Not just any drink though.
I only really like a nice cold glass of white wine- preferably French and preferably Sauvignon Blanc. I will occasionally sip a Prosecco or champagne- but that's as far as it goes.
I might look longingly at an Italian red when in a pizzeria, or a chilled rose de provence on a summer's evening- but I know it won't agree with me so I steer clear.
I do however have a well stocked drinks cabinet - full of nearly empty liqueurs and spirits, bought for Christmases and dinner parties and only gradually used up over the years. (I have a half bottle of Calvados left over from my honeymoon 30 years ago!)
So, my challenge this week was to think of different ways of using up some of the alcoholic bits and bobs in my cupboard.
Slow cooking the duck in a slow cooker or low oven ensures tender meat and a rich sauce. Using the vermouth gives a lovely herby, sweet taste to the sauce.
1 duck leg per person
1 cup red vermouth
1 cup chicken stock
1 onion finely chopped
1 tsp five spice powder
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
1. First brown the duck legs skin side down in a dry frying pan until they are golden and the fat runs out freely
2, Place them in the slow cooker or casserole dish skin side up and rub the skin with a little salt and the five spice powder
3 Soften the onion in the duck fat and add to the dish
4. Pour the vermouth and stock around the legs and add the bay leaf
5. Cook in the slow cooker for 6 hours or in the oven for 2 hours
6. Serve with a vegetable of your choice
Next it was the sherry- with a classic sherry trifle: sponge or leftover cake, soaked in sherry, with fruit, jelly if you like it and custard- with cream.
The creme de cassis was next on the hit list: first drizzled over some fresh nectarines and strawberries:
And then used to make little sweet toasts: butter thin slices of brioche or canape toasts ( I used fig bread), spread with honey and slices of fresh fruit, and a squeeze of lemon juice.Drizzle over a little liqueur of your choice and bake in the oven (180 degrees for 30 mins or until the toasts are crisp and the fruit is soft.) Sprinkle with icing sugar or chopped nuts and serve with ice cream.
The peppermint liqueur went with some finely chopped kiwi and honeydew melon in a shot glass as part of an assiette gourmande ( a plate of tiny little puddings - like a dessert menu in 3D!):
Have I finished? Not quite. I made Pimms jellies for dinner tonight: jelly (orange or lemon) dissolved with some fresh fruit and Pimms and served with mint and lemon. (You can use gelatine leaves - 4 leaves to 500 ml- and fresh fruit juice if you prefer.)
I have plans for the coconut punch, rum and possibly even the Calvados- but for that I need the contents of my Mystery Parcel which just arrived.