Tag Archives: apples

5 cracking Christmas cocktail ideas from Riverford

Hosting a Christmas party this year?  Looking for ideas to take along to someone else’s?  We’ve got five great Christmas cocktails, and a few extra tipples, that are guaranteed to get any party started!

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Blood orange & prosecco cocktail – click here to see recipe

A celebratory drink  when blood oranges are in season (but you can substitute with normal oranges). For this we suggest using prosecco for the fizz, or if you’re feeling extravagant, champagne. A splash of Campari doesn’t hurt either!

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Riverford mulled cider – click here to see recipe

The mulled cider was so popular at our London Christmas fair last year that we’ve had lots of requests for the recipe. This is from Ben Watson’s mate, Cider Andy. He’s adamant that to get the genuine article, you need to use his two-year-old Dartmoor Cider, but any dry, scrumpy type cider will do.

Apple, pear & ginger smoothie – click here to see recipe

A great drink for drivers or kids, this nutritional smoothie is sweet and warming. Dress it up with a fancy straw in a nice glass.

Bloody orange mary – click here to see recipe

Great with brunch, or as a hang over cure, this cocktail is a twist on the classic using vibrant blood oranges (or standard oranges).

Tangy orange appetiser – click here to see recipe

A take on the classic Savoy cocktail of orange juice, gin and dubonnet, said to be the Queen Mother’s favourite tipple.

blood orange cocktails

Don’t miss! Veggie cocktails at Riverford at The Duke of Cambridge:

In January our pub in Islington,  Riverford at The Duke of Cambridge will be serving veggie inspired cocktails and mocktails, for those who are recovering from all the celebrations.

The recipes are highly secret, but if you fancy yourself as a bit of a mixologist, then our cocktail master at the Duke has let you know what the main ingredient combinations are below.  If you’d rather let someone else do the hard work then head over to The Duke in the new year to taste how it’s done by the professionals!

Non-alcoholic blends:

Beetroot, apple and celery juice

Apple, carrot and ginger

Alcoholic blends:

Apple, beetroot and amaretto

Apple, mint, cucumber and damson vodka

feeling fruity

New season fruit for tempting puddings.

Here’s a preview of some of the fruit we’ll have over the next couple of months.

 

discovery apples
The earliest apple variety that grows well in the UK, Discovery is refreshingly sharp with a good level of sweetness and a crisp pink and green skin. The warm, sunny spring this year has caused a few problems for our apple grower, Paul Ward in Kent. The weather made the trees blossom and fruit up earlier than usual and a late frost took out many of the fruitlets. However this also means the crop will be with us around two weeks sooner than usual, in early August.

nectarines
A sweet, orange-fleshed nectarine that springs with juice at the first bite is one of the sticky-fingered delights of summer. If you’ve been put off by floury out-of-season imitators, have your faith restored with our naturally flavourful fruit. They are ideal for picnics, packed lunches and puddings, but try them in a salad with ricotta (try the buffalo version from our website) and prosciutto and you’ll never look back. Ours are grown under the Spanish sun and reach you by road and sea – far more ecologically sound than transporting by air freight.

apricots
Another peach-like darling of the summer, apricots can lift dishes with their delicate flavour and perfume. A pocket-sized snack they may be, but miss out on their pudding potential and you are selling yourself short. The classic is to poach them in a sugar syrup with lemon and wine for serving with dreamy ice cream, but they also pair beautifully with pistachios. Our chef Jane Baxter’s favourite is to use them in place of pears in her pear and almond tart – see our website for the recipe.

order fruit from Riverford

 

fruit of the month – english apples

Discovery applesOrchards are swelling with ripe, fragrant fruit. It’s time to celebrate English apple season and rediscover some traditional varieties.

Paul Ward grows apples, pears and plums for us on his four farms in Kent. He started out over 17 years ago, buying his first orchard as a hobby. Since then, Paul’s business has grown to producing 700-800 tonnes of apples every year. About half of these go to us, to supply our regional farms.

Paul Ward's organic English applesOrganic apple growing is not without its difficulties. Our damp, mild, British climate makes trees susceptible to fungal diseases that sap vigour and yield. Organic farming forbids the use of some sprays to prevent this, presenting a very real challenge to growers. This is why so few orchards remain in the UK; despite people’s professed enthusiasm for traditional varieties, the reality is that our eyes prefer the cosmetically-perfect specimens in the fruitbowl. The apples you’ll get from us might have the odd knot or gnarl, but they are grown for flavour and character.

Apples in KentWe start the season with Discovery, a red-skinned fruit with crisp white flesh. Katy will be ready soon after; a beautiful dark crimson apple that has a light, gentle flavour typical of early varieties. Then come Red Windsor and Red Pippin with a stronger, Cox-like flavour. Look out also for Russets, with a distinctive dry flesh and balance of sweet and sharpness. Mid-season, try Spartan, a dark red-skinned, aromatic variety. We will also have some Bramleys through the season; the definitive English apple for cooking and baking.

Some of the early season varieties, particularly Discovery, are at their best for only about a week. As with all fruit, smell is a good indicator of flavour and ripeness. For the main varieties, ripening is about the conversion of starch to sugar; they get sweeter up to a point, then the texture dives and they lose moisture, becoming soft and woolly. As a rule, all English apples are best eaten as quickly as possible, freshly-plucked from the tree.

Order apples online.