Blackberry Lavender Gin Fizz Cocktail (*)

My preferred garnish in a G&T is always something from the herb family although it’s very much dependent on the gin. I prefer most gins that have a floral, fresh or fruity taste than those that are more bitter or spicy.

A G&T to me is a crisp and light drink so for my next cocktail recipe I wanted to create something fresh and vibrant. Something that tastes like a pot of fresh berries sat next to a blooming summer bouquet. So using my favourite fruit infusers (Junip Organics) I came up with the ‘Blackberry Lavender Fizz’. It took me a while to get this right as at first I wanted to create a  blackberry syrup but then I realised this would overpower the lavender and be a little too on the sweet side so I stripped it back...

Blackberry Lavender Fizz Cocktail Recipe:

1 Handful fresh raspberries
3-4 Ice Cubes
50ml Gin
20ml Junip Lavender fruit infuser
Fever Tree tonic
Lemon & lavender for garnish

Muddle 1 handful of blackberries in a cocktail shaker and add 3-4 ice cubes

Add 50ml of gin and 20ml of Junip lavender fruit infuser into the shaker and shake until misty

Using a strainer pour into glass and top with tonic

Add a garnish of lemon/ freshly washed lavender and serve

Beki Xo

(*) As part of this review I was gifted the Junip Organics Lavender Fruit Infuser however the recipe and all opinions are my own
Bruschetta 
Algio E Olio Pasta
Raspberry Sorbet
Vegan Food Menu at Vapiano Manchester (*)

Last week I was invited to Vapiano in the Corn Exchange to try out their menu. I’ve previously been before but since going plant based I’ve not paid them a visit so I was intrigued as to what they had to offer for vegans.

Vapiano has a unique ‘fast restaurant’ concept whereby you’re each given a chip card to personally order your food at the different food stations and watch it being made right in front of you. It can be a little awkward once you’ve gotten your drinks and sat down to then individually disappear off, queue at the food station of your preference and then receive your food at different times. However, the idea does make it easier to request for your food to be tailored to you, whether you’re gluten intolerant, vegan, have a spicy palette or hate coriander and that unsociable 10 minutes whilst you individually order and receive your food is forgotten when you see and taste how fresh your dish is. 
The chip cards also makes splitting the bill that much easier.

So since veganism is becoming more popular (hurrah!) restaurants have started to label vegan options similar to how they do gluten free or vegetarian and Vapiano is one of them!
Their vegan options include:

Starter
Bruschetta
Olives

Soup
Tomato soup

Pasta
All Arrabbiata pasta (spicy tomato and garlic)
Pomodoro (spaghetti & tomato sauce)
Aglio E Olio (garlic, chilli and parsley)
Ratatouille (Mediterranean veg in tomato sauce)

Pizza
The dough and tomato base is vegan so just request no cheese
Salad
Mista (mixed leaf and veg – request vegan)
Mista Piccola (mixed leaf, cherry tomato & carrots – request vegan)

Dressings
Balsamic
Lime-chilli
Raspberry-maple

Dessert
Raspberry sorbet
Lemon sorbet

Specials
Pumpkin Soup

It was exciting to choose from a menu that not only had vegan options available but also other options I could tailor to be vegan without feeling awkward. For the starter I had the tomato bruschetta, for main the Algio E Olio pasta (which I asked to be extra spicy as well as having the ability to choose my favourite pasta shape) And for dessert, although there wasn’t an array of vegan options I was happy there was at least 1 or 2 and opted for the raspberry sorbet which was delicious!

The food was fresh and full of flavour, the atmosphere was relaxed and with so many vegan options available as well as having the ability to tailor vegetarian dishes to make them vegan, I’ll definitely be back. 

Beki Xo


(*) A part of this review I was gifted a complimentary meal at Vapiano however all views and opinions are my own.
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