Chiltern Firehouse is a one of London's most venerable restaurants and at last those of us Stateside can have a taste without crossing the pond. The cover of their new cookbook (one of our Best Cookbooks of April) offers no clues about the gorgeous photos and recipes within, like a plain white paper fold that holds a glittering array of loose diamonds.
The first time I opened Chiltern Firehouse my mouth started watering within minutes. This is more than just a cookbook, it's a look inside a restaurant with remarkable style and an intense dedication to making every sip and bite memorable.
Below you'll some sample photos from the book and the recipe for a cocktail that is just what the sunny days of spring and summer are all about...
A sample Starter:
SEA TROUT CRUDO WITH YELLOW MOLE AND CILANTRO
A mouthwatering Main Dish:
SEARED BEEF SALAD
Where the cocktail magic happens at Chiltern Firehouse
A cocktail to sip all summer long:
½ ounce/15 ml vodka
½ ounce/15 ml Belsazar Rosé vermouth
2⁄3 ounce/20 ml Strawberry-Thyme Syrup
2 drops grapefruit bitters
2-1/3 ounces/70 ml champagne
Place all the ingredients except the champagne in a shaker. Fill the shaker with ice cubes, then cover and shake for 4 seconds. Strain through a cocktail strainer and pour into a prechilled flute. Finish with the champagne.
This syrup, a vibrant blend of summer fruit and herbal aromatics, is best made with in-season strawberries and fresh thyme.
Makes about 1 quart/1 liter syrup
5 cups/1 kg superfine sugar
1 quart/1 liter water
1 pound/500 g fresh strawberries
1⁄3 ounce/10 g fresh thyme
Put all the ingredients in a wide saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, uncovered, until the fruit is soft and falling apart. Do not stir. Remove from the heat and pass the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean heatproof container. Leave to cool, then chill or freeze. The syrup keeps well for 3 to 4 days in the fridge, or up to 6 months in the freezer.
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