatoire which would involve very substantial nibbles and mean you won’t need dinner when you go home.  I think it's a great idea as it means the neighbours here meet up with each other very regularly without anyone having to go to the effort of hosting a full dinner party.

When in France it would be very rude not to keep with the local custom and, therefore, we decided yesterday evening that a cocktail,or two, before dinner in the last of the evening’s sunshine would be appropriate.

Due to a complete absence of any proper cocktail making paraphernalia in the house here (other than martini glasses) the quantities of this recipe were judged by eye and may need to be altered a little, however the ratio should work, you are looking for a nice balance between the sweet and sour flavours.  There is a huge variety of flavours of syrups and juices available from the supermarkets here, the Paquito brand are particularly good, which make cocktail making very stress free, precisely what is required on your holidays.

The raspberry juice I used here could be easily replicated by crushing fresh or defrosted raspberries, straining the pips out and letting it down with a light sugar syrup.

Les Bons Vacances (To Make One)

Raspberry Juice
Strawberry Syrup/Cordial
Lemon juice
Caster sugar and lemon juice for frosting the glasses
Fresh strawberries to garnish

Ratio of 1 part Vodka:1 part Raspberry Juice: half part Strawberry Syrup: 1 tsp lemon juice. I think this worked out at approximately 60ml each of vodka and raspberry juice with 30ml strawberry syrup and a good squeeze of lemon juice for each drink.  Combine the ingredients and shake with ice (or stir them in a jug as I had to) and pour into martini glasses.

Frost your glasses by running a cut lemon wedge around the edge and then dipping the rim of your glass in a plate of caster sugar. Make sure it is evenly coated.  Garnish with a fresh strawberry if you wish.


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