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Scortched British Asparagus Spears on our BBQWoohoo! British asparagus season is here! Starting officially on 23rd April and continuing only until 21st June.

I get ridiculously excited by the appearance of it each year. With the remarkable spring sunshine we've been having this year it's easy to cook it in our preferred method, cooked asparagus on the grill or barbecue.

Augmented with our Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar we think it's a fabulous feast.

There are many great recipes that use asparagus, such as our Pici Asparagus with Balsamic for example.

If you can get hold of your butcher's best middle or streaky bacon to serve bacon wrapped asparagus that too is delicious. However, none are as simple as this one, our Scorched Asparagus Spears.

Using the very best of our ingredients to dress the asparagus can produce a quick starter or a light lunch in literally minutes. This recipe serves 2 to 3 people.


25 Year Old Balsamic Vinegar


Wash the asparagus spears thoroughly and then trim the root ends by about an inch to remove just the stringy section. A good tip to know where to cut or break the speak is to hold the root end between thumb and forefinger in one hand and the centre of the spear in the other. Bend the shaft until it snaps. Consume the top section and use the remainder for soup later.

To cook, simply place on a hot BBQ and turn as the spears scortch. Do not be tempted to overcook as they dry out, this process should only take about a minute or two maximum. Cooking can also be achieved in a very hot frying pan or carefully watched under a hot grill.

Once cooked lay on the serving plate and dress with a little 25 Year Old Tagliavini Aceto Balsamico di Modena Extra Vecchio, then generously with Villa Montalbano Extra Virgin Olive Oil before finally cracking salt over the dish to taste. 

The asparagus can be served on its own for starter or with parma ham and salad to make a light lunch.

The upside of Home-schooling is the (usually) very good company of some lovely (I am a bit biased) teenagers. The art of keeping them lovely does however, partially, lie in keeping up an almost never ending supply of food available for lunches and breaks from work. Our Original Hummus recipe or Cauliflower Hummus recipe can both help in this regard!

Fortunately Mr D loves a challenge and having delighted in his Taramasalata recipe he was more than happy to have a go at something that has the added advantage of appealing to the our vegetarian or vegan supporters too. Once armed with some chickpeas, and his trutsy Extra Virgin Olive Oil, he was a tornado of healthy snack making!

Hummus Recipe


Original hummus, delicious as a healthy dip for the whole family


Whizz the chickpeas together with most of the olive oil, or oil mixtures in a food processor until almost smooth. Add the garlic, lemon and tahini along with 2 tablespoons of water and whizz some more until the hummus is smooth and silky. If it still seems too thick add another tablespoon of water while gently pulsing the mix until the right consistency is achieved.

Transfer the hummus to a serving bowl and top with a swirl of the remaining oil and a sprinkling of smoked paprika. Serve with carrot and cucumber crudites or toasty Tortilla strips. Cue happy, if garlicky, recipients.

For quick and effective variations on the original hummus recipe, use our Infused Rapeseed Oil Trio

Quick and Easy Recipe Variations

Now you know the basics for making original hummus, using our infused rapeseed oils, you can quickly make even more delicious varieties of flavoured hummus. So if you'd like to spice your hummus up a bit feel free to replace half of the Olive Oil with our Yorkshire Chilli Rapeseed Oil to make a delicious Chilli Hummus.

To make an amazing  zesty Lemon Hummus, use our Yorkshire Lemon Rapeseed Oil. If you like strong and distinctive smoked truffle flavour, then try adding some of our White Truffle Oil.

Don't forget to also try our Roasted Cauliflower Hummus Recipe, another quick and simple variation on this Original Hummus Recipe.

Rhubarb and Mead Pavlova

Posted in All Recipes Food Recipes Dessert Cakes & Baking Dinner Party , by Frances Ferguson, on 16th March 2022

Rhubarb and Mead PavlovaThe sun is shining and with both the rhubarb patch and the hens exuberantly prolific at the moment it seems almost a necessity to adapt that most summery of puddings, the Pavlova, to the fruits of the Scottish springtime. The result is a Rhubarb Pavlova perfumed and gently flavoured with the musky sweetness of our Traditional Mead 14% and a tiny smidgen of Rhubarb and Ginger Cordial to give it an extra tang.



Preheat the oven to 100 degrees celsius and line a baking tray with non stick paper. Whisk the egg whites until stiff then add 200g sugar in 3 stages until all combined .Whisk in the Rhubarb and Ginger Cordial. Spread the meringe mix onto the baking tray in a circle leaving a slightly higher rim around the edge and bake for 2 and a half hours. Then allow to cool and remove the baking paper before moving it to a serving plate.

Lay the rhubarb in a shallow pan one layer thick and sprinkle over a little water and 50g sugar. Poach over a medium heat for 10 minutes then allow it to cool. Meanwhile whip the cream and 1 tbsp Traditional Mead together. Fold the yoghurt and remaining Mead into the cream then gently fold in half the rhubarb until it looks marbled.

Spread the cream and rhubarb mixture onto the meringue base then top with the remaining rhubarb and its syrup.

Other Rhubarb Recipes:

Rhubarb Ice Cream Recipe

Easy Rhubarb and Ginger Wine Trifles

Flora's Fabulous Crostini. A deliciously easy starter for any dinner party.

The arrival of the fresh 2018 harvest of wonderfully springlike bright green Villa Montalbano Extra Virgin Olive Oil coincided with a very hungry teenager during a wet weekend in March 2019. The result was the creation of some delicious Italian Crostini, using our fresh Villa Montalbano Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which were generously shared with all the family.

Ever since our visit to Villa Montalbano Estate in 2002, to check on the olive harvest when the children were tiny, we have all raved about the enormous trays of crostini produced by Silvana, a lovely local neighbour of the Estate, which we wolfed in moments.

Flora's Fabulous Crostini came deliciously close. Crostini are often used as a quick and delicious starter in Italy, or as something to nibble on during a drinks party. 



