Cor­dially yours

The Saturday Paper - - Food - DAVID MOYLE is a chef. He is a food ed­i­tor of The Satur­day Pa­per.

My yard­stick for a re­fresh­ing drink is whether you would drink it while play­ing ten­nis. Even though ten­nis is a game I haven’t played since I was 16, the court­side drink that comes to mind al­ways con­tained some smashed fruit with a high wa­ter con­tent. Pimm’s No. 1 Cup al­ways nailed the brief when com­bined with le­mon­ade or dry gin­ger ale in a glass brim­ming with cu­cum­ber, straw­berry, wa­ter­melon and mint. It’s one of those drinks that could ei­ther be a day­time re­fresher or a night starter with the ad­di­tion of clear spir­its.

It’s easy to have this style of drink on hand by cre­at­ing what is es­sen­tially a cor­dial. These bases are very easy to make and live quite well in the re­frig­er­a­tor for weeks. I will com­monly base each one on a fruit and then ex­per­i­ment with dif­fer­ent botan­i­cals such as rose gera­nium, el­der­flower, lemon leaves, rose­mary, fig leaves, pep­per berries or bay leaves. Most of these botan­i­cals can be found around your neigh­bour­hood. I have a par­tic­u­lar dis­like of the de­scrip­tion “for­ag­ing”, which sounds to me like some­thing that can only be prac­tised if you are born with a snout. I pre­fer the term “not pay­ing”. Not pay­ing does move into a le­gal grey area ac­cord­ing to fence lines et cetera, but gen­er­ally my main re­search is fo­cused on plant iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and as­sess­ing whether the plants have been sprayed with pes­ti­cides. A few blogs and apps ac­tu­ally show where pub­lic fruit trees are grow­ing.

To serve these drinks, mud­dle the mix­ture prior to pour­ing it into glasses over ice. My ra­tios are usu­ally one part gin, one part soda, two parts cor­dial. Add fresh cut fruit if de­sired.

Pho­tog­ra­phy: Earl Carter

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