b-line with the bergamots

i bought some bergamots from natoora last week, because i’d never tried them before and was intrigued. all i knew was that they are the citrus fruit that gives earl grey tea it’s floral flavour and is also found in lots of light zesty perfumes.

having done a bit of research, and having tried them i now know that most of the flavour is in the zest, which is incredibly bitter and perfumed (a friend said it smelt of soap; david said it smelt of aftershave). the juice was less bitter than i was expecting and while it still has a hint of the bergamot perfume in its flavour it is much more subtle.

wanting to make the most of these citrus fruits i pulled up lots of recipe ideas and got stuck in. one of the first things to be made was this bergamot cocktail, which i found on stirred not shaken. the perfume of the bergamot balances incredibly well with the bourbon and you end up with a very sophisticated drink.

to make a b-line, shake over ice 1 ½ shots bourbon, 1 shot fresh bergamot juice, ¾ shot of lillet blanc, ½ a shot sugar syrup, a couple of drops of orange bitters and a piece of bergamot peel. serve in a martini glass, with a twist of orange as a garnish (don’t use more bergamot, it would probably be too perfumed as a result!).