A few weeks ago, our stick blender finally gave up the ghost – making it the second stick blender and 5th blender to go belly-up in our household over the past few years. Yikes.
Unlike those berks over at Blendtec who try and blend everything except blocks of concrete, the worst that we ever put our blenders through was ice for smoothies, but it appears that in the battle of blender vs. frozen water, the ice would inevitably win.
While I thought that this condemned me to smoothie-less summer, the folks over at Kitchenware Direct reached out and offered to replace our broken gizmo with a glorious Bamix Deluxe Blender in return for a review of the product – something that was incredibly easy to do considering the quality of this sexy machine. Not only that, but they gave me another one to give away – which you can try and win at the bottom of this post!
Once the gorgeous thing arrived, the question was how would I break the beast in? A regular fruit smoothie seemed to…well, unworthy of such power, so I thought that I’d go the summer slushie route and make it work up a bit of a sweat. So having a look at what I had in the fridge and on the liquor shelf, I thought that my yummy Tanqueray 10 could be delightfully paired with some elderflower cordial and in-season white nectarines.
White nectarines are (in my opinion) one of the best things about summer. Their delicate flavour and fresh sweetness are delightful to partake in, and you always provide amusement for others when trying to consume one without ending up with juice dribbling down your chin. They are also the basis for the mighty Bellini – a cocktail made famous by Harry’s Bar in Venice and which is on my bucket list of things to try before I shuffle off this mortal coil.
I’ve also been falling in love with elderflower concentrate as a flavour-add for my cocktails as it’s fragrance is both unique and tantilising, and unlike rose or lavender, doesn’t give me the feeling of having chewed on a mouthful of potpourri. It was these qualities which made me think that it would be delightful if paired with the nectarines for this glass of summer lovin’.
Did it work?
In the words of my sister, it is “differently awesome!”
It’s definitely a summer drink with these flavours, and the botanicals of the gin played together with them ever so nicely in the glass. While on the sweet side, the blended ice mutes the sugar while increasing the refreshment factor. And the slight hint of mint from the garnish brings this baby in for a home run!
I do feel like I should issue a warning with this drink. While it’s not an incredibly alcoholic drink (equating to about 40mL of gin in 3 serves), the drinkability of this concoction means that before you know it, you may be too inebriated to operate the blender any further.
Which is why it’s always a good idea to have a designated driver – since they’re sober anyway, you can get them to play bartender for everyone else
(aka Boozy White Nectarine & Elderflower slushie)
Makes 3-4 glasses
1/2 cup gin (I used Tanqueray 10)
1/3 cup Elderflower concentrate
1/4-1/3 cup simple syrup * (depending on how ripe your nectarines are)
6 small white nectarines (or 3 large ones)
2-3 cups ice cubes
Mint, to garnish
* A simple syrup used for cocktails is a 1:1 mix of sugar and water (though I also add 1 tbsp glucose syrup to prevent crystallization). Bring to a boil and remove from heat as soon as the sugar has dissolved. It’s pretty stable and can be stored in the fridge for all your cocktail-making needs!
** You can absolutely leave the gin out of this for a virgin cocktail, though I’d replace it by adding 1/2 cup of apple juice.
1. Cut a cross into your nectarines, then plunge into boiling water for about 30 seconds before removing and cooling in an ice bath. This will help you remove the skins cleanly to ensure the end result keeps it’s pale peach colour.
2. While the nectarines are cooling in the ice bath, pour the gin, elderflower cordial and simple syrup into a large jug. Peel the nectarines, then cut off the flesh and add to the jug.
3. Blend the mixture together till the nectarine flesh is smooth and there are no lumps to be found, then add your ice and again blend – ideally, you want the ice blended so smooth that there are no pieces to “crunch” on.
4. Pour into some chilled glasses, garnish with a small sprig of mint et voila! A gorgeous summery cocktail which is light, refreshing and just dangerously drinkable!
Now, if you’re an Australian reader you’d like a chance to win your very own Bamix Deluxe Blender (RRP $299.00), all you need to do is leave a comment telling me of one of your kitchen heartbreaks! Maybe it’s the story of how you dropped that gorgeous chocolate mud cake just as you finished icing it? Or your food processor breaking down mid-blitz? Just leave your tale in the comments below for a chance to win this prize!
And as always, you can earn another entry in the draw by also tweeting the following:
Entries close on Sunday 16th September 2012, with the winner to be published and notified the following day so make sure to get your entries in here!