Flora's Fabulous Crostini on their baking tray

First slice the baguette into thin rounds, and lay the slices on a baking tray. Bake at about 180C in the oven for about 5 minutes until the bread feels crisp and is just beginning to brown. Don't be tempted to leave it too long.

Topping 1: Chop the mushrooms fairly finely and soften with olive oil and garlic in a pan. Season to taste. Spoon onto 1/3 of the baked crostini. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Topping 2: Finely chop ripe fresh tomatoes and mix with a spoonful of pesto, olive oil, salt and pepper. Spoon onto the 2nd 1/3 of the baked crostini.

Topping 3: Mix some pesto with a liberal amount of Villa Montalbano Extra Virgin Olive Oil or another of our Olive Oils to make it a slightly runnier consistency than the jar variety. Spoon onto the remaining crostini.

Return to the oven and bake for 5-10 minutes more. Grate fresh parmesan or pecorino over the crostini and serve.

Relevant topics:

Other Starter Recipes

Rhubarb Ice Cream Recipe

Posted in All Recipes Food Recipes Quick & Easy Dessert Dinner Party , by Frances Ferguson, on 3rd March 2022

The sweet spiciness of our Rhubarb and Ginger Cordial is the perfect addition to my Rhubarb Ice Cream recipe to lift the richness of the double cream used in this indulgent mix.

One of the first things in our garden to burst into leaf, and very enthusiastically, is the rhubarb. The sprouting crowns are one minute emerging from the earth like tiny aliens, the next we are surrounded by thick dark leaves shading out everything they can! It's the work of a moment to seize a few tender stems, and I recommend getting them early when they are sweetest, and stewing them to make some deliciously rich Rhubarb Ice Cream.

Not everyone in our family is as fanatically gingery as I am so rather than adding a significant amount of ginger to create a Rhubarb and Ginger Ice Cream I like to team a scoop of this with a gingery butter biscuit to achieve pudding perfection.

Rhubarb Ice Cream Ingredients


My sugar to rhubarb ratio is rarely measured so please feel free to add only a little of the sugar at the start of cooking and adjust to taste after cooking while the rhubarb is still hot. Stew the rhubarb in a lidded pan over a medium heat until the stems are tender throughout but only just starting to fall apart.

Once cooked and cooled remove half the rhubarb mixture (approx 250g) and puree it. Stir into the cream, add the Rhubarb and Ginger cordial and finally the remaining un-puréed cooked rhubarb. Pour the mixture into an ice-cream maker, or alternatively whisk into an ice-cream tub and put into the freezer removing every half hour or so to beat and break up any ice-crystals.

Rhubarb Ice Cream using our delicious Rhubarb & Ginger Cordial

Gingery Butter Biscuit Ingredients

  • 100g soft unsalted butter
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 150g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp ground ginger

Beat the butter and sugar until creamed then add the flour and ginger and mix together gently to form a dough. Roll into small balls about cherry sized and space well apart on a lined baking tray. Dip the tines of a fork in cold water and use it to flatten the biscuits. Bake in a preheated oven at 180degreesC or 160fan, gas mark 4, for about 15 minutes.

Allow to cool on a wire rack and then perch one on a scoop of delicious Rhubarb Ice Cream and and a swirl of stewed rhubarb and eat. For a more intense gingery dessert, try a splash of our handmade Ginger Wine 14.5% over your Rhubarb Ice Cream.

Other Rhubarb Recipes

Rhubarb and Mead Pavlova

Easy Rhubarb and Ginger Wine Trifles

Pea and Mint SaladThis is a fantastically quick and easy salad recipe using our first class Kabbadates Extra Virgin Olive Oil or another Extra Virgin Olive from our range, that I use regularly to accompany our light lunches or sometimes a slightly heavier supper dish at home.



Using a fork, prod out the garden peas into a bowl, rinse and drain. Add a small amount of roughly chopped fresh apple mint. Dress with Kabbadates Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Apple Vinegar and stir gently until well mixed.

Serve alongside your favourite light lunch or use as a healthy starter on its own. Happy munching!


Some more salad recipes to try:

How to make 7 healthy salad dressing recipes 

Highland Bread and Butter Pudding Recipe

As the traditional damp and cold of a Scottish January starts to seep into the air, the house, the bones and the spirits there couldn't be a better time for some inner cheer in the form of a hearty pudding. With a little addition of some warming Toffee Whisky Liqueur we think this would make a splendid dish for a jolly Burns supper, or just a cosy winter's day feast.

This delicious Highland Bread and Butter Pudding Recipe serves 6 with a good appetite and a fondness for a dram.


  • 150ml of Toffee Whisky Liqueur 20%
  • 12 Slices white bread
  • Butter to spread
  • 120g Demerara Sugar
  • 175g Sultanas
  • 100ml double cream
  • 300ml milk
  • 2 eggs
  • Zest of 1 lemon

Highland Bread and Butter Pudding Recipe


Butter the slices of white bread, remove crusts and cut into halfs. Lay half the slices of bread, butter side down in an ovenproof dish then sprinkle with half the lemon zest, sultanas and sugar. Lay the remainder of the buttered bread butter side up on top and sprinkle with the remaining sultanas, lemon zest and sugar.

Carefully pour over the Toffee Whisky Liqueur then whisk the cream, milk and eggs together well and pour these gently all over the dish.

Highland Bread and Butter Pudding Recipe

Leave the dish for about an hour to allow the bread to absorb the liquid. Then cook in an fan oven heated to 160C for approximately 40minutes. 

Delicious served with custard, cream or Ice-cream, or all 3!

Elderflower Vinegar and Lemon Oil Dressing Set

This is a simple to make vinaigrette which was first invented by Mrs Wilson of Biggar, one of many enthusiastic Demijohn customers.



Add the Elderflower Vinegar and Yorkshire Lemon Rapeseed Oil to a jug with a wide neck. Grate a small amount of lemon jest to the mixture. Adjust for salt and pepper. Pour complete mixture into an old Demijohn bottle of at least 300ml capacity and shake vigourously. Use to dress green leaf salads.

