Hello there, sorry for the sudden disappearance… I took the iPad to Greece aiming to update whenever I came across culinary or beveragey inspiration. But the iPad doesn’t like WordPress, soz…
Anyhoo, I’m back now and above is one of the restaurants in our hotel, Eagles Palace in Halkidiki. As you can see it was very lovely. However, the hotel food wasn’t mind-blowing. It was all very nice – and expensive – but while there were Greek salads in abundance, there was a severe lack of pillowy pitta which I was very much looking forward to splurge on after my pre-hol bread ban (in fact, I didn’t see a single pitta piece. In Greece!?). There was also an absence of halloumi and not one sighting of the famous Halkidiki olive. I mean! So I am just going to have to go back to M&S for them… And check out Greek cookbooks on home turf for inspiration for make-it-myself Grecian fodder.
I mostly devoured novels: Marian Keyes’ The Mystery of Mercy Close. Like an old friend, Mazza is. She breezily writes about serious topics – depression in this case – which leave you affected rather than glum. Then I moved on to Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton: good whodunnit, cloyingly sentimental premise. And Alys, Always by Harriet Lane: creepy, compulsive, a bit more challenging and my favourite of the lot. However, something that did impress my taste buds very much was the hotel pool bar’s chili and coconut mojitos. Mmmm mmmmm…
Who knew? All ingredients combined to create an alcoholic symphony. The sweetness of the coconut was undercut by the sharpness of the limes, the chill of the ice contrasted wondrously with the heat of the chili. It was ruddy wonderful.
Needless to say, this is one I will be trying at home.
And here is a little recipe I’ve kind of concocted myself with the help of Google and lots of random mojito recipes (I can’t seem to find a specific one for chili and coconut mojitos, which makes me like them even more.)
Chili and Coconut Mojitos
Sugar syrup (2 tbsp of sugar for 2tbsp of hot water. Wait for sugar to dissolve and leave to cool)
Half a small red chili
Cut your limes up into 1/4s or 1/8s. Grab big glasses and add as many limes as you fancy to each glass. Add a few slivers of chili skin and as many seeds as you can handle (I’m a wimp so would do a couple), then add a dash or two of sugar syrup.
Mush – or muddle, as they say – the lot up with the back of a spoon. Or with a bartender’s muddler if you’re fancy.
Add ice – crushed or cubed.
Pour in your light rum, as much or as little as you fancy.
Sprinkle in your coconut flakes – again as little or as much as your taste buds dictate, though I wouldn’t go overboard – and add your mint leaves.
Top with a dash of soda water
Stir and serve.