I’ve baked a lot of bread this week. Enough for a small stall at some rah-rah market selling posh chorizo sandwiches and unicorn sweat fairy-cakes. The rather brilliant Tartine Bread book by Chad Robertson has given me that step up from slight bemusement at the mysteries and inconsistency of my sourdough to proper understanding and a reignited passion for making the stuff. I still will never fail to be amazed at who discovered the whole process and the respect for the traditions and practice over the centuries.
It’s almost on a par with the miracle of how the children can turn their bedroom from a cultured and organised tidiness into a foaming, bubbling cauldron of mess and strange smells with seemingly no help from outside sources. I sought refuge this weekend at the oven and eventually when we needed to get out the house before everyone went stir crazy the beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon in the park restored our sanity and we came back to hot crusty toast with melting salty butter.
As the afternoon lazily slid into a gently warm evening and thirsts needed quenching I made my new favourite drink. For those of you, like me, who do not drink alcohol, there is a lack of grown up options when it comes to interesting and fun things to drink that aren’t sugary sweet overloads.
This is great though. A lime and ginger pressé, rather like the classic citron pressé I can only drink in France at cafés while being existential, it’s refreshing and zingy, easy to make and has a really good sharp and sour tang, rather like the sourdough. I had it at the exciting Kricket in Pop Brixton about a month ago and have been making it regularly ever since. And although the food there was excellent (if a little pricey) this drink is what I’ve taken back from the evening. I make it with a splash of Tessiere sirop de menthe, the kind you make a diabolo menthe with, it’s easier than making your own sugar syrup, but if you want to do that, you can make a bottle up and keep it in the fridge to use as and when.
Just make sure you never, ever use that horrible lime juice stuff in a squeezy bottle.
Ingredients and method
The juice and zest of one lime per person is mixed with a small handful of muddled mint leaves, a small shot of mint syrup and topped up with ice and sparkling water. You could add some grated ginger in there for and extra kick as I sometimes do. It makes for mouth puckering excitement.