Deliciously delightful, thankyou Mrs Wilson!

Related topics

My deliciously simple White Truffle Oil Pesto PastaI experimented with our new White Truffle Oil and the result was this indulgently rich pesto slathered on some tagliatelle pasta and pan fried chestnut mushrooms. Served with a simple rocket salad and a glass of white burgundy it made an indulgent and intensely flavoured summer's supper.

This is my recipe for tagliatelle with White Truffle Oil Pesto and chestnut mushrooms.



In the food processor put 50g fresh rocket, 1 garlic clove, 30g crushed walnuts, zest of 1 lemon, 30g grated parmesan, 60ml White Truffle Oil and 60ml Monterosa Extra Virgin Olive Oil and blitz to a sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste. This won't be as smooth as pesto from a jar but that's part of its appeal.

Gently pan fry in a tablespoon of Monterosa Extra Virgin Olive Oil a generous helping of thinly sliced chestnut mushrooms until the mushrooms are just beginning to crisp.

Stir the pesto through tagliatelle and then toss the mushrooms gently through the pasta.

Serve with a shaving of parmesan on top and a rocket salad and truffle in!


Raspberry and Lemongrass TrifleThis delicious recipe, using our much loved Raspberry Vodka 22%, serves 8 to 10 people and can be enjoyed by the whole family either at Christmas or another such large family gathering. The inspiration behind it comes from one of our most enthusiastic customers, Jackie Hancock. So thankyou Jackie for sharing your family secret with us all!


  • 600ml Water
  • 400g Caster Sugar
  • 50g Lemongrass (3-4 sticks, cut in half lengthways or crushed)
  • 300g fresh Raspberries 
  • 16 Trifle Sponges 
  • 4-5 tablespoons Raspberry Vodka Liqueur 22%
  • 600ml Single Cream 
  • 8 Egg Yolks 
  • 500g Double Cream


Either one large glass bowl or two smaller bowls depending on your party.


1. Make a syrup with the water and 325g of the caster sugar by bringing them to the boil in a saucepan and boiling for 5 minutes. Take the pan off the heat, add the sliced lengthwise or crushed lemongrass and let it infuse for about half an hour.

2. Strain the syrup into a measuring jug, keeping the saucepan with the strained Lemongrass to one side. Take out about 150-200ml of the syrup and put it into a pan with the raspberries. Bring it to a rolling boil and let it thicken slightly, mashing the fruit to make a jam-like consistency. Let it cool a little and then dunk the trifle sponges in the raspberry mixture and arrange them in the bottom of your bowl. Add our Raspberry Vodka 22% and about 100ml of the lemongrass syrup depending on how much your sponges absorb, and reserve the rest.

3. Meanwhile, to make the custard, heat the single cream in the syrup pan with the Lemongrass until it is nearly BUT NOT boiling, take it off the heat and let it infuse for about 15 minutes. Whisk the yolks and the rest of the sugar together and pour the cream (without the Lemongrass) into the same bowl. Then whisk again and put the custard back on the heat in the cleaned-out pan. Stir or whisk until the custard thickens (MUST NOT BOIL) and then pour it over the trifle sponges. Let it cool.

4. Whip the double cream until thick but not stiff, and cover the custard layer. Use about 250ml of the remaining sugar syrup to make a caramel by heating it in a saucepan until it turns a golden-brown. Drizzle the caramelised sugar syrup over the layer of cream to decorate at the last minute, as it can sink into the cream if left.

Anything else I should know?

The caramel topping is optional, you can decorate the top with anything you like (get the children involved here!).
 - Apply to face quickly before anyone else realises how delicious it tastes!

Tomato and Basil SaladThis is a quick and easy salad recipe that not only tastes delicious, it takes seconds to prepare and is pretty healthy too.

Our simple Tomato and Basil Salad is wonderful for making lunch a little more fresh, and great for a low stress dinner party starter idea. And if you grow your own basil and tomatoes, as we do, then as we have found it is a great way to use up a glut of homegrown produce!



Slice your fresh tomatoes and lay in a shallow dish or plate. Chop a ball of Mozzarella into slices or chunks and lay on top of the sliced tomatoes. Remove fresh basil leaves from their stems and sprinkle generously over the whole dish. Crack over some salt and pepper, adjusting for your own personal taste. Then drizzle first 25 Year Old Balsamic Vinegar over the salad, then more liberally, our Monterosa Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The order of vinegar then oil is important, as the oil will wash the balsamic vinegar through the salad giving you a more rounded dressing. 

This dish can be made either in a single layer or mutiple layers depending on numbers to be fed. It can be served with nice thick homemade wholemeal bread or ciabatta. If you haven't got Mozzarella to hand then try this dish with flakes of parmesan cheese, a surprise is in store!

Related topics:

Raspberry, Apple and Walnut Oil Vinaigrette

Spinach and Walnut Salad with Goats Cheese and Apple

Festival Blackcurrant Gin Ice CreamOur Festival Blackcurrant Ice-Cream is made with our deliciously rich Blackcurrant Gin Liqueur 20% which has been popular with our customers since we opened up shop in Edinburgh in 2004. No wonder then that it makes a very delicious ice-cream!


  • 500g washed blackcurrants
  • 150g sugar 600ml double cream
  • 60ml Blackcurrant Gin Liqueur 20%


Stew the blackcurrants with the sugar and 3 or 4 tbsps water until the fruit is soft. Puree them, then sieve out the seeds and allow to cool. Stir in the double cream and Blackcurrant Gin Liqueur. Chill the mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes then churn in an ice-cream maker for 20 to 30 minutes.

Seville Orange Marmalade Ice CreamThis deliciously grown-up ice-cream is wonderful served on top of freshly peeled orange segments.



