Organic Fruit/Summer Cup Recipe

I recently had a request from a gentleman on Twitter asking me about the availability of organic fruit cup.

I knew that no commercial product currently existed, but I thought that it wouldn’t be too much trouble to mix one up myself, using organic gin and organic vermouth, but then I found out that no-one currently makes organic vermouth!*

Intrigued by this gap in the market, I set about making my own, using my previous experience from making red vermouth. Starting from scratch, I made a fruit cup mix** (organic flavour-infused aromatized wine) that I could then mix with organic Gin/Vodka/Whisky to make a fruit cup that could then be mixed with organic lemonade.

My Recipe:
One bottle of Organic Red Wine (Italian Terra Viva Merlot 2010 – £6.99 Waitrose)
Juice and peel of one organic lemon and organic orange
Peel of half an organic cucumber
One organic tea bag, infused in the wine for 15 mins (Organic Earl Grey – £1.29 Waitrose)
Four dessert spoonfuls of organic brown sugar (the darker the better)
One stick of organic cinnamon

Add everything to a Kilner Jar and leave to infuse for 24 hrs.
Give it a taste and, if you are happy with the flavour, strain and bottle the mix; if not, leave for a little longer.
Blend the mix in equal parts with your spirit, for example Juniper Green Organic Gin, and then sit down to enjoy a glass of your very own organic fruit cup.

Organic Fruit Cup as enjoyed at The Feathers Gin Bar, Woodstock

I mixed the fruit cup 1 part Fruit Cup to 3 parts Belvoir Organic Lemonade.

The main point of a Fruit Cup is that it is refreshing and cooling; this version certainly ticks that box. There are sweet and tart elements in the drink and it is also quite citrusy. It is very refreshing and not too sweet, part of the freshness of the drink comes from the distinct taste from the cucumber peel. Easy to drink and rather moreish.

In Conclusion
My first batch was something of a cross between sangria and fruit cup, but if I could find some  organic bitter herb (wormwood, gentian, etc.) to use, I think it would have an additional depth of flavour. Using a darker sugar for the mix, or perhaps a little treacle, would also improve the drink.

* Speaking to Ian Hart of Sacred, who makes some fantastic vermouths, (and gin & vodka) organic vermouth is a bit tricky to come by, but not impossible.
** It doesn’t contain wormwood and so it isn’t vermouth.


Home-made Fruit Cup; a low-cost alternative.

With the beautiful weather we’ve been having over the past few days (and on a Bank Holiday!) as well as the interest in the last few days in my Fruit Cup Tasting (thank you for all the kind comments) I thought I’d give a little more detail on my home-made alternative.

The ingredients for Home-made Fruit Cup

The ingredients for Home-made Fruit Cup

Fruit Cup#1

The Figures

(How much does it cost?)

Bellino Rosso Apertif (£2.79 for 70cl at Tesco)

Green’s Ginger Wine (£3.22 for 70cl at Tesco)

Using the above recipe you can make 2.1 litres of Fruit Cup for just £9.33 (that’s £4.44 per litre) When you combine this with being able to buy two litres of commercial for £26 (and that’s a good deal) it is a significant saving.

Mixing this One part Fruit Cup to three parts Lemonade/Ginger Ale gives you over 4 pitchers* worth of Fruit Cup drink.

If you fancy a drink with a bit more punch and a bit stronger may I suggest this recipe:

In Conclusion

I think Fruit Cup #1 is great if you’re having quite a few folks around for a BBQ or party as it’s tasty, refreshing and cheap. I mixed some up for a friends 50th Birthday party and it was the first to drink to run out. However I don’t think it is as good as the like of Pimm’s or Plymouth but probably represents better value for money.

Fruit Cup #2 has more flavour and is stronger (it has Gin in it) but it is a more expensive alternative than #1. In the end it depends on exactly what you’re looking for but whether you use #1, #2 or a Commercial brand it’s safe to say that Fruit Cups are one fo the best ways to relax and cool off with friends on a gloriously sunny day.

* My Pimm’s Pitchers hold 1.5 litres each