26 October 2020

An apple a day...

Posted by the Cake Shop

Today we'd like to talk to you about restoration and relaxation: drinks to relieve the body and mind. 

What’s a restorative? It’s a word we’ve been thinking about a lot recently. In a general sense, it could be anything that helps ease our everyday worries and burdens. It’s taking time each day to unwind, taking a long stretch to unclench those tense muscles, taking a contemplative walk through the blowing leaves. Shuffling your feet slowly this way and that – a nana step. Going to bed at ten o’clock. A new meditation cushion. The soothing saxophone and share of Nubya Garcia’s latest album, SOURCE.

A restorative is also a kind of drink: usually warm, often containing a mild, medicinal dose of alcohol. In days gone by we’d have been offered a cup of caudle or a pot of posset as a restorative draft, but times change and these recipes – curdled milk in ale, warm gruel in wine, etc – just don’t appeal to the modern palate. Instead, we’ve taken the term as an inspiration and an invitation to consider what kind of drink would lift our spirit in 2020:

A warm cherry shrub with boozy black tea and vanilla. Hot, sweet cox apple juice, chamomile and whiskey. Fortifying in grey weather. Spiced and spiked, a tonic for the body and the mind.

We’ll be serving these drinks in the courtyard on Saturday October 31st. We encourage you to take a slow walk down to see us through Russell Square or Bloomsbury Square Gardens, followed by a gentle browse in the Bookshop. The booksellers will be offering a 10% discount, and if you bring your receipt out to us, we’ll give you a hot whiskey apple on the house.

Our emphasis is on not rushing things, on giving ourselves the space we need. The cherry shrub that we’ll be using was something we set brewing back in 2018; at the time we didn’t know what it was destined for, but it turns out to be the perfect fit for this particular Autumn afternoon. Saturday will also be the day we launch our Christmas cakes, and the new Christmas cookie recipe we’ve been developing over the last months. The cakes are baked with fruits that have been soaking in apple brandy since those distant pre-lockdown days, and the cookies – well, we’re proud of them. They have a rich and rounded flavour, spiced and bitter-sweet: dark chocolate, roasted almond, raisin and star anise.