Syrups and cordials with a grown up edge
Since I had to give up drinking last year I’ve been on a constant, often frustrating, journey to find non alcoholic drinks. Too often they are really sweet, really fizzy or packed with elderflower (the latter gives me stomach ache). So I’m pleased to have found some lovely syrups and cordials made by not one but TWO local companies: Discover the Wild and Gribbin and Bear.
Let me take you back to August Bank holiday weekend. I won some tickets for a tasting session at Restaurant Bar and Grill hosted by Manchester Gin and Discover the Wild. I know I don’t drink but I really wanted the bottle of gin for my hubby so I packed him off along with his brother and sister in law and my best friend to this event. While they were getting tipsy on Manchester Gin infused cocktails they mentioned that I wasn’t drinking and Discover the Wild owner David kindly sent them home with some syrups for me to try.
David is a well known and respected forager who organises events across Greater Manchester. He’s been making syrups with foraged finds for a while so decided to set up and sell them to the public. The syrups are lovely. You can make them as strong or as weak as you like. I’ve tried the dandelion and burdock, blackcurrant leaf & nettle and linden blossom.
Dandelion and burdock is my favourite. It’s a proper old fashioned taste without the burpy fizz which came with the bottle from the pop van when I was little.
Linden blossom is probably too subtle for me as a drink but would make a delicious drizzle over some vanilla ice cream. Andrew seems to have drunk most of the blackcurrant leaf which has a slightly earthy taste to it, and I would like to try it hot on a chilly winters day.
Over in Lancashire, Gribbin and Bear are making small batch jams, chutneys and cordials. Their orange and cardamom cordial is hard to describe. It is orange with a slightly savoury edge! Ok, so that sounds weird but it is really refreshing and I think it is good hot too. I really dislike ‘straight’ orange cordial, it has to have something added like mango or old school pineapple. But this is a much more sophisticated flavour which kids and adults all liked when I served it up at a party.
Both these companies are making small batches with natural ingredients, so they need to be used a couple of weeks after opening. But you’ll be ordering more before that happens so no worries on that front!
Discover the Wild sell their syrups online where you can find out about foraging courses as well.
Gribbin and Bear sell at various markets, including Bolton Artisan Market. Check out their Facebook for details.
Thanks to both for the bottles – saving my non-drinking sanity!