Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Gin & Tonic Lollies


































This is a post all about sport, Britishness and a well-deserved Gin and Tonic. I was sponsored to write this post all about Wimbledon and Bombay Sapphire as part of a shopper insights study for CollectiveBias and Social Fabric. You see, I had it in mind to do a few Wimbledon related activities with the kiddies – the pay-off being that I’d get to watch some of it too. The G&T bit usually comes in after bedtimes, in the quiet of the evening, with Today at Wimbledon on…what could be better?

Please do have a look at my Google+ Album showing my shopping trip - I even abandoned Waitrose for Tesco this time...
























I remember my husband harrumphing about Wimbledon. 'No-one watches any of the other Grand Slams', he said, 'and then everyone gets all over excited about Wimbledon because it’s here'. But that’s what’s great about it, isn't it? It’s so smugly British to get behind this most British of British sporting events, to be so certain that ours is the best competition in the world.
























Nowadays, he’s less likely to complain. For now we have kids and he’s relishing introducing them to sports of all sorts. And sport was the essence of our very busy, lovely weekend. Football classes on Saturday morning, a Wimbledon Party with the cousins in the afternoon, assault courses and hoopla at the School fair, The Lions, the start of the Tour de France and our first family trip to the cricket on Sunday – phew!
























Now, you might be thinking that a great big G&T doesn't fit well into this weekend of sport, but it does. Especially the Wimbledon bit. Wimbledon, G&T, strawberries, Robinson’s Lemon Barley, cucumber sandwiches, tea and cakes – The British summer. These emblems, these traditions, shouldn't just be laughed off as trivial – they are part of our culture in this country. It might be a bit of a stereotype, but we do care about this stuff and it means something to us. So, whilst an afternoon of cakes, strawbs and a G&T in the (finger’s crossed) sunshine might seem frivolous, you could argue that it’s an important cultural lesson for the kids, couldn't you? This is what we do when it’s Wimbledon. This is what we do at the faintest hint of a summer – we grab it with both hands, get the bunting up and picnic like we’re possessed.
























Because our get-together was a lunchtime affair, I had the idea of making Gin & Tonic Lollies. They automatically need to be a bit less alcoholic than your average G&T to make them freeze well and daytime drinking plus childcare isn’t always a great plan… so here’s how I made these lovely, grown-up lollies:

Gin & Tonic Lollies

  • 100g caster sugar & 100g/ml water - just weigh both into a pan
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 8 Juniper berries
  • A good pinch Grains of paradise (if you have them!!) or a sliver of fresh ginger
  • A strip of lemon zest
  • Bombay Sapphire Gin - about 60ml
  • Good quality Tonic water - I like Fever Tree - about 300ml
  • Fruit - strawberries, raspberries etc and cucumber slices

  1. Bring the water and sugar to the boil until it goes clear, then reduce the heat. Add the 'botanicals' and simmer for about 3 minutes - don't let it boil and become too syrupy. The turn off the heat, put the lid on and let in infuse for 5 minutes. 
  2. Mix your G&T - just make it weaker than normal. About 1 part gin to 6 parts tonic. Stir in the strained syrup.
  3. Wet the lolly moulds and press slices of fruit and cucumber to the sides, gently pour in the G&T, trying not to dislodge the fruit. Position your lolly sticks - I use sellotape to keep them central - and freeze.
  4. Don't forget they are alcoholic and give them to your kids!




The children had lollies too and these were inspired by some frozen watermelon I saw on Pinterest. These are just chunks of galia melon, liberally covered in sprinkles and frozen. Wonderful – proper fruit, not too sugary and THEY DON’T DRIP. Awesome. Ignore Alex's worried face - this is his new 'photo face' and has nothing to do with the lollies... He thinks he's smiling.

































Luckily the weather was glorious, so we made a tennis court on the lawn with flour and batted a few ball around. I even stuck some Wimbledon-purple streamers on the balls, so they looked lovely flying through the air.





















The Gin & Tonic Lollies were a triumph, but I was looking forward to a proper G&T after the kids had collapsed exhausted into bed. Instead of using ice-cubes, I used frozen berries. The grapes sink and the berries float creating a beautiful looking drink. I also tried a rather lovely new Pink Tonic from Bottle Green, which was delightful. So that’s it, feet up, gorgeous drink in hand, Serena stepping onto Centre Court (yes, I know she’s gone now – this was Saturday) – one of those precious mummy moments when you can relax knowing the kids have had a lovely day and you really do deserve this little moment of luxury.


22 comments:

  1. Fantastic post - I love that Alex thinks he's smiling :-)

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    1. Thanks Jo! Honestly, his most recent photo-face is awful...

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  2. Wow the lollies look amazing! Definitely going to give them a go! x

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  3. Crack out the buuuuuunting!!!

    Being too preggers to partake in such beautiful G&T lollies (mostly because I am too large to actually get up off this chair and make them), I shall admire from afar. My yankee-ness compels me to admit that British summertime traditions are, like, the most totally awesome thing ever dude.

    Hugs to you all from the end of the earth...sending overly-optimistic hopes of a sunny summer.

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    1. Aw - I want to see a preggers pic of you for old times sake. Been ,eaning to say - good effort old thing for going for round three! We keep talking about our big America trip, it might actually even really happen... Miss you! xx

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  4. I love those lollies, all the fruit looks wonderful

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    1. Thanks! AND they're 'healthy'... aren't they?? I say, they are :)

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  5. Those are just amazing, to die for lollies! What are grains of paradise? I'm all interested!

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    1. Thanks! Grains for paradise are rarely used these days - they used to be a cheaper alternative to nutmeg. Not your usual thing to find in the spice rack!

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  6. Those ice lollies look amazing. How handy that I've just bought some ice lolly moulds ;)

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    1. I can't think of anything better to break in a new lolly mould than a G&T lolly - the kids can wait :)

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  7. What a great idea! Wish I liked gin - now thinking of Mojito lollies!

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    1. Now that is an excellent idea! With lots of fresh mint and lime slices. Maybe kiwi too...

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  8. Mmmm definitely going to make these and the kiddie lollies for our next BBQ x

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    1. Yay! We tried out the frozen pineapple covered with desiccated coconut today and it's awesome :)

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  9. Oooh frozen berries like that idea sure beats ice cubes and looks pretty! x

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    1. I think I'm going to do it for all my drinks now, means you get a bit of a snack when you've finished your drink too! :)

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  10. Yum, those lollies are inspired. I expect you will be bringing a cool bag with a couple in to Sat am footy this week? No, what do you mean 9am is too early for gin!

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    1. Nonsense, 9am is entirely appropriate. And no-one would even know we were boozing... :)

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  11. I want those lollies! What a genius idea!

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  12. Mm, I could do with one of those about now. I love the frozen berry ice cubes, too - genius :)

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  13. These look superb! I am going to be trying them out this weekend - any excuse for gin ;)x

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