I don't know many people, especially foodies the world over that can resist red currant, those beautiful glass-like rubies that only appear for a short time. They are now in season here in New York and besides just marveling at their beauty, I wanted to create a recipe that would allow me to actually use them! While they are very tart alone, too much so for my tastebuds, so sugar is needed.
RED CURRANT VANILLA SPRITZER
1 cup red currants, stems removed, plus extra for garnish
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Mint sprigs, for garnish
Directions: Place currants, sugar, water and vanilla in a pot over medium heat. Cook until currants have broken down and simple syrup forms, about five minutes. Let cool completely before using*. To assemble spritzer, pour desired amount in a cup (this will depend on how sweet you want your drink). Add ice and top with seltzer water. Garnish with a sprig of mint and remaining currants.
* At this point you can strain to remove the remaining bits of currants or leave them, whatever you prefer
Red currant simple syrup can be kept in refrigerator in an air tight container for about one month.
Photography by Alison