And now for something completely different… the Booze berry!

Found up anlogod down the country in chic bars, niche suppliers, country events and all over social media, Pinkster Gin has ridden on the crest of the Gin renaissance that sees no sign of slowing down. Distilled in small batches, locally grown raspberries are then hand-steeped in the core spirit at the company’s HQ, local to us, near Cambridge, creating its distinctive colour and flavour. The gin is deliciously dry, with a hint of fruit and an exceptionally smooth finish.pinkster%20gt%202

There’s raspberry on the nose as the juniper comes through and then a slight spice that develops and lingers. For the perfect drink after a long day out with your horses, serve with Fever-Tree tonic, a raspberry and a sprig of well-spanked fresh mint.  Spanking the mint (clapping it in your hands before you place it in the glass on top of the ice) releases the minty aromas!

0000015_boozy-berries_550.pngThe innovation behind Pinkster came about purely by accident when founder Stephen Marsh was experimenting at home and, after working his way through an entire fruit bowl, discovered that raspberry delivered the best flavour. Best of all, the raspberries are recycled, albeit slightly intoxicated (28% proof!), and sold as Boozy Berries.

So aside from eating these fruity gems straight from the jar what else can be done with them? On a wet Saturday afternoon I decided to try out some of my own kitchen experiments, combining flavour ideas suggested to me by my children (who don’t drink Gin I may add…) and my own thoughts on what makes the perfect boozy pudding. What evolved was….

Lemon Curd and Boozy Berry Ice Cream!

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Ingredients

325 g Good Quality Lemon Curd

1 Unwaxed lemon

284 ml Double Cream

250 g Natural Yoghurt

¼ to ½ a Jar of Pinkster Boozy Berries (depending on taste & desired ‘boozyness’)

Mint to Garnish

Method

Finely grate the zest and squeeze the juice from the lemon.

Very lightly whip the cream with an electric or hand whisk until it is just starting to thicken but has not yet formed into stiff peaks.

Using a metal spoon, fold in the lemon zest and juice and yogurt. Gradually fold in the lemon curd then pour into a 1 litre freezer proof tub with lid.

Place in the freezer for 4-5 hours until fully frozen or dig out that really expensive ice cream maker you use about once a year!

Remove the container every hour or so to stir with a fork, making sure the more frozen edges are mixed in. After about 2 hours, when the ice cream is firming up, drain 1/4 to 1/2 a jar of Boozy Berries into a bowl. Crush them lightly with the back of a fork and stir  into the ice cream mix, so they are evenly distributed. Return the container to the freezer for another 2 – 3 hrs to, giving the odd blend to distribute the frozen edges.

To Serve -If making in advance, take out of the freezer and place in the fridge for 15-20 minutes to soften slightly before serving. Garnish with boozy berries, fresh mint and if you feel in the mood a small shot of the Boozy Berry liquor or a well-mixed Pinkster G&T.

Boozy Berries are sold online at www.pinkstergin.com (£6 for a 300g jar) or via select retail outlets – see the website for details.

Many thanks to Pinkster for sending over the Berries & some of their amazing gin for Team B&W to try.

Fairfax & Favor Go Pink for Charity!

As many of you know October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month , which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease.

Running a charity project for the second year running, to show support for the campaign is luxury boot and shoe manufacturers Fairfax and Favor.

During October the brand will be selling their limited edition, Breast Cancer Awareness leather tassel with all proceeds going to Breast Cancer Care UK.

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The tassels are a  limited edition piece is crafted in Fairfax and Favor’s signature tassel style combining supple powder pink leather with a custom gold shield, all finished with a beautiful cotton gift bag to keep them in the best possible condition.

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Designed to be worn with the FF Regina boots, or used to adorn their handbags or an accessory of your choice.

The limited edition tassels are priced at £30.00 and can be ordered here

Show your support, look stylish and think pink!

