Bubbly Sorbet

Bubbly Sorbet | The Secret Life of Bee

Nothing says celebration like an ice cold glass of bubbles. Now you can have your bubbles and eat it too! Champagne or MCC sorbet is one of my favourite summertime indulgences. It tastes delicious, sounds glam and it feels extra special because well, bubbles. Obvs.

Bubbly Sorbet | The Secret Life of Bee

This bubbles in particular is something special. Krone recently released the R.D. after after having spent 15 years on the lees before disgorgement. I popped a bottle of this to try it out with my toes in the sand and a magical sunset in front of me and… WOW. Just wow. I can quite honestly say it is one of the most spectacular bottles of bubbles I have ever tasted. It’s up there with the Krug and Doms of the world. In general I think we produce some of the most outstanding wine and MCC in the world and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else on earth! My proximity to wine farms is crucial for my mental and physical well being! It’s a glass of wine a day keeps the doctor away right?

Bubbly Sorbet | The Secret Life of Bee

Bubbly Sorbet

Ingredients:

  • 200ml water
  • 150g sugar
  • 2 tbsp liquid glucose
  • 300ml Méthode Cap Classique
  • 1 lemon, juice & zest

Method:

Bring the water, sugar and glucose to the boil. Cook until syrupy and remove from the heat.

Add the MCC, lemon juice and lemon zest. Allow to cool.

Once cool strain out the zest with a sieve and pour into an ice cream machine. Churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

If you don’t have an ice cream machine pour the mixture into a ziplock bag. Freeze. Remove frozen sorbet, break into pieces and blitz until smooth using a blender or food processor.

Serve with some ice cold bubbles on the side!

 Bubbly Sorbet | The Secret Life of Bee

*Disclaimer: This utterly fabulous bubbles was sponsored by the awesome folks from Krone.

cocktail ideas – because it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere

moscow mule cocktail | The Secret Life of Bee

I recently did some work for the awesome folks at Fitch & Leedes and wanted to share some of the delicious cocktail recipes and pics here! Their bespoke mixers are destined to become delicious cocktails and I was only too happy to oblige. I loved that sipping on a G&T at 10am was WORK! I did lots of ‘working ‘ during this shoot. I obviously had to make sure they all tasted good. And some had to be tasted several times just to be positive!

The cocktails are simple, yum and fun and I highly doubt I need to convince anyone that making them is a damn fine idea. So cheers!

watermelon & bitter lemon cocktail | The Secret Life of Bee

watermelon & ginger

  • 250ml blended watermelon
  • 60ml white rum
  • 1/2 tsp ginger juice
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • top with bitter lemon

pomegranate & vodka cocktail | The Secret Life of Bee

pomegranate & vodka

  • 60ml pomegranate juice
  • 60ml vodka
  • 1 tsp icing sugar
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • fresh pomegranate rubies
  • soda water

whiskey & lemonade cocktail | The Secret Life of Bee

whiskey lemonade

  • 30ml whiskey
  • 15ml Grand Marnier
  • lemon wedge, cut into chunks
  • drizzle of honey
  • thyme ice cubes
  • lemonade

moscow mule | The Secret Life of Bee

moscow mule

  • 60ml vodka
  • 1/2 lime, cut into wedges and squeezed
  • fresh mint
  • ginger ale

fig & vodka cocktail | The Secret Life of Bee

fig & vodka fizz

  • 60ml vodka
  • 60ml fig puree
  • 1/2 fig, thinly sliced
  • ginger ale

To make the fig puree simply blend 3-4 fresh figs with 1 tsp honey

raspberry & cachaça cocktail | The Secret Life of Bee

not quite a caipirinha 

  • 30ml cachaça
  • 1/2 lime, cut into quarters & squeezed
  • handful frozen raspberries
  • lemonade

strawberry, mint & pepper G&T cocktail | The Secret Life of Bee

strawb & mint G&T

  • 60ml gin
  • sliced strawberries
  • fresh mint
  • black peppercorns
  • tonic water

tequila & grapefruit cocktail | The Secret Life of Bee

tequila & grapefruit

  • 30ml tequila
  • 125ml grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 tsp ginger juice
  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • bitter lemon

 

jazz up your gin game

Gin & tonic | The Secret Life of Bee

A great gin and tonic never loses popularity. Especially with the fabulous weather forecast lately, a substantial amount of G&Ts have been consumed at a rapid rate. I’ve been a Hendricks lover for quite some time but the locally made gin offerings in South Africa have become incredibly competitive and super delicious with some of our brands really kicking international butt. So obviously i’m doing my bit for the country and the economy and drinking more local gin.

Gin & tonic | The Secret Life of Bee

Inverroche is one of them and I’ve done some serious damage to their stock pile since I’ve discovered it. Herbaceous and delicious the Classic is handcrafted using 15 different botanicals. Hints of juniper, citrus and wild Cape fynbos make this hooch a winner. To accompany my gin of choice I normally use Fitch & Leedes Indian Tonic and have also recently discovered Swaan Cape Tonic by AA Badenhorst Wines.  They are both superb.

