This is “Not Campari”. When my dear friend in Tuscany, Judy Witts Francini proclaimed “Red is the New Black” this summer, it started a hashtag war. Her Italian Campari; my Gascon rosé. Somehow, all of a sudden, I was seeing red everywhere! And here’s the proof.
Childhood Summer memories are running rampant right now. One of my earliest Red images-a horizontal soda pop machine with small glass bottles sporting brightly colored caps full of sweet sticky cold Strawberry Soda. So when I was given a precious gift of these old variety strawberries-dubbed a Raspberry-Strawberry by some, I knew that I had to find a way to savor the amazing flavor that was quintessentially red.
After a quick game of tic tac toe with the startling white Pineberry-those oldest variety of new world, South American berries, I took the few remaining red berries-super charged with flavor-from the box-and with just a scant 7 berries I made a VSB (Very Small Batch) of Sirop de Fraise using some simple syrup already tucked in my fridge.I let the strawberries mingle with the syrup over night and declared this a perfect Sunday breakfast drink: a splash of syrup over ice, a float of cold water, a quick stir. As refreshing as a Campari Soda (last savored in Portofino an age ago!) and OK before breakfast.
The idea behind VSB (Very Small Batches, remember?) is to not drown yourself in gallons and liters but to celebrate the very short season and small precious tastes in a mini-moment of Summer Redness. So when another friend (nice to have good friends, eh?) brought a lovely small basket full of THE MOST DELICIOUS cherries to Camont, I knew if I didn’t snag a few handfuls for later, they’d be gone in Gascon minute. So I grabbed a canning jar (the size I usually put my Duck Confit in), and using that same smash with a fork technique, I covered the fruit, stones, stems and all with a cup of fine sugar and filled the jar with some homemade eau de vie stashed in the bar. I covered the top with some cherry leaves for added flavor (check David Lebovitz’s recipe here for more inspiration) and set it aside for a few more days. It was only after I had sat back, that I thought to check my own cherry trees here at Camont. There were so few when I looked a couple weeks of ago, I hadn’t bothered. What a delightful surprise to see small but perfectly ripe clusters weighing down the end of the branches by the Gypsy caravans. #Summerrosso confiture coming next!
Celebrating Summer is a Camont tradition… check our archives here of summer posts for more #Summerrosso inspiration!