Mix together the ingredients adding the Gin sparingly. Check the taste and adjust the quantity of Seville Orange Gin accordingly. Chill the mixture for half an hour then churn in an ice cream maker. Freeze in an ice cream tub remembering to remove it from the freezer half an hour before serving to allow it to soften a little.

Spiced Rum Liqueur 20%I have always loved brown bread ice-cream, I think it's an inspired recipe that sounds so worthy, yet tastes so delicious. And now I have found a way to make it a bit more decadent.


  • 84g wholemeal bread
  • 56g granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 pint double cream
  • approximately 100ml Spiced Rum Liqueur 20%


Whiz the bread to crumbs in a food processor then toast briefly in a dry frying pan turning them until they are golden brown. Melt the sugar in the water in a heavy pan, don't stir, just shake it occassionally until the sugar is evenly melted, then boil rapidly for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the breadcrumbs until the sugar syrup cools into crystals on the crumbs. Stir the Spiced Rum gently into the cream. Be prepared to taste until reaching the right flavour, not too much Spiced Rum, just enough to taste it in the cream. Now whip the cream mixture and once whipped gently fold in the crumb mixture. Freeze in an ice cream tub and remember to remove it from the freezer about half an hour before serving.

Meringues with a touch of Tayberry

Vinegar is well-reknowned for making meringues more chewy and marshmallowey so I experimented with our deliciously rich Tayberry Vinegar in a batch of meringues to add an extra fruity dimension to a raspberry fool.

With just the slightest touch of additional fruity sweetness these seemed to be quite well received. Any of our range of delicious fruit vinegars would serve as well in these, next on the list will be Elderflower Vinegar meringues once the midsummer elderflowers are harvested.

Meringues with a touch of Tayberry


  • 3 large egg whites
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 4 tsp Tayberry Vinegar
  • Whipping or double cream to serve

Meringues with a touch of Tayberry


Preheat the oven to fan 100C/ conventional oven 120C. Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until stiff peaks are formed. Add the sugar, a spoonful at a time, whisking well until all the sugar has been added. Once the mixture is back to the peak stage whisk in the Tayberry Vinegar a teaspoonful at a time.

Take care not to over-whisk or your meringue mix will collapse. Once all the vinegar has been incorporated and the egg whites are stiff once more gently spoon it into a piping bag and pipe small meringues onto a lined baking tray each about 3” diameter. You may need several baking sheets for this, I used 3.

Bake the meringues in the oven for 1 to 1 ½ hours until they are a creamy colour and can be easily lifted from the baking sheet without sticking. Turn off the oven and leave the door ajar to allow the meringues to cool slowly. Serve sandwiched together with freshly whipped cream alongside a tart fruit fool.

In a gentle bid to dodge the ubiquitous trouser shrinking fairy of Lockdown, we tried this low carb Cauliflower Hummus which is variation on our Original Hummus Recipe that uses chickpeas. Vary the Olive Oil quantities as to taste and your own determination to also lower the fat content, but meanwhile keep in mind that our Monterosa Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a great source of anti-oxidants and beneficial mono-unsaturated fats.

The real secret to perfect the flavour of this recipe is choosing a strong flavoured olive oil and using plenty of garlic, Tahini and balancing amounts of salt and pepper to season. This will maximise the delicious final taste.

Cauliflower Hummus Recipe


Cauliflower Hummus and our Original Hummus recipes make delicious healthy dips for all the family


Break the cauliflower into florets and either steam them or microwave them with a very small amount of water until just tender. Put in the big bowl of your food processor with all the other ingredients and blend thoroughly until smooth.

Adjust the lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste and add a small amount of water only if it seems a bit too thick. Once it is as smooth as you require transfer to a pretty bowl to serve from and top with a sprinkling of paprika, pine nuts or finely chopped parsley and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve with vegetable crudites or flatbreads.

For quick and effective variations on the original hummus recipe, use our Infused Rapeseed Oil Trio

Quick and Easy Recipe Variations

You can vary your Cauliflower Hummus recipe using any of our infused rapeseed oils to quickly make more varieties of flavoured hummus.

To spice your Cauliflower Hummus up a bit, replace half of the Olive Oil with our Yorkshire Chilli Rapeseed Oil  and make a Chilli Hummus. To make a zesty Lemon Hummus, use our Yorkshire Lemon Rapeseed Oil. If you like strong and distinctive smoked truffle flavour, then try adding some of our White Truffle Oil.

Please also try our Original Hummus Recipe for a quick and simple variation on this Cauliflower Hummus Recipe.

The arrival of the fresh Olive Oil harvest seemed the perfect moment to indulge in another family treat, Taramasalata. Since it isn't commonly available, we all get rather excited when we acquire some Smoked Cod's Roe and can make it using a proper Greek Taramasalata recipe, rather than the baby pink fluff sold in the supermarkets.

Fortunately for us our lovely friends at Inverawe Smokehouse, in the West of Scotland near Oban, sell Smoked Cod's Roe. Using our own fresh harvest of Monterosa Extra Virgin Olive Oil we were able to whip up this delightful Taramasalata dip.

If you have never tried to make Taramasalata dip yourself, watch Angus in action below showing you how to use the Taramasalata ingredients to make a Taramasalata from heaven.

Taramasalata Recipe



First soak the cod's roe in cold water for a couple of hours, to remove some of the excess salt, then rinse and drain it. Peel off the skin and mash it well with a fork. Now gradually whisk in the lemon juice using a hand blender if you have one, although a fork or whisk will do if you feel you really need some exercise to earn your Taramasalata dip.

Now slowly drizzle in the Monterosa Extra Virgin Olive Oil or another of our Extra Virgin Olive Oils, keeping whisking all the time until the whole mixture emulsifies and thickens a little. If it becomes too thick slake the mixture with a splash of boiling water. Finally mix in the garlic and parsley. 

Taramasalat dip is delicious either spread thickly on bread or on tortillas. We chopped wholewheat tortillas into triangles and dunked them into the dip - Irresistible!

