It's quite tricky creating a cocktail to pair with Love Actually without delving into the film, warts and all- so we're going to keep it simple.
Just like the film, this cocktail shouldn't really work. Who has heard of Beetroot and Mezcal pairing well? It's hardly an age-old combination. And yet....it really does. The earthiness and the smokiness add a level of depth and complexity that you get from the finest of cocktails out there, and it's super easy to make in your own home.
We used beetroot fresh from our veggie box to create a Beet, Honey and Ginger syrup (if you're vegan you can use Organic Agave as a substitute for honey).
This keeps well for around a week in the fridge, and we've used it in three different cocktail recipes so far- all of which are delicious (although this one is our favourite!)
If you can't get your hands on Mezcal (we love Pensador) you can use a decent quality Tequila Blanco, such as Patron. You won't get the smokiness from the Mezcal, but it's still a delicious cocktail (yes, we've tried it- all in the name of work of course)- the slight spice from the jalapeños match beautifully with the tequila.
We served ours in a glass decorated with a salt and beetroot powder rim. If you like more spice muddle the jalapeños before you add the rest of the ingredients.
Beet & Mezcal Cocktail
Beetroot Syrup (makes roughly 1/2 litre)
4-6 beetroot peeled and cubed
1-2 inch Ginger
2 Tbsp Local Honey (or organic agave)
Beetroot and Honey Syrup
Add the beetroot to a pan with the honey and diced ginger. Add water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer for 5-10 minutes.
Remove from the heat, allow to cool and put into a sterilised jar or bottle. Keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Ingredients (for the cocktail)
50ml Pensador Mezcal (or Tequila Blanco, or a mix of the 2)
25ml fresh lemon juice
25ml Beetroot Syrup
2-3 Jalapeño slices
25ml fresh orange juice
Start by decorating your serving glass if you'd like a salt crusted rim. We mixed ours with beetroot powder, but you can try lemon zest or chilli. Rub lemon, lime or the orange around the rim of the glass and roll it in your mix so it sticks.
Next, add the jalapeños to a different mixing glass. If you like your cocktails spicy give them a quick muddle.
Add the mezcal, the lemon and the beetroot syrup to a glass with a couple of ice cubes. Add the fresh orange juice. Give it a quick shake and pour into a short glass filled with large ice cubes.
That's it! Simple and delicious!