These are testing times. Pubs, bars and restaurants may be closed until April 12 for outdoor venues (May 17 for full reopening), but taking the time to create a special drink or cocktail at home can still serve as a welcome and cheering distraction.
In lieu of going out, joy can be found in scheduling drinks with friends on Zoom. Take pleasure in a glass of wine, a Manhattan, or a refreshing G&T.
But the ritual of making a drink itself – shaking the ice, straining the juice, the clink of glassware – is one that can also bring reassurance in its familiarity. There’s also comfort in the anticipation of drinking good coffee, made just how you like it, to punctuate the tedium of working from home. Diana Henry’s recipe for iced Vietnamese-style coffee with sweetened condensed milk (below) is a deliciously indulgent way to use up a dust-gathering tin
Popiah is of Chinese origin, and comes from the Fujian province in China. In Malaysia, popiah is also known as fresh spring rolls and is a popular street food.
Besides Malaysia, variations of popiah can be found in Singapore, Medan, and Taiwan – all using simple and healthy ingredients that make it taste so delicious and refreshing.
Here is a family recipe, one which is much-cherished, not only because of its supreme flavour, but because of the flood of memories it brings back.
- 3/4 cup cooking oil
- 20 fresh popiah wrappers
- fresh lettuce, washed and drained dry
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 226 g shrimp, shelled, deveined and cut into small pieces
- 1 kg yam bean or jicama (sengkuang), grated
- 56 g French beans, sliced
- 4 pieces bean curd,
Eat like the Italians, with this Soho restaurant’s monthly-changing regional food box and allow yourself to be transported from Tuscany to Veneto.
Choose between ‘Campo’ (vegetarian), ‘Maccellaio’ (meat), and ‘Mare’ (sea) three-course menus. In February, boxes will be a hearty fare for one of the coldest months of the year. Expect baked scallops with parmesan, lemon, thyme and pumpkin ‘in saor’ to start, followed by warming mains of Maiale al latte – a signature northern Veneto dish where pork shoulder is cooked long and slow in milk and spices. For the veggies, there’s the restaurant favourite spinach and ricotta malfatti with brown butter and sage. To finish, a generous portion of Tiramisu, a household favourite and a dessert said to have originated in the Venetian city of Treviso.
For Valentine’s Day, their San Valentino feast has you starting in Venice with DIY white peach bellinis, before journeying south