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The Essence of Alba

Made at Daphne's | Serves 1

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This is a handsome drink. It touches all the senses – look, smell, taste. The truffle oil hits your nose when you are about to drink. The taste is influence in great part by the rosemary infusion. And the taste of the polenta cracker really finishes off a remarkably fulfilling drinking experience!

For the cocktail
60ml rosemary-infused Beefeater
15 sprigs of rosemary, rinsed
½ lemon, juiced
1 tbsp runny honey
3 drops orange bitters – you can use Fee Brothers Orange or Angostura Orange (available online)
Top up with soda water
3 drops of truffle oil on the top of the drink for garnish

To make the Polenta Crackers
100g polenta
1 tsp fine salt
5 rosemary sprigs, leaves removed and chopped (leave a little over for garnish)
130g water
150g plain flour
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium sized, free range egg yolk

24 hours before
Empty the gin into a large jug. Add the rosemary sprigs. Cover with clingfilm and leave to infuse for 24 hours. Then remove the rosemary and using a funnel, put the gin back into the bottle. NB This will keep afterwards like normal gin.

To make the Polenta Crackers
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C / Gas Mark 6.

Mix the rosemary, salt and polenta together. Boil the water then pour over polenta. Quickly mix it together with a wooden spoon. Then, sieve in the flour and add the olive oil. Mix the ingredients together to a paste with your hand. Spread a little extra flour onto a clean work surface, and roll very thinly (around 3mm thick). Cut into pieces – 6cm long and ½ cm wide. Glaze on top with egg yolk and sprinkle over the remaining rosemary. Gently twist each piece, turning one end one way and the other the other. Place onto a baking tray, well spaced, and cook for 6 minutes. Check after 4 minutes and if golden brown, take out of the oven and allow to cool. When cool, use as a garnish. These will keep in an airtight container for a few days.

To make the cocktail
To make the cocktail, put the honey, gin, orange bitters and lemon juice into a highball glass and stir well to dissolve the honey. Then fill add a good handful of ice and stir again. Top up with soda water. Add the 3 drops of truffle oil and garnish with a polenta cracker.

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