Summer. Just the word makes me excited. Long hot days, bike rides, bbq’s, brunch, lunch and cool delicious cocktails and drinks by a slowly fading fire.
Barkers of Geraldine established 1969 (total legend alert) have been concocting delicious fruit syrups for a while now. They were one of the first things I bought when I landed on these fine shores eleven years ago. I wanted something kiwi, something local and something loved. They reminded me of something I would taste in my childhood when I’d been racing around all day and needed a thirst quencher. A delicious something I would always have in the cupboard to pull out on a hot Summer day for cocktails or I would add to hot water while making the fire on a Wintery Sunday.
So when I saw they were launching a new Summer range (come on Sunshine!) I wanted to cover myself in ice cubes and throw myself head first into a bottle.
Let’s get things straight, I didn’t, but I did set up all four flavours and swish them around to make a decision on my most favourite. The things I do for you.
Blackcurrants and Blueberries with Elderflower, Blood Oranges with Lime and Bitters, Lemons with Lime Cucumber and Mint, Red Currant with Cranberry and Pomegranate.
I know I know you’re licking your lips and thinking about all that beach time you can now enjoy because your drink situation is sorted. The beautiful box of cordials came with some delicious Middle Earth sparkling water and recipes! I usually shrink away at the thought of cooking but when it comes to cooking up some lovely cocktails (and also mocktails for you non-alcohol people out there) I was all in.
Crushed ice (a must – put in a tea towel and bash with a rolling pin), soda water, frozen fruit (awesome if you don’t have ice as it keeps the drink cold), lemons, limes and the pick of cordial. I tried all of them with a variety of fruit and I may (I totally did) have added a little splash of gin with the Lemons and Lime and a whiff of vodka with the Red Currant, Cranberry and Pomegranate. So naughty, so nice.
Lucky for me I had invited a large room full of people around for a bbq and so we set about concocting our favourite drink. Long, tall, ice and berries, just perfect with a large steak cooked just to perfection.
I had a hard time picking my favourite (kind of like a large plate of cakes and you have to have just one) but at the end of the day I’m OBSESSED with pomegranates so the (drum roll) Redcurrant, Cranberry and Pomegranate won out. Closely (and I mean very very closely biting the ankles) was the Lemons with Lime, Cucumber and Mint. Refreshing and thirst quenching and a bit of zing to boot.
Barkers of Geraldine started with wines and preserving elderberries on the farm way back in ’69. More wine flavours, aperitifs and liqueurs followed suit, keeping the family traditions alive and well. 1981 came and a Summer of blackcurrants naturally turned into their first non-alcoholic drink and still their best seller.
You can actually feel the love and stories (of which I’d love to sit and hear about) oozing out of the bottles. You can bet your life I’ll be heading over this Summer to check out the factory and say hello to all those new flavours.
Grab all four and let me know your favourite!
This post was done in collaboration with Barkers of Geraldine but as always my views and opinions are my own.