In the late 1960s I worked at the Royal Aircraft Establishment in Farnborough as a junior scientific officer. To alleviate the tedium of this bachelor existence, I would slip across the road to the pub with my drinking companions, including one by the name of Armando Cuthbert Darlington. Wearing his name with pride and a dash of fortitude, he would sit on a bar stool all evening smoking Black Russian cigarettes and drinking a potent compound called Parfait Amour. He offered me some once it tasted like the perfume counter at Boots. This recipe is a homage to Armando.
Before we explore this – one of the most successful of all summer cocktails and my gift to the world I need to tell you how to make rosehip syrup. This denizen of the medicine cabinet has fallen into sad disuse but is fairly easy to make and, being packed with vitamin C, is terribly good for you. It can be made from any rosehip, including the garden varieties such as Rosa rugosa.
- Yield: 1 Servings (750 ml syrup)
- 500 g rosehips
- 250 g sugar
- 150 g raspberries
- 2 shots of rose petal vodka
- 2 shots of rosehip syrup
- To make the rosehip syrup, put the intact rosehips into a pan and pour on enough water to just cover them. Bring to a simmer and cook until they are soft, but for at least 20 minutes. Mash the rosehips with a potato masher and squeeze the juice through a double layer of muslin. Clean the cloth and squeeze the juice through again to ensure the hairs on the seeds are removed as they are an irritant.
- Return the strained juice to the cleaned pan, bring to a gentle boil and add the sugar. Stir until it is dissolved. Pour the rosehip syrup into warm, sterilised bottles. It keeps well in the fridge for at least a month.
- To make the cocktail, squeeze the raspberries through a fine sieve and put them into a cocktail shaker. Add the rose petal vodka, rosehip syrup and some ice, shake and pour into a tall glass. Pour over some lemonade. It is a remarkably refreshing drink, very pink and with a pink head. A pink pint!