Thursday, 27 February 2014

From the darkness

Deep in the Yorkshire rhubarb triangle  in candle lit sheds the forced rhubarb season is at it's peak.
And in the spring sunshine, in my long outdoor beds this year's new growth is in rude progress. A day in the orchard is spent cutting away old leaves feeding the crowns with bonemeal, whilst feeling the first of the warm light on my back.

 Mother's Bitter Helper is a classic aromatic orange based bitters with a modern twist of raw cocoa, vanilla and green cardomom.
In a base of pure over proof Russian vodka, fruit, spices, bitter roots and barks are infused over a period of 3 months. And by alchemy and a little patience a magical tincture is born 

It is Mother's belief that all the most fascinating of drinks of have a dark and subtle heart. And she has dreamt up these intriguing cocktail bitters to add depth and complexity to your creations. 
Bitters are one of the most ancient of cocktail ingredients, and featured in the first drinks as a tonic for the system as well as an intesifier of flavour.
Mother's Bitter Helper contains gentian root which is good for the blood and digestion. So by a tiny slieght of hand Mother re-invents the cocktail as the new super food.

The Old Fashioned
2oz of a fantastic bourbon
1/4oz simple syrup
2 dashes of orange cocktail bitters
orange peel 


In a glass, add the syrup, bitters and orange peel. Use a muddler to gently press the orange peel to release the citrus oils. Add the bourbon and stir. Add an ice cubes or two if you like, and stir again.


Saturday, 8 February 2014

I blame Chaucer

(Image from Chaucer Parlement of Fowles)

   On every bow the bryddes herde I synge         On every bough the birds I heard sing
   With voys of aungel in here armoyne              With voice of angels in their harmony
   Some busied hem hir bryddes forth to brynge Some busied themselves birds forth to bring
   The litel conyes to here pley gonne hye          The little coneys to here play did hie
   And ferther al aboute I gan espye                   And further all about I could see
   The dredful ro, the buk, the hert and hynde     The dread filled roe, the buck, the hart and hind
   Squyrels, and bestes smale of gentil kynde     Squirrels, and beasts small of gentle kind          

                                            (Image, Carl Wilhelm de Hamilton 1668-1754)

  So, - Valentine's - all was fine until 1328 when Chaucer finished his poem A Parlement of Fowles on 14th February. February has traditionally been seen as the month when the birds choose their mates, and Chaucer's poem has all the birds but one finding love. From this date the concepts of courtly love and romance were born. Love tokens, trysts, secret passions and exquisite seductions.

In the spirit of the bitter sweet, and the complex nature of love, Mother's Ruin has been brewing up some cocktail bitters and these are almost ready for public consumption. they should be on sale in The East London Gin Palace within a month.

Not everyone has the stomach for the sugary confection that Valentine's day has now become and for those needing dark solace a tiny playlist,

Lou Reed Pale Blue Eyes
Joy Division  Love Will Tear us Apart
The Cure  Close to Me

And a strong drink...
Grounds for Divorce:
2 oz Bourbon,
1/2 oz Amaro, Averna
1/2 oz Sweet vermouth,
1/2 oz Campari

Dash of Aromatic Bitters
Stir / Coupe
No Garnish
                                                                                   Mother's orange bitters macerating