My parents lived in the outskirts of the city in our farmhouse for a few years, while I was studying in boarding school. Even though I never got to be home for long periods of time at a stretch, I clearly remember really looking forward to going back there for the holidays.
Our house had a large plot of land at the back where we had teak plantations, and the front overlooked a lush rose garden, courtesy of my mom’s green thumb. It was everything you’d picture a farm-house to be – a kitchen garden, vast untouched spaces, huge shady trees that were planted during my grandfather’s times, the works. We had turkeys, guinea fowl, and my dad even bought these funny looking chickens from somewhere, that looked like they had furry socks on their feet!
But my favourite part of it all was an old elevated pond nestled under a huge mango tree, which was spruced up and made into a dip pool! Big enough for four people to wade around comfortably in (when my dog decided to give us the space that is!). I’d sit there every evening, until my feet and hands got wrinkly from being completely saturated with water.
Right. I’m going to start talking about what this story has to do with passion fruit cordial (!) in just a second after I slowly ease out of my reverie. Yes. So, we had a long barbed wire fence that ran along the side of the house with a tangled mess of passion fruit vines trailing over them. They were almost always laden with fruit and their beautiful flowers (picture above) that look like something straight out of Avatar! I remember every bit of that excitement as I waited for the fruits to go yellow from green, and it always tasted best when you got to pick them yourself. Sweet nostalgia.
INGREDIENTS : (Makes 6 glasses)
For the syrup :
1 cup of Passion fruit pulp (about 6 – 8 fruits)
½ cup granulated sugar
Juice of 1 lime
For the cordial :
Passion fruit syrup (recipe above)
A few mint leaves
Place the passion fruit pulp, sugar, and lime juice over a low heat and stir together until the sugar dissolves and becomes slightly syrupy, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and once cooled to room temperature, refrigerate until ready to use.
To make the cordial, pour the syrup into glasses (to taste) and add mint leaves and ice cubes. Top with sparkling water and serve chilled.