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Break time

It might sound like laundry-detergent-commercial-poetry or pearls of wisdom from the wall of a chained cafe, but coffee really is always a good idea and a steaming mug of tea will help you calm down in almost any crisis. I actually think that time stops as soon as the first drop of hot liquid hits the bottom of a china cup.

It's really important to make time for a proper break.

Pomegranate and rosemary cocktail

I hope you are having a lot of fun this holiday season! I would love to wish you all a beautiful new year and a magical New Year's Eve. You can celebrate with this festive pomegranate and rosemary cocktail. Of course you don't have to save it for the New Year's, it's works great for every occasion.

Recipe: Pomegranate and rosemary cocktail

Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 80 ml of gin
  • 80 ml of chilled pomegranate juice
  • one tbsp. of rosemary simple syrup
  • one tbsp. of lime juice
Method
  • Mix all the ingredients in a shaker with ice.
  • Pour into glasses and garnish with rosemary springs and pomegranate seeds.

Recipe: Rosemary simple syrup

Ingredients
  • one cup of water
  • one cup of sugar
  • 5 rosemary springs
Method
  • Place all the ingredients in a pot and heat over low heat, until sugar dissolves completely.
  • Remove from heat and set aside for 30 minutes.
  • Discard rosemary springs and chill the syrup in a fridge.

Prosecco and blackberries cocktail

What's your least favourite weather? Personally, I really honestly hate the heat. Even my inborn aversion to snow and cold doesn't make it easier to bear anything over 30 degrees Celscius. I hope that one day I will move to a weather paradise where thermometers never show anything below 20 or above 25 degrees. Until then, all I have is complaining and more and less effective methods of surviving the heat.

How to survive the sweltering heat:

1. If you can't imagine starting a day without a cup of coffee, go for a refreshing iced americano, instead of foamy cappuccino.

2. Drink water! Lots of water! Add fresh mint, lemon juice or cucumber slices to make it even more reviving. Drinking water is almost always a good idea.

3. Eat cold food. It's light and you don't need to stay over a steaming pot or heat your kitchen with the oven to prepare it. Make salads, cold snacks, sushi (or - even better - sushi burrito) and cold soups (how about chilled avocado soup chłodnik z awokado?).

4. Homemade ice cream! Making sorbet or granita doesn't take a lot of effort and gives you a solid dose of refreshment. Use this recipe for traditional Sicilian granita. You can adjust the quantity of sugar (or not use sugar at all) and go with seasonal fruit - blueberries, raspberries, currants.

5. Focus on the positive sides of the heat. In the evening, when the temperature is nice and bearable, sit at your terrace (or your friends' terrace), take a sip of a chilled prosecco and blackberries cocktail and try to remember how much you actually hate winter.

Recipe: Prosecco and blackberries cocktail

Serves: 2 (adults)
Ingredients
  • 150 ml of chiled prosecco (or other sparkling white wine - it just has to be chilled!)
  • 50 ml of chilled limoncello
  • fresh blackberries (around 6)
Method
  • Start with placing blackberries in the freezer for at least 20 minutes.
  • Transfer frozen blackberries into chilled glasses.
  • Top with limoncello.
  • Fill up with chilled prosecco.
  • Cheers!

Bloody Mary

Bloody Mary seems to be a good friend of everyone who ever had to deal with the morning-after syndrome. Potassium and vitamin C (and vodka) make it a perfect choice for brunch, especially when Mimosa is just not enough.

There are at a few conflicting claims of who invented the Bloody Mary (and even if most of these bartenders are lying, it's hard to blame them). The cocktail was probably created in the first half of the 20th century. Its name comes from sorbiquet given to Queen Mary I of England, known for gory executions of Protestants when she tried to turn England back to Roman Catholicism.

The simplest recipe includes vodka and tomato juice, the most classic mix adds lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, tabasco, salt and pepper. There are numerous variations. Bloody Fairy contains absinth instead of vodka, Bloody Maria replaces vodka with tequila, Bloody Moly - with Irish whiskey. The inventors of Bloody Bull combined beef bouillon with tomato juice, the admirers of Bloody Mariyaki substitute Worcestershire sauce with teriyaki. Bloodless Mary comes without tomato juice, Bloody Shame is a sad cocktail without vodka.

The most common garnish is a celery stalk, sometimes coming with olives, pickles and lemon slices. More elaborate ones include jalapeño peppers, becon, cheese, oysters or shrimp. The most extraordinary Bloody Marys are garnished with mini burgers (as well as full-size burgers), pizza slices (as well as entire pizzas) and hot dogs.

Recipe: Bloody Mary

Serves: 2 adults
Ingredients
  • 160 ml of vodka
  • 320 ml of tomato juice
  • juice of one lemon
  • 5-6 dashes of tabasco
  • a dash of salt
  • a dash of pepper
Method
  • Combine all the ingredients in cocktail shaker with a few cubes of ice.
  • Strain into chilled cocktail glasses.
  • Add garnish.

Recipe: Garnish

Ingredients
  • celery stalks
  • caper berries
  • dried chili peppers
  • lemon slices
  • prosciutto wrapped shrimp, grilled or roasted

rhubarb syrup

It’s one of the best ways to capture the taste of summer in a glass bottle. Rhubarb syrup is extremely easy to make and can be used in multiple refreshing ways. You can add it to homemade iced tea or simply serve with sparkling water and plenty of ice cubes. I highly recommend a cocktail made of rhubarb syrup and wheat beer, with a hint of lemon and fresh mint. If you plan a summer evening on a terrace, make a spritzer with crisp white wine and sparkling water or pleasantly chilled prosecco.

Recipe: Rhubarb syrup

Makes about 400 ml of syrup
Ingredients
  • 1 kg of rhubarb, chopped
  • one cup of sugar
  • 2 cups of water
  • juice of one lemon
Method
  • Combine rhubarb, sugar, water and lemon juice in a saucepan.
  • Bring to boil and simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes.
  • Let cool and sieve to separate the liquid from the rhubarb (you can use it to make a cake).
  • Transfer the syrup to a bottle.
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