Just to prove how delicious homemade Taramasalata recipe can be, as a family we nearly polished off the whole bowl we had made prior to taking the actual recipe photos. You can see the incriminating evidence from our photo below, sorry!


Focaccia, made with fresh Monterosa Extra Virgin Olive Oil

While we risk ensuring that we all become the shape of Demijohns with our current enthusiasm for trying out new recipes I couldn't resist trying a new focaccia recipe using both our deliciously fresh Monterosa Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a touch of our 25 year old Balsamic Vinegar

It will work even better if you don't, as I did, forget to knead it again promptly after the first prove, but even with a slightly rushed second prove it seemed to go down pretty well and was demolished in 1 sitting. I recommend eating it with soup, with pasta, or just dunking chunks of it into the wild garlic pesto we made earlier in the week.

Focaccia Recipe



Mix the yeast, flour, tablespoon of Monterosa Extra Virgin Olive Oil, salt and water to make the bread dough either by hand or in a bread maker. If making by hand once the ingredients are mixed well knead it vigourously and then leave to prove until it has doubled in size.

While it is proving slice the onion finely and stir in 1 tsp of olive oil and a tsp of Balsamic Vinegar and microwave in a partially covered dish for 1 or 2 minutes until the onion is softened and delicious!

Roll and pat out the proved dough into a rectangle on a greased baking tray about 25 x 30cm. Prod indentations over the whole dough and then top with the onion mixture. Leave the dough somewhere warmish to prove again for about 30 minutes.

Once more it should grow to about twice its size. Drizzle with 1 more teaspoon of olive oil and bake at 190 degrees centigrade or gas mark 5 for about 25 minutes. Even the smallest Demijohn who normally thinks onions are yukky guzzled this down with delight.

Focaccia, a delicious treat for a quick lunch to feed a hungry family!

Pici Asparagus with Balsamic VinegarI absolutely love pasta! Well done Italy for inventing such a food. However, you do need to have the odd inspirational thought when creating a pasta dish to ensure you don't get stuck in a "Pasta Bake Rut" or PBR for short.

Messing about at the stove last week I came up with this delightful little dish using fresh British Asparagus which has just come into season (and thanks to the long Winter, I do mean just!).

My pici pasta with asparagus uses our 25 year old Balsamic Vinegar and is fabulously quick to make. It also serves two good eaters, is superbly easy to wash up and whoever you are making it for will think you are a legend in the kitchen. So how is it done?

Ingredients (for two)

25 Year Old Balsamic Vinegar


Chop onion, garlic, pancetta, asparagus and coriander before you start. The asparagus spears should be chopped in thirds, the other elements in chunks. Soften the onion, garlic and pancetta in a heavy based frying pan with a tbsp full of Kabbadates Extra Virgin Olive Oil. At same time, in a separate pan, cook your pasta.

Once browned, remove the onion, garlic and pancetta from pan and place to one side keeping warm. Add asparagus to pan and fry hard until the spears are looking scorched in places. Add back in the onion, garlic and pancetta mix, chopped coriander and another tbsp of olive oil. Now check pasta is ready, it should be "al dente," firm but not hard, drain and add to frying pan. Season with salt and pepper and mix contents of frying pan well on a low heat.

To Serve

Serve on large warm plates and drizzle our 25 year old Tagliavini Aceto Balsamico Extra Vecchio sparingly over each dish, adding grated parmesan cheese as required. An accompanying salad of green leaves, dressed with our Kabbadates Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and a good rich red table wine to drink will make this dish fit for any dinner party. Forget the PBR issue, anyone hungry?

Sausages with red onion and bramble glaze, a deliciously quick supper!

It was in the knowledge of the Bramble's amazingly beneficial properties that I embarked on making this delicious warming winter dish, using our popular Bramble Scotch Whisky Liqueur 23%, bolstered by the knowledge that it is doing us countless other goods!

Sausages with Red Onion and Bramble Glaze



Fry the sausages in a heavy based frying pan turning them frequently. (the sausages shouldn't need more fat added to the pan if cooked patiently so you needn't feel too guilty about extra fat content!).

Once they are well browned and cooked through remove them to a warmed serving dish and keep warm.

Add the sliced Onion to the pan and gently soften in the remaining sausage fat, allowing to gently caramelise.

The recipe in the dish, ready to be eaten!

Once the onions are cooked to your taste turn the heat down and add the Bramble Scotch Whisky Liqueur. Allow it to bubble gently and thoroughly deglaze all the delicious sausagey bits from the pan.

Once reduced to a slightly syrupy consistency pour over the sausages and serve with buttery mashed potato and plenty of green beans or mange tout.

Related Topics:

The Tale of the Brilliant Bramble - When is a Bramble a Blackberry?

The very best Game Gravy

Atholl Brose with a Difference

Highland Bread and Butter Pudding

Mead and Lemon Syllabub

If you are looking for a deliciously creamy pudding that is simple and quick to make, our Mead and Lemon Syllabub recipe is the perfect answer. The sweet honey taste of our Traditional Mead, combined with zest of lemon and whipped cream is irresistible. A dinner party favourite for sure!


  • Zest and juice of 1 Lemon 
  • 100ml Traditional Mead 14%
  • 75g Caster Sugar
  • 300ml Pouring Double Cream


Gently simmer the lemon zest and its juice, Traditional Mead and sugar in a pan to dissolve sugar and release the oils from the lemon.

Remove from heat and strain the syrup into a cool bowl, then add the double cream. Whisk until thick and then spoon into a Champagne coupe glass and chill for about an hour. Garnish with a twist of lemon peel.

Related topics

Meady Mouthfulls - Honey Mead Cookies

Rhubarb and Mead Pavlova

Ball of Mead

Chocolate Rum Cake

Posted in All Recipes Food Recipes Cakes & Baking Dessert Dinner Party , by Frances Ferguson, on 16th March 2016

A delicious new Chocolate Rum Cake recipe made with our Chocolate Rum LiqueurWorking at Demijohn HQ is not too insufferable when it consists of baking a Chocolate Rum Cake made with our dark Chocolate Rum Liqueur 29.5%. And I don't think the family were too miserable about it either.

