Featured as part of our Cooks and their Books series, this recipe comes courtesy of Australian food icon Margaret Fulton. The idea of combining tender mint sprigs chopped with sugar and lemon in a drink – the refreshing flavour infusing the sugar – comes from Kentucky in the United States, where they also used to add bourbon. Making the drink in three stages keeps it tasting fresh and bubbly. The spicy ginger also seems to go well with Christmas.
- 1 bunch mint
- ¾ cup caster sugar
- 1 cup strained lemon juice
- ice cubes
- 3 x 1.25 litre bottles dry ginger ale, well chilled
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced, for garnish
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Standing time 2 hours
Remove the leaves from the mint stalks and chop finely in a blender or food processor with the sugar and lemon juice. Scoop the mixture into a jug or bowl, cover and leave to stand for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
When ready to serve, half-fill a tall jug with ice cubes and strain (or pour unstrained) a third of the mint mixture over the top of the ice. Fill up the jug with one of the bottles of dry ginger ale, stir and garnish with the lemon slices and a sprig of mint.
Repeat with the remaining ingredients once the jug has emptied.
Recipe from Margaret Fulton Christmas by Margaret Fulton, with photographs by Mark Roper. Published by Hardie Grant Books.