Drinks, Food & Drink

Hibiscus Champagne Cocktail

February 14, 2017

Hibiscus Champagne Cocktail
How about adding some fragrant foraged flavour to your champagne cocktail this Valentine’s Day? Thanks to my lovely foodie friend and plant-based pop-up chef, Karoline, for sharing these eye-catching beauties with us today…

Explore any green and leafy residential area in Cape Town and chances are you will come across some beautiful hibiscus flowers, ranging in colour from white with just a hint of pink, to magenta, yellow, peach, orange and red. You’ll need about 8-10 of the red flowers to make a vibrantly coloured cordial with floral notes and hints of raspberry and rhubarb, perfect for a gorgeous champagne cocktail.

Hibiscus Champagne Cocktail
Hibiscus Cordial
1 cup lightly packed fresh flower petals
¾ cup white sugar
¾ cup water
1 tbsp lemon juice

Once you’ve removed the stamen and stem, cover the hibiscus petals with boiling water in a saucepan and leave to infuse for 15 minutes. The water will stain a dark purple-brown colour, far from the bright, sexy red we’re after, but watch the stunning transformation when you add the lemon juice to the strained liquid. Add the sugar and slowly bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the liquid thickens. The cordial can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

Want to take your urban foraging a step further and turn the wow factor for your romantic cocktail up another notch? Look out for the indigenous, deep red ‘num nums’ (Carissa macrocarpa) adorning the thorny bushes that are often used as natural security hedges. Don’t be put off by the milky sap the fruit releases when you slice it – it’s harmless, and the delicious sweet-tart cordial with subtle hints of cranberry, strawberry and apple, makes for a very special local-is-lekker cocktail.

Num Num Cordial
1 cup num nums, roughly chopped
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup water
1 tsp lime or lemon juice

Roughly chop the num nums, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes, until the fruit is soft and starts falling apart. Strain the num num liquid through a fine mesh strainer (making sure not to press down on the fruit – this will leave you with a cloudy liquid). Return the strained liquid to the saucepan, add the sugar and lemon, and bring back to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the liquid thickens. The cordial can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

To make the cocktail:
Fill the champagne flute with two tablespoons of syrup (hibiscus / hibiscus + num num / num num) and top up with bubbly!

* You can also make a refreshing non-alcoholic drink, just top with sparkling mineral water and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

For more plant based creations connect with Karoline on Instagram & Facebook

Hibiscus Champagne Cocktail
All photography: Lana Kenney ©

Botanical, SA Design

Gift ideas for the nature lover

February 13, 2017

foraged - pressed botanical art
Taking time to find a suitable gift for a friend is often difficult, so I’m always on the look out for ideas. Today is a round up of goodies that will please anyone who appreciates nature and art.

These pressed botanical artworks by Janine Vermeulen of Foraged are so beautiful. 

foraged - pressed botanical art
It’s not to late to get a diary and plan for the year. These gorgeous planners from White Kite Studio are sure to pretty up any desk. There are a few different covers, which were styled by South African florist, Heike le Cordeur and photographed by Tasha Seccombe. I recently bought one and am loving the layout. You can also find them at Poetry stores.

White Kite Any Year Planners
White Kite Any Year Planners
The same photographs that you see on the planners have been used to create the most stunning linen table cloths. Have a look at the full range at Wearels.

The Indi table cloth
The Silke Table Cloth The Raphi Table Cloth
The talented team at Room 13 Collection will soon be launching their new textile and wallpaper range. Follow them on Instagram for a few sneak peeks. This is Aphrodite in Olive, how beautiful?

Aphrodite - olive
Please note: All links are correct at the time of posting but may be removed if no longer valid.

fashion, SA Design

Pattern play with Signature Clothing

February 9, 2017

Signature Clothing - Chloe Dress
If you love prints and patterns as much as I do then you definitely need to know about Signature Clothing. This locally produced label, founded by Desiree Hutchison, is all about laid-back living with stylish garments that are effortless and easy to wear. Their summer collection has a subtle boho feel with tassel details, off the shoulder tops, paisley motifs and kaftan style dresses.

I recently popped into their studio and was so excited to see so many gorgeous, colourful garments in such a tiny space! I chose three stunning lightweight dresses, my favourite being this Chloe dress. I love the front pocket detail and how relaxed and comfy the dress is.

Hop over here to view the rest of the collection and to shop online. In Cape Town, you can also find Signature Clothing at The Kalk Bay Co Op and The Feature Store in Cavendish Square and of course you contact Desiree directly and visit their studio.

Signature Clothing - Chloe Dress

Signature Clothing - Chloe Dress

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Florist, Flowers

Be kind send flowers

February 7, 2017

Valentine’s Day is around the corner and I love the idea of having an excuse to be treat someone with flowers even if it’s yourself.  So why not take the opportunity and order a beautiful bunch from one of the talented florists in Cape Town.

The Holloway Shop creates the most gorgeous bouquets that have a wild and unstructured feel to them. Storm will be making two different sized arrangements for Valentines Day which will be available for collection from the beautiful Margot Molyneux Store. More info on how to order here.

Bouwer Flowers will be creating a special bouquet of seasonal blooms in soft, neutral shades which will come together with Two Honest Chocolate Bon Bons & a Ruschka du Toit Card of your choice. You can order online here.

Petal & Post will be creating a Valentine’s & Candy Floss Posy. More info on how to order here.

If you want order something a little more customised and unique then get in touch with either Lush Flowers or Stalk of the Town, they are both fantastic florists.

Posie flower feature
Image Credits: 1. Holloway Studio, 2. Bouwer Flowers & Petal & Post, 3. Photo by Deartheart Photos for Holloway Studio