Ancient recipes refresh
THERE'S nothing as refreshing as a cool drink on a hot summer day, and the local farmers markets are the ideal place to find some icy cold beverages that are just a little out of the ordinary.
The Rancho Lime stall at the New Brighton Farmers Market has a fantastic selection of handmade local cordials and fruit drinks created by Numulgi citrus farmer Jane Boniface.
Jane uses her own organic produce in her drinks, which include her award-winning lime and mandarin cordials, delicately flavoured elderflower cordial, fresh mandarin juice and her more recent creations - elderflower jun and fruit shrubs.
Jun is a fermented probiotic drink with a slight fizz that's similar to kombucha, but instead of black tea and sugar, is created with green tea and honey: "It's like a finer kombucha,” she says. Jane creates her version using local honey and her home grown elderflowers to add flavour.
Also new to her stall are a range of fruit shrubs, made with organic fruit from Jane's farm. They come in some unusual but delicious flavours, including blueberry with ginger, strawberry and rosemary, mandarin and cardamom and custard apple and mint.
Jane says the possibilities are endless when it comes to flavouring shrubs, as you can use any fruit.
"It's an old recipe that dates back more than 2000 years,” she said.
"In ancient times they would just use date honey and vinegar and whatever seasonal fruit they had, set it aside for a while, strain it then add water.”
Jane uses a similar process, but substitutes organic apple cider vinegar and local honey.
The result is a concentrate that Jane says is best enjoyed with sparkling water. The shrubs are also ideal as cocktail mixes.
"The strawberry and rosemary, blueberry and ginger and the custard apple and mint all go really well with gin, and the mandarin and cardamom goes really well with white rum,” Jane said. "It's just a drink you can really sit down with and enjoy.”