When coming up with an idea for this cocktail (and believe me it took a while … My kind Gryffindor friend who lent me her scarf and tie knows I took forever to return them!), I wanted to lean on Gryffindor’s association with fire. Fire is warming, daring, and a little precocious on the palette. I wanted this cocktail to reflect that, but still be delicious.
That’s when I came up with the idea of combining the natural sweetness of strawberries with the fierce spiciness of chillies. All topped off with tequila, lime and a little salt of course. For me, these things represent Gryffindor well. They represent the bravery with the chilli and tequila, but also the strawberry hued warmth of the house. For all of us, no matter which houses we’ve been sorted in – Gryffindor is the one we’re most familiar with, and will always be a second home. Gryffindor also contains a mix of characters, not usually displaying ‘traditional’ traits – but nobody can deny when they come together as a team they are formidable! The flavours here are a little like that – on their own, are different but delicious. Together they make something incredible. Greater than the sum of their parts.
“You might belong in Gryffindor,
Where dwell the brave at heart,
Their daring, nerve, and chivalry
Set Gryffindors apart“
I also really hope you guys like the props I’ve used for this photo shoot. I recently discovered a little shop / museum around the corner from my flat opened by Minalima. For those who don’t know – this is the two-man (or woman-and-man, really) team who did almost all of the graphic design for the Harry Potter franchise. Every newspaper front cover, all the books in the background, the stock for Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes …even Hermione’s time turner! In short, all the little details that make the films so magical.
Of course, knowing this, I spent a small Gringotts fortune in there! Its truly wonderful. Below you can see an example of a magazine from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them, underneath a copy of ‘Hogwarts a History’. Amongst other things, not pictured, I purchased badges, buttons, notebooks, postcards and stamps from all films. A few proudly display my Ravenclaw house – but others are merely potion bottle labels and various copies of ‘Advanced Potion Making’. I also picked up a copy of the “Harry Potter: Film Wizardry” book. Its absolutely renewed my inspiration and interest in making more Wizarding recipes. Plus, if anybody, ever was struggling to find me a gift – the address is 26 Greek Street, Soho, London! I’m kidding … But its well worth a visit.
… and back on topic
A Note on the Ice
Since making and photographing this drink – I’ve MASSIVELY improved my ice game. Cocktail aficionados will notice (and no doubt criticise) the cloudiness of the ice. However, even after trial and error to produce perfectly clear ice, I much preferred the cloudy version. Think of the Hogwarts ghosts, misty and ethereal.
It started when I bought this spherical ice ball mold on recommendation from a friend:
Its a great little product, and made from silicone so once you’ve made your ice, the whole thing peels right off.
Using tap water with this mold produces a cloudy, translucent shape. Whilst freezing it, I popped a few chillies in and think they look fantastic ’emerging’ from the dog. Whilst absolutely harmless and tasteless – cloudy ice isn’t for everyone however.
This occurs when naturally occurring impurities are forced towards the centre of your ice as it freezes from the outside in. To prevent it, either use super-pure water (for example, by boiling it off), or freeze it from the bottom upwards, giving the impurities a space to escape. After all this trial and error myself – I’ll be writing up a blog post in the next few weeks with a more detailed method and examples! But for the mean time, if you want this ghostly look – stick with simpler homemade ice!
Gryffindor's Scarlet Jewels
- 5 large Strawberries
- 1 whole lime
- 70 ml Tequila
- 1 whole Bird Eye Chilli
- pinch Salt
Finely chop the whole bird eye chilli, and add to 70ml of tequila. Mix thoroughly and leave to infuse for around 5-10 minutes.
Meanwhilst, juice the lime and 5 strawberries. To juice strawberries by hand either press them with the flat side of a knife and collect the juices, or blend/muddle and strain. You want a ratio of 2:1 of strawberry juice to lime. (Top Tip: My strawberries weren't the juiciest, but I still wanted that fresh taste, so I complimented the muddled strawberries with a splash of store-bought strawberry juice)
Combine the now infused tequila with the lime/strawberry, and add a pinch of salt. Shake thoroughly with ice, and strain with a fine sieve so remove any bits. Pour over ice, and if desired add a few more chillies to the glass.