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Fans of Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot mysteries may recall that the French detective had a sweet tooth and was partial to a drink made with blackcurrant syrup. In this cocktail, crème de cassis provides the blackcurrant flavor Poirot loved. But perhaps, if offered a Cocktail Cassis Fruits des Bois, he would have requested a spoonful of sugar in his glass, for the cocktail’s sweetness comes solely from the fruit in it.
Note: The terms “fruits de bois” (fruits of the forest) and “fruits rouges” (red fruits) are interchangeable. You may find either label on a package of these mixed fruits. Many different varieties are included in the list of berries classified as “fruits de bois”: blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, red and black currants, to name a few. The pictured drink is made from a mixture of frozen red and blackcurrants, strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries. Any combination which includes currants will make a similar, good drink. Using only a couple of different berries from packs of single frozen fruits would also work well, for example, mixing frozen redcurrants and frozen blackberries.
You will also need:
1. A blender or a food processor, large pitcher and whisk. (While a processor purées the berries for the first step of the recipe very well, it may not process the quantity of liquid required for mixing this cocktail without leaking.)
2. A large bowl.
3. A large strainer.
4. A wooden spoon, or any large spoon or stiff spatula.
For the cocktail:
1. Place the strainer over a large bowl and fill the strainer with the frozen fruit. Thaw the fruit, collecting the juices that drip from them in the bowl.
2. Place the fruit and juices in a blender or processor. Set the bowl and strainer aside to use again momentarily, and purée the berries. If you are using a blender, after transferring the fruit purée back to the strainer, rinse the container and set it aside to mix the cocktail in later.
3. Pour the berry purée back into the large strainer and strain the purée into the bowl below it by stirring it through the holes of the strainer with a spoon or spatula.
4. Put the strained purée back in the blender. Add the white wine, Champagne or sparkling wine, and liqueur and blend everything together. Alternatively, whisk together in a pitcher or a bowl.
5. Pour the cocktail into glasses, decorate with sprigs of mint if you like, and serve.
Adapted from a recipe for a fresh redcurrant cocktail, Cassiskaland, in the Hungarian cooking journal Konyha Magazin (July-August 2001).
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!