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Acai & Berry Bramble

Is it just us, or does everybody have what seems like an infinite array of bizarre ingredients at the back of their cupboards?

Those “I need this NOW” moments when you absolutely must have a bottle of Rogan’s coal oil for….well, we haven’t quite worked that out yet. Only to then be forgotten over time until that ground-breaking ‘eureka’ moment when finally a recipe calls for the exact thing you know you have….somewhere. 

As we speak, I’ve got arranged in front of me butterfly pea flowers, rose harissa (which I’ve fallen back in love with), rice paper and edible ink, blue spirulina, activated charcoal, smoked sugar that looks delicious but is now around 11 years old…..you get the point.

 

Butterfly Pea Flowers, blue in colour, in a drink

Butterfly Pea Flowers from Polly's Petals

Lockdown No:1 was a time of culinary adventure, where we could work our way through the assault course of random ingredients and felt like a conqueror at each hurdle. I can still recall the feeling of utter joy at finally polishing off the jar of preserved lemons that I had for 6 years (well and truly preserved by that point).

Lockdown No.3 however…..an entirely different ball game. Kudos to anyone still making sourdough. By this point, I’m reaching for whatever carbs we have available in the house.

That being said, we’re moving homes so it’s time to finally have a clear out.

 

One of the things I’ve produced from the magical, mystery ‘cupboard of doom’ is acai powder. 

The acai berry (technically not a berry, but rather a drupe) are nutrient-dense little balls of earthy goodness. Gram by gram they have more antioxidants than blueberries and cranberries. There is also tonnes of research on these little blue berries, studying the effect they have on cholesterol, brain activity, and even cancer- so watch this space.

 

Smoothie Bowl with Acai Powder and Blue Spirulina

A smoothie bowl 

I’ve used this acai powder previously in Kombucha, and in smoothie bowls (still my favourite breakfast) but always one for a ‘healthy’ cocktail, I thought I’d mix it with my savior of Lockdown No:3- gin.

Give the recipe a whirl and see what you think.

P.S. If you are short on time- you can take out the agave and lemon juice and simply add all of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker. The only issue is that the Acai leaves a powdery residue when it's not heated. I don’t mind it- but if you have the time, it’s best to make the syrup before-hand. It only takes 10 mins and will keep in the fridge for 4-5 days.

 

Ingredients 

For the syrup:

Agave- 100g

Blueberries- 250g

Acai Powder- 20g

 

For the cocktail:

London Dry Gin- 50ml

Fresh lemon Juice- 20ml

Soda- 125ml

 

Method

Combine the agave, fresh blueberries, and acai powder in a saucepan over medium heat and begin to boil. Reduce the heat and let it cook for around 8 minutes, stirring often until all of the blueberries have popped. If you do need to, you can add a splash of water to loosen the mixture.

Strain the liquid into a bottle or jar, and keep it in the refrigerator.

 

A handful of fresh blueberries

Blueberries; packed full of antioxidants

 

To make the cocktail. Pour 50ml of London dry gin, we’ve used Jindea (a delicious Darjeeling gin) over cubed ice. Add a squeeze of lemon juice (about 20ml) and soda. Pour 15ml of the syrup over the top to give a pretty layering effect- and garnish with a slice of lemon, a couple of leftover blueberries or a sprig of mint.

You can also play around with the amount of syrup. For a thicker version, simply add more and stir.

 Yes, you are being healthy (kinda’)!

Acai, Blueberry and Gin over iceAcai & Blueberry Bramble

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