Summertime's in bloom

The soft fruit harvest is just gathering pace with the blackcurrants darkening and the gooseberries fattening and just beginning to yield to a gentle testing squeeze. These three hot bright days will bring them on and I'm planning a Sunday in the orchard picking. Every once in a while there is a year when the birds leave my sweet cherry tree alone. And this year is that year. Too rare and delicious for liqueur production (although now I think about it maybe a few bottles of cherry gin) I plan to stand amongst the low branches and eat them dark and sweet straight from the tree. Mother loves you, but not enough to give you her cherries.

The best I can offer is a divine and classic cherry cocktail from 1915


The Singapore Sling

1 1/2 oz gin
1/2 oz cherry liqueur eg Heering
1/4 oz triple sec or Cointreau
1/4 oz Benedictine
2oz pineapple juice
3/4 oz lime juice
dash of bitters
marascino cherry/pineapple to garnish

Shake hard or blend for a foamy texture, strain into a collins glass. Garnish. Find a shady spot and enjoy.