One of the most intriguing products I found have found recently is a rose spirit, with a very regal pedigree, called Lanique. This delicately pink-hued tipple was originally produced for a princess in 17th Century eastern Europe and contained Attar of rose petals, harvested from the Far East. It became a favourite of the wealthy and was imbibed right through to the Roaring Twenties. Sadly, it all but disappeared at the outbreak of the Second World War and the gathering Communist tide in the Eastern Bloc countries.
Eventually the recipe was rediscovered and a band of Polish bartenders arrived in the Channel Islands in the ‘80’s, bringing Lanique with them. It was soon a firm favourite with visitors and locals alike and Jersey based entrepreneur, Lawrence Huggler, who owns hotels and other businesses including Bohemia Bar & Restaurant, decided to buy the brand. He then designed a new bottle and label that would echo the majestic background of the drink. Love Drinks were brought on board to build the brand and launch it into the UK drinks market.
We first tried Lanique at this year’s Northern Restaurant and Bar show and fell in love with it. Rose to me has always been one of the scents and tastes of an English summer. Lanique is a versatile spirit and can be used in many ways. On the rocks with tonic or lemonade, with English sparkling wine or prosecco and in cocktails. The Lanique signature serve is over crushed ice, with a wedge of lime and a squeeze of lime juice and a dash of soda. The sharpness of the lime making the perfect counterpoint to the sweetness and perfume of the rose.
Lanique very kindly sent me a bottle but we decided not to just sample as a drink, although we did that too, but to cook with it as well. We wanted a recipe that encapsulated all the tastes of summer. See what we came up with below. Please give it a try and let us know how you get on.
Poached Strawberries with Rose Spirit Syrup and Vanilla Panacotta
Poached Strawberries with Rose Syrup
• 300g Strawberries, hulled and halved
• 60g of Caster Sugar
• 30ml Lanique Rose Spirit
• 30ml of Water
Vanilla Panna Cotta
• 1 Vanilla Pod
• 4 gelatine leaves (a vegetarian alternative can be used)
• 600ml of double cream
• 80g of caster sugar
1. Place the caster sugar, Lanique spirit and water in a pan and bring to the simmer. Add in the strawberries and poach gently for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
2. Soften the gelatine in cold water according to the instruction.
3. Bring the cream, vanilla seeds and sugar gently to the boil in a heavy-based saucepan.
4. Add the softened gelatine leaves to the pan and stir to dissolve them. Remove the pan from the heat and leave the mix to cool and infuse for about 5 minutes
5. Once cooled slightly, strain the cream through a close sieve or muslin and pour the mixture evenly into six pudding moulds and place them in the fridge to set for at least 1 hour
6. To serve. Dip the pudding moulds into a pan of hot water for about 3 seconds, then turn them upside down in the centre of a plate so that the Panna Cotta slides out. Handy tip. Place the plate upside down over the mould then flip the right way around.
7. Arrange the strawberries around the Panna Cotta, garnish with sugared rose petals and serve with a cold glass of Hush Heath Balfour Rosé English sparkling wine and Lanique. Summer time at its best.
We were gifted the bottle of Lanique but as always, the review and opinions are our own and unbiased.
Photos: © Taste Today. Do not reproduce without permission