Friday, 1 August 2014

Cocktail Friday: La Tomatina

Cocktail Friday: La Tomatina

This Cocktail Friday we are taking a (virtual) trip to sunny Spain to sample La Tomatina – the sassy Spanish cousin of the Bloody Mary. La Tomatina was created by mixologist Charlie McCarthy, Creative Director of drinks consultancy All About the Cocktail – (I would love to work at a drinks consultancy). He has created a slew of cocktails to celebrate the World Duty Free Summer Drinks Festival and I have been tasked to recreate La Tomatina at home.

La Tomatina is named after the eponymous festival – a food throwing festival that is. Yup, apparently one hundred metric tons of over-ripe tomatoes are thrown in the streets of Bunol and much as I enjoy eating tomatoes I think I will pass on being pelted with them.

And since I can't leave a good recipe alone I decided to serve this cocktail as a short, martini-type drink instead of a long one. I think it tastes terrific served short – the Tanqueray No. 10 gin and Amontillado Sherry really shine through and you just get just a hint of the tomato. If you prefer to serve this as a long drink then pour over ice in a tall glass and top up with tomato juice.

La Tomatina
Serves 1
2 tbsp Tanqueray No. 10 Gin
1 tbsp Amontillado Sherry
1 tbsp tomato juice
Juice of half a lemon
A few dashes Worcestershire sauce
2 dashes Tabasco
Pinch celery salt
Salt and pepper to rim the glass
Slice of lemon and a cherry tomato to garnish

1. Fill a small plate with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper. Rub a lime around the rim of a martini glass then invert into the salt and pepper.
2. Half fill a cocktail shaker (or jug) with ice and pour all the ingredients in. Stir or roll the shaker to combine.
3. Carefully strain the cocktail into the prepared glass. Garnish with a small slice of lemon and a cherry tomato.

Cocktail Friday: La Tomatina

Cocktail Friday: La Tomatina

Book review and giveaway: Kids' Birthday Cakes

You see that fabulous rainbow cake above? Full disclaimer – it's not one of mine! This, and many other fantastic creations, can be found in a new book which publishes today: Kids' Birthday Cakes Step by Step.

You will find many types of cakes on my blog but you may have noticed that none feature any kind of sugarcraft or intricate fondant creations. I will raise both hands and declare that I have absolutely no experience with 'character' cakes but greatly admire those who can produce 'wow' creations to wheel out at birthday parties.

Kids' Birthday Parties Step by Step does exactly what it says on the tin: included are 20 cake projects ranging from Monsters to Fairies, Dinosaurs to Ballerinas. Each project includes detailed step-by-step instructions on how to create the piping effects or fondant decorations, as well as ideas for themed cupcakes and cake pops bringing the overall recipe tally to over 50.

The projects range from the simple to the fairly intricate (especially to a novice like myself) and will appeal to mums and dads who wish to delight their children but also to those who create cakes professionally. There's a reference section with cake recipes and basic techniques at the back. Now excuse me,  my son has earmarked the Happy Robot cake or the Dinosaur Egg so I'd better get practicing for his birthday in November...

Kids' Birthday Cakes Step by Step by Karen Sullivan
is released today and retails at £14.99

To be in with a chance of winning a copy please enter via the Rafflecopter form.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and conditions
> Giveaway open to UK residents over the age of 18 only. 
One winner will receive a copy of Kids' Birthday Cakes.
The giveaway ends on the 9 of August at 12am.
Entries using an automated process or software to create bulk entries will be disqualified. 
The winner will be randomly selected, announced in the Rafflecopter box and contacted via their provided e-mail address shortly afterwards. Please claim your prize within 4 days of being notified.