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Dandelion Bee's Knees

It took us a while, and a couple of attempts, but we’ve finally got a nice stock of dandelion cordial in our fridge and have made a delicious cocktail with it!

For centuries the dandelion has been cherished for its healing properties. The botanical name of the dandelion is “Taraxacum officinale”- “Taraxacum” from the Greek means anti-inflammatory and “officinale” refers to the common name for herbs.

Gram for gram, dandelion leaves have 50 per cent more vitamin C than tomatoes, twice as much protein as an aubergine and as much iron as 
spinach!

So why do we just think of it as a weed?

Seems us Brits have yet to jump on the bandwagon. In France dandelions are sold in markets, with dandelion leaves accompanying many dishes and dandelion jam, ‘Cramaillotte’ hugely popular.

In New Jersey, Vineland is the dandelion capital of the World, with around 25 hectares dedicated to growing the crop which ends up in restaurants across New York and Philadelphia to name a few. In the US the crop is currently worth approximately $400,000.

We looked at the health benefits of dandelion that were backed by scientific studies, and the list was huge!

Ranging from the most well-known of being a diuretic, to helping with weight loss, boosting immunity, fighting inflammation, and even promoting liver function…it seems there is not much the dandelion can’t do. So next time you’re digging up your weeds, think again and perhaps use them in a tasty salad, whip up some dandelion fritters or make your own dandelion cordial for a delicious cocktail or two!

 

Ingredients 

For the cordial

2 handfuls of dandelion flowers

1 lemon

800ml water

500g sugar (we used 400g Monk fruit sugar and 100g stevia)

 

For the cocktail:

London Dry Gin- 50ml

Fresh lemon Juice- 25ml

Dandelion Cordial- 25ml

 

Method

1.Remove as many green parts as possible from the plant.

*This is where we went wrong on our first attempt, and the cordial ended up being a sludgy green colour! On the second attempt we chopped the very bottom of the flower off.*

2.Add to a saucepan with the water and slowly bring to the boil. Leave boiling for about 5 mins, then take off the heat. Juice a whole lemon and keep the juice to one side. Finely slice the peel and add to the pan. Cover and leave for 8 hours or overnight.

  1. Strain through a fine sieve, pour back into the saucepan and add the sugar and the juice of one lemon. Simmer until the liquid starts the thicken slightly (not too much as it will thicken more in the fridge).
  2. Sterilise a jar or bottle, add the liquid and store in a fridge. Use within a month.

 

The flavour of the cordial is…well, hard to describe! Like a blend of honey and herbs, but with a fresh vegetal edge to it. It really is quite delicious. It just seemed to naturally pair well with a delicate spirit, like vodka or gin, and with the honey element we thought the perfect cocktail would be a bee’s knees.

To make the cocktail pour 50ml London dry gin, 25ml fresh lemon juice and 25ml of the dandelion cordial into a shaker.

Add ice and shake until chilled.

Pour into a chilled martini glass and add a dandelion flower, lemon slice or some fresh herbs as garnish.

 

**If you'd like photo's of the process we went through, drop us an email at danni@mindfulmixology.co.uk and we'll be happy to send!**

Sources:

https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg12717264-700-forum-taking-a-leaf-from-the-french-a-vegetable-delicacy/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5553762

http://pennstatehershey.adam.com/content.aspx?productid=107&pid=33&gid=000236#:~:text=Preliminary%20animal%20studies%20suggest%20that,positive%20effect%20on%20blood%20sugar.

https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/dandelion#:~:text=Dandelion%20root%20extract%20has%20anticancer,Dandelion%20has%20estrogenic%20activity.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3261818/#:~:text=should%20be%20pursued.-,Conclusions,therapeutic%20efficacy%20of%20Taraxacum%20officinale.

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