I adapted this recipe very slightly from enthusiastic food blogger Sara Jayne Jones, who wrote passionately about our Chocolate Rum Liqueur 29.5% in her blog.

It's a great way to make an indulgent treat for an adult chocoholic and enjoy the strong cacao flavours of our dark Chocolate Rum Liqueur.

Our Chocolate Rum Cake is made in 3 easy steps, starting with the sponge, then filling and finally the icing.

Chocolate Rum Sponge

Sponge Ingredients:

  • 2 8” loose based cake tins
  • 200g Dark Chocolate
  • 75g Self Raising Flour
  • 100g Unsalted Butter
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 100g Dark Muscovado Sugar
  • 50ml Demijohn Chocolate Rum Liqueur 29.5%

Sponge Preparation:

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4/ 180°C/160°C {Fan Assisted]
Grease the cake tins and line the bases with parchment.

Break the chocolate into pieces and together with the cubed butter melt it in a microwave, stirring occasionally.
Allow to cool slightly.

Separate the eggs, then whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl until creamy.
Add the rum and cooled chocolate mixture to the yolks and mix well.
Gently fold in the sieved flour.

Whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff then lightly fold into the mixture.
Distribute cake mixture between the tins and level gently.

Bake for 40-45 minutes or when a skewer comes out of the cake cleanly.

Raspberry Cream Filling

Filling Ingredients:

Filling Preparation:

Save some raspberries back for decorating the cake. Mash the remaining raspberries with a fork.

Mix the cream, Chocolate Rum Liqueur and icing sugar on high speed until soft peaks form in the mixture.

Gently fold the mashed raspberries in with a spatula.

Chocolate Ganache Icing

Icing Ingredients:

  • 250g Dark [Plain] Fair-Trade Chocolate
  • 235ml Double Cream

And finally, the fun bit, the eating!Icing Preparation:

Break the chocolate into squares and place into a bowl. Heat the cream in a saucepan over a medium heat, bringing it to the boil very carefully.

Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate, whisk until smooth
Allow the ganache to cool a little before topping the cake with it and decorating with the remaining raspberries.

And now finally put it altogether and enjoy with the family ...... delicious!


Tayberry Vinegar and Asparagus Tripoline RecipeIt is now public knowledge that I absolutely love pasta! Regardless of how hungry I am, I always have room for pasta especially when it is a simple dish using deliciously fresh ingredients. My Tayberry and Asparagus Tripoline recipe, using our deliciously fruity handmade Tayberry Vinegar is exactly that. Simple to make, magical to eat and with tiny amounts of washing up required.  I urge you to have a go at trying to make it.

Ingredients (for two)

  • 6/8 fresh British Asparagus Spears
  • 2 tbsp Tayberry Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Monterosa Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 200g Tripoline Pasta (or other ribbon cut pasta such as Tagliatelle)
  • 80g Smoked Streaky Bacon
  • 1/2 Onion
  • 2 cloves of Garlic
  • Handful of fresh watercress
  • Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Salt & pepper


Chop onion, garlic, bacon, asparagus and watercress before you start. The asparagus spears should only have their hard ends removed, the other elements in chunks. Soften the onion, garlic and bacon in a heavy based frying pan with a splash of our Monterosa Extra Virgin Olive Oil. At the same time, in a separate pan, cook your pasta.

Once contents of frying pan has browned, add a good splash of Tayberry Vinegar to the mix and allow onion to caramelise slightly. Cook your asparagus for just 2/3 minutes over boiling water, ideally use your pasta water and until both pasta and asparagus are "al dente," firm but not hard. 

Add the cooked pasta to your frying pan, mix well with the onion, garlic and bacon so all the lovely juices coat the pasta. Then add your fresh watercress. Stir quickly on a low heat and finally season with salt and pepper. (NB. Do not be tempted to cook too long after adding the watercress or you will ruin the desired raw nature of the watercress and it will turn stringy!).

To Serve

Serve on large warm plates, laying your cooked asparagus spears on the top of the dish. Finally drizzle a little more Tayberry Vinegar and Olive Oil over the dish before grating parmesan cheese, salt and pepper on as required.

An accompanying side salad of green leaves, cucumber and tomatoes, dressed with more Tayberry Vinegar and Monterosa Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and a good dry white table wine to drink will make this recipe a most excellent treat for lunch or supper. 

Traditional Bruschetta

Posted in All Recipes Food Recipes Starters Quick & Easy Dinner Party , by Frances Ferguson, on 29th August 2013

Traditional BruschettaA brisk yomp up a hill in the sunshine with an ecstatic dog this morning has left me ravenous and looking for a reward for such toil. Our new Cretan Sitia Extra Virgin Olive Oil beckons and I am already anticipating an evening drink at the garden table accompanied by some traditional Bruschetta. This simple recipe, otherwise known in Tuscany as Fettunta, is the traditional way of savouring the first olive oil harvest of the season. Since the sun is now shining here at Demijohn HQ we shall enjoy it as a celebratory herald of the great summer we have had!



Slice the bread thickly and toast it until just golden. Slice a garlic clove in half and rub the bread with the clove all over. Drizzle generously with the olive oil and eat immediately. Adorn your bruschetta with a basil leaf or some anchovies if you're feeling exotic!

Traditional Mead 14%As the blossom is now exuberantly blossoming outside Demijohn HQ it is a delight to bump into the occasional bumble bee during my increasingly frequent forays into the garden. I hope soon to start encountering a honey bee too and such thoughts bring Mead to my mind. Mead was something I had rather dismissed as belonging to a time of wenches and wassailing until we found our Traditional Mead 14% and discovered a much dryer, more perfumed drink than I had imagined. Its strong floral flavours survive the rigours of cooking and so I was rather excited to find this recipe for a Moroccan style Chicken dish last week.