 

 

Team B&W visits the RIHS at Hickstead and finds out if we are ‘Responsible Riders’

I haven’t visited Hickstead as a competitor for many years but in my youth I was lucky enough to jump a round in the international arena. I feel privileged to have had this experience – scary as it was. Until you have ridden up the tunnel and felt the ‘buzz’ it’s hard to explain… Hickstead is a very special and magical place.

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As guests of Petplan Equine I was lucky enough to re visit for the Longines Royal International Horse Show a couple of weeks ago. As my children are mad keen riders I brought them along for the experience, and the car was buzzing with excitement as we drove into the car park at the Sussex based showground.

We couldn’t have chosen more perfect weather… with glorious sunshine Hickstead’s freshly painted showjumps gleamed and sparkled amid the perfectly manicured grass that makes up the International arena.

Hickstead always offers some great spaces to watch the action, from the main grandstands to ringside where you always get a sense of the scale of fences that form the premier classes. Not for the fainthearted and my oldest son bravely reassured me that he might be jumping there one day (we will wait and see Henry!). Watching ringside or popping down to the warm up area nearby gives you a real sense of the athleticism of these amazing equines. As an eventer, it’s always fascinating to compare and contrast approached to warm up, kit and technique… even with three children in tow there is always time to learn.

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Alongside the pro and amateurs show jumping RIHS always hosts a range of championship showing classes. While we were there the miniature ponies went to championship in the main arena followed by the hacks that looked absolutely stunning. Again, it was great to see approaches to warm up and how the teams handled these immaculate looking animals. The site at Hickstead is massive so you could spend more than a day spectating.

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However, we were soon off to visit the PetPlan Equine trade stand to see how we faired in their new initiative the ‘Responsible Riders Quiz’. Henry, who is 7, decided to take the test himself… convinced that after one week of Pony Club Camp he would be able to answer all the questions. I was less convinced but in the interests of ‘education’ decided to let him have a go!

Question 1. You bring your horse in from the field and he is walking slowly and looks uncomfortable.

Do you…

Take him for a ride — he is probably just a bit stiff and will loosen up with exercise

or put him in a stable to rest for the night and check him first thing

or Check his feet and legs for signs of injury and if you’re still concerned call the vet for advice?

I shouldn’t have doubted that some of my constant pony care chat and the training at Pony Club hadn’t sunk in somewhere as Henry was full of correct answers. 14/14 – good work Henry! It was interesting to hear him make educated decisions about what he would do in different situations, although at 7 years old his understanding of what ‘insurance’ is was a little sketchy. As a prize Henry won a great Pet Plan goody bag with some really useful gifts and an insurance discount voucher which I will be using as I have been a Petplan Equine customer for quite a few years now.

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The quiz itself is designed to find out how your attitude towards your horse’s health and welfare rates and to help make sure your horse is happy and healthy. Plus, pick up some great advice from Petplan Equine’s expert partners. You can take an online version here:

http://www.petplanequine.co.uk/my-petplan-equine/responsible-rider/

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With the quiz complete it was time for lunch, Champagne in the sun and a spot of celeb spotting while shopping in the massive trade stand area. With all the top retailers to choose from I had to be restrained at one point from buying up the whole of Cavalleria Toskana which sells some of the best junior riding kit I have seen in a long while. Available in the UK only from www.fourseasons-equestrian.co.uk with dedicated men’s, women’s and children’s collections. Cavalleria Toskana features the latest in tech and edgy design but still as functional as you will get.

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With the last of our pennies spent on the children’s fun fair we finished out day with an evening in Brighton. Just a stone’s throw from Hickstead and again a wonderful family destination.

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A day full of memories, excitement, learning and fun. Massive thanks to Petplan Equine and the team at Hickstead for putting on such an amazing show. I can’t wait to see my brood tackle the famed Derby bank when they are older!

For more information on Petplan Equine visit www.petplanequine.co.uk

This post has been possible thanks to Petplan Equine, but all thoughts are my own.