Gin & tonic | The Secret Life of Bee

One of my favourite things about a gin and tonic is that you can have it exactly how you want it. There are no strict rules and you can play with flavour combos as much as you like.

The classic ratio is about 1 part gin to 3 parts tonic. I tend to be a tad heavy handed with the gin landing up with almost equal parts but you know it’s made with herbs so it’s practically medicinal. The next most important thing is keeping everything icy cold. I pop my gin in the freezer, tonic in the fridge and you can even chill the glasses. The next nifty idea is making tonic water ice cubes. Saw this on the kitchn and made a tray almost immediately. The trick here is to use flat-ish tonic or your ice cube won’t be very solid. But this nifty trick will not only allow the flavour of your G&T to be less diluted you’ll also just be really, really cool.

Gin & tonic | The Secret Life of Bee

Hendricks led me to the cucumber and peppercorn pairing which is still one of my favourite combos when pouring a G&T. Even infusing your bottle of gin in a jug with ribbons of cucumber adds a fabulous flavour and you can choose to strain it out.

Gin & tonic | The Secret Life of Bee

Grapefruit zest is another winner. Peel it with a very sharp peeler so as to avoid any of the white pith. That’s the bitter part. The zest is where the money is at adding heaps of flavour and aroma. This one has been further jazzed up with edible pansies that I froze into the tonic water ice cubes.

Gin & tonic | The Secret Life of Bee

This chilli infused G&T is a newbie for me and I was really just playing around but ended up loving it! Add as much freshly sliced chilli as your taste buds desire. Take the seeds out if you prefer a milder buzz, or even infuse the gin separately, but I thoroughly loved the warmth it added and used the whole chilli seeds and all. To accompany this spicy gin I added a sweet garnish. I caramelised pineapple with some brown sugar using a blowtorch. Let’s just say I will be making this a fair amount in the future.

Gin & tonic | The Secret Life of Bee

All of the above combos are fabulous but will never replace the classic gin and tonic with a wedge of lemon or lime. Squeeze the wedge into the glass and then plop it in.

Gin & tonic | The Secret Life of Bee

I do also love adding a dash of Angostura bitters to the mix and turning it into a pink gin. Add a sprig of mint, find a gin buddy and enjoy!

Happy sipping!

Cold Brew Coffee

Cold Brew Coffee | The Secret Life of Bee

Cold brew coffee is one of my favourite discoveries. I do love my coffee in general but heading into a rather sweltering South African summer there are only so many hot beverages one can consume comfortably. So what makes cold brew coffee different from a normal iced coffee? Well for starters and perhaps my favourite attribute is that it tastes sweet without having to add a drop of sugar.

The gentle cold brewing process greatly reduces the amount of acidity and bitterness associated with normally brewed coffee. You can of course add milk and sugar and enjoy it however you please but the cold brewing process produces a delicious smooth and refreshing drink as is. It is a much healthier alternative to the typical iced coffees piled high with whipped cream, made with artificial powders or filled with sugar syrups.  As with anything- quality ingredients produce a high quality result. So choose the best beans you can!

Cold Brew Coffee | The Secret Life of Bee

Cold Brew Coffee

Ingredients:

  • 160g (2 cups) coarsely ground coffee ( I used Truth coffee)
  • 2l cold filtered water

Equipment:

  • 1 x large glass container/jar
  • a piece of muslin cloth

*if you would like to make a smaller batch you can do so in a little French press and just follow the same 24 hour cold brewing process

Method:

Place the 2 cups of coffee in a large glass jar. Add the cold filtered water and stir well. Place in the fridge for 24 hours.

Strain your coffee using a sieve fitted with a piece of muslin cloth. If you do not have any muslin cloth a few layers of paper towel in a sieve and a few more strains will do the trick!

Cold Brew Coffee | The Secret Life of Bee

You can pour your cold brew coffee into little bottles for when you’re on the go in the mornings or enjoy it at home with a splash of milk and a dash of vanilla over ice. You can also dilute it if you prefer a milder flavour or turn it into an espresso martini for those especially difficult Monday mornings.

It will keep in the fridge for up to one week in a sealed container. Or if you’re like me and don’t understand moderation you’ll drink it all in one day and give the Energizer Bunny a run for his money.

Cold Brew Coffee | The Secret Life of Bee

Berry & Banana Smoothie

Quick catch up with a friend at Haas on Buitenkant St resulted in this heavenly smoothie making my day.

It was glorious. I don’t often get this excited about a smoothie but this was perfection!

Made with natural yoghurt, honey and berries this smoothie was ever so balanced. The servings are also super generous and this kept me going until dinner!

It was so good I made my own at home the next morning with the following:

Berry & Banana Smoothie

serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 cups frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries
  • 1 fresh banana, peeled
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup greek yoghurt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

Blend all the ingredients together and serve!