  • 10 free range chicken thighs with bone in and skin on
  • 2 tsp salt 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 120g dried apricots
  • 1onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp lazy ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 350ml Traditional Mead 14%
  • 50g flaked almonds.


Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and then brown the pieces in olive oil in a heavy frying or saute pan for about 5 minutes each side. Remove them to an ovenproof dish and scatter the apricots over and around the chicken. Pour off all but 3 tbsps of fat from the pan and soften the onion in it, adding the garlic and ginger followed by the spices and remaining salt and pepper once the onion is almost completely softened.

Add the Traditional Mead to the pan, deglaze and simmer for about 5 minutes until the juices thicken slightly. Pour these over the chicken, cover the dish and bake at 180 degrees celsius for about 1 hour until the chicken is thoroughly cooked. Remove the cover 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time. Toast the flaked almonds in a dry frying pan and sprinkle them over the chicken before serving with couscous.

Sloe Gin 25%I had an experimental evening last night with duck breasts and a discovered remnant of Demijohn Sloe Gin 25%, a leftover from a very energetic massed sledging outing only a couple of months ago. The verdict: a success, improved with a splash of lemon vinegar.


  • 2 shallots
  • 2 duck breasts
  • 60-100ml Demijohn Sloe Gin 25%
  • 1 star anise (optional)
  • a dash of Demijohn Lemon Vinegar


Slice the shallots thinly and soften in a frying pan using the tiniest smidgen of olive oil. When softened set the shallots aside in a warmed dish and wipe the pan clean with kitchen roll then heat the pan to smoking hot. Having scored the skin of the duck breasts and seasoned with salt and pepper fry them in the pan for about 5 minutes until the skin is just starting to crisp. Drain the fat from the pan and turn the duck breasts over, cooking for a further 3-4 minutes until the meat is still just pink inside. Remove the duck breasts to the dish of shallots and lower the heat under the pan. Now slake the pan with the Sloe Gin, allowing enough to make a jus for each duck breast. Remember that the gin will reduce in quantity so don't be too sparing. Add the star anise and bubble the gin until it reduces by about a third and takes on a slightly syrupy consistency. Add a dash of lemon vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste then pour this jus over the duck breasts.

Served with creamy mashed potato and mountains of springy green vegetables this seems to be quite well received!

Morello Cherry Brandy Liqueur 17%This recipe has been kindly sent to us by Angela Wilson in response to our call for recipes using our products. Angela has been rewarded with a £30 demijohn gift voucher as a thank you for this wonderful recipe.



Put the ham into the tightest fitting pan you can find and cover with the cherry coke. Bring to the boil and simmer for approximately 2 and a half hours (for a ham for 4-6). Preheat the oven to 200C.

Remove the ham from the pan after simmering and place it on a roasting tray on top of some foil and cut off any extra fat layer on the top, leaving just a thin layer. Score diamonds into the fat and stick a clove into each diamond.

To a saucepan add the cherry jam, Demijohn Morello Cherry Brandy, the Demijohn Raspberry Vinegar and the smoked paprika. Stir over a high heat constantly until the glaze thickens. When ready, pour over the ham, and roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes. Let it rest before carving.

The author recommends that this goes particularly well with a glass of Morello Fizz

Atholl Brose was traditionally drunk on Burns Night in Scotland and used to sort the men from the boys! This variation of the traditionally recipe retains the oatmeal to make a cranachan type pudding to be enjoyed by all.



Whip the double cream until stiff, then gently stir in the toasted pinhead oatmeal and honey. Chill and just before serving, mix in the Demijohn’s Finest Blended Scotch Whisky 40%.

Anything else I should know?

The name Atholl Brose is supposed to derive from the tale of the Duke of Atholl's capture of his enemy, the Earl of Ross, in 1475. The Duke was supposed to have filled a well, from which the Earl liked to drink, with this magical potion. Ross drank deeply and was captured.

Cider Brandy Camembert

Posted in All Recipes Food Recipes Starters Quick & Easy Dinner Party , by Angus Ferguson, on 12th March 2013

The Cheeseboard Drinks SelectionIf you like cheese and need something for your nibbles at a drinks party, then this might be the perfect soloution.



Puncture the cheese several times with a knife. Dribble the Cider Brandy over the cheese allowing it to soak into the puncture holes. Place the cheese in a preheated oven (to 180C) and allow to bake for 15 to 20 minutes until runny. Eat immediately - dunk crisps and repeat!

Why not try our Cheeseboard Drinks Selection, a special gift for cheese lovers

Bramble VinegarJohn Quigley’s Hot smoked salmon, ruby grapefruit, shaved fennel, pistachio and watercress salad with minty crème fraiche and Bramble Vinegar dressing.


  • 1 Ruby grapefruit segmented
  • 1 small fennel bulb very finely sliced
  • A handful of watercress or rocket
  • 300g hot smoked salmon flaked into bite size pieces
  • A small handful chopped pistacchios
  • 6 tbsp crème fraiche
  • 4 tsp Bramble Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp mint sauce


Combine the crème fraiche, bramble vinegar and mint sauce in bowl and mix together, ideally to the consistency of single cream, if not add a little water. Divide and arrange the grapefruit, fennel, watercress and salmon between 4 plates, drizzle over the dressing and sprinkle on pistachios.

John Quigley is Chef and patron of the well respected Red Onion Restaurant in Glasgow and is always welcome at Demijohn!

Cider Brandy Sauce

Posted in All Recipes Food Recipes Main Dishes Quick & Easy Dinner Party , by Angus Ferguson, on 12th March 2013

Somerset 10 Year Old Cider Brandy 42%If you have ever thought that chicken needs a little help to become interesting, we this recipe might be just the ticket!


  • 25g sliced shallots
  • 2 peeled cloves of garlic
  • 20g of unsalted butter
  • 5 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 50ml 10 year old West Country Cider Spirit 42%
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 50ml double cream
  • 180g unsalted butter


Soften 25g sliced shallots and 2 peeled cloves of garlic in 20g of unsalted butter. Add 5 sprigs of thyme and 1 bay leaf and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add 50ml 10 year old West Country Spirit and reduce down to almost nothing. Add 500ml chicken stock and reduce by half, then add 50ml double cream. Whisk in 180g unsalted butter in small pieces and season with salt and pepper.

Delicious served with chicken, but is also great with pork.

Bramble Scotch Whisky Liqueur 23%A generous glass or two of our Bramble Scotch Whisky Liqueur 23% stirred into the juices of a roast duck or venison joint will make a gravy that will add enormous joie de vivre to your dish.

So simple anyone can do it!

Related Topics:

The Tale of the Brilliant Bramble - When is a Bramble a Blackberry?

Sausages with a red onion and bramble glaze recipe

Creamy Ginger Pork

Posted in All Recipes Food Recipes Main Dishes Dinner Party Meat Recipes , by Angus Ferguson, on 12th March 2013

Ginger Wine 14.5%If you like to taste your food, then this pork dish using our handmade Ginger Wine 14.5% will impress.


  • 3 Pork fillets
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 140ml Ginger Wine 14.5%
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 140ml sour cream
  • Preserved stem ginger


Slice the pork fillets in half lengthwise without cutting right through. Flatten them out and beat them, then cut across the centre to make 6 escalopes. Coat them in flour seasoned with salt and pepper. Heat a generous splash of olive oil in a pan and sauté the escalopes for about 4 minutes each side until cooked through. Remove them and keep warm. Add the Ginger Wine, lemon juice, and 56ml water to the pan, stir well and reduce to half. Stir in the sour cream and 3 pieces of ginger preserved in syrup, drained and chopped. Bring it to the boil again until the sauce thickens and then serve poured over the escalopes.

Serve with mashed potato and mountains of gently steamed leaf spinach. Delicious!

Ginger Wine 14.5%This delicious recipe will happily serve 4 hungry people.


  • 1lb rhubarb (trimmed weight) cut into 1" lengths
  • 2dsp vanilla sugar (or regular caster sugar)
  • 1/2 layer of sponge cake
  • 8 tbsp Ginger Wine 14.5%
  • 1/2pt thick custard
  • 4tsp Greek yoghurt


Pre-heat the oven to high (200C). Put the rhubarb into a roasting tin and sprinkle with the sugar. Roast for 20 minutes, turning over half way through. Allow to cool. Cut the cake into 1cm cubes and place in 4 large wine glasses. Sprinkle evenly with half the Ginger Wine. Top with the cooled rhubarb. Sprinkle with the remaining wine. Top with the custard and refigerate. Plop the yoghurt on top before serving. Enjoy!

Other Rhubarb Recipes

Rhubarb and Mead Pavlova

Rhubarb Ice Cream Recipe

Gooseberry Fool

Posted in All Recipes Food Recipes Dessert Quick & Easy Dinner Party , by Angus Ferguson, on 12th March 2013

Gooseberry Gin Liqueur 17%Gooseberries are such a wonderful British fruit and this recipe is one of our nations favourites!



Simmer the gooseberries with 2 dessert spoons of caster sugar until they are soft. Drain the juice off into a bowl and blend the gooseberries with 1 glass of Gooseberry Gin Liqueur. Add gooseberry gin, sugar and reserved cooking juice to taste until a soft pulp is achieved. Sieve the blended pulp to remove the seeds and fold into an equal quantity of ½ whipped cream and ½ greek yoghurt. Serve with very thin shortbread.

Poached Pears

Posted in All Recipes Food Recipes Dessert Dinner Party , by Angus Ferguson, on 12th March 2013

Elderberry & Port Liqueur 17%

This is fantastically simple, yet delicious recipe for a lunch or dinner party dessert.



Peel the pears and add to a pan with the Elderberry and Port Liqueur. Simmer together for about 1 hour turning the pears occasionally, until the pears are soft. Remove the pears and reduce the liquid until it is syrupy. Pour it over the pears and serve with the good vanilla dairy ice-cream.

Related Topics

The Cheeseboard Drinks Selection

Hipflask of Elderberry & Port (pictured)

Speedy Zabaglione

Posted in All Recipes Food Recipes Dessert Quick & Easy Dinner Party , by Angus Ferguson, on 12th March 2013

Somerset Pomona 20%This is a Zabaglione recipe of the most untraditional nature and is perfect for whizzing up for unexpected guests.



Using a hand whisk beat the ice-cream and Somerset Pomona 20% together until the mixture is cold and fluffy but not frozen. Serve immediately in champagne saucers.

Anything else I should know?

This recipe can be used with just about all our hand made liqueurs. Have fun experimenting!

Summer Pudding

Posted in Food Recipes Cakes & Baking Dessert Dinner Party , by Angus Ferguson, on 8th March 2013

Blackcurrant Gin Liqueur 20%This simple recipe is a great way of not only feeding a family but impressing a room full of dinner party guests.



Line a flexible pudding bowl with one layer of bread slices. Simmer together any summer fruit, including raspberries, strawberries, redcurrants, brambles, a small number of blackcurrants, with sugar to taste. Once gently softened allow it to cool then sieve off some of the juice and replace it with Blackcurrant Gin Liqueur 20% (reserve the juice in case it is needed later). Pour the Blackcurrant Gin Liqueur laced fruit into the pudding bowl. Ensure that the juice soaks into the bread, colouring it all. Add the reserved juice and any additional Blackcurrant Gin as required. Top the pudding bowl with more bread slices, cover, and weight gently. This can be frozen until needed then turned out onto a serving dish, thawed and served with pouring cream.

Anything else I should know?

The Blackcurrant Gin Liqueur 20% used can be replaced with Raspberry Vodka Liqueur 22% or Morello Cherry Brandy Liqueur 17% as preferred.

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