Pomelo Ginger Gin

It’s quite serious, Loïc has turned into some sort of chemist since we opened Heron House. He has dedicated his heart and soul (and probably liver too) to experimenting and infusing the best liquor and cocktails in Hoi An. And goodness, the final results are surprisingly good too. As much as I love the special Lavender G&T, which has become a part of my daily diet, I have to give Loïc credit for his creativity in turning the freshest local ingredients into delicious cocktails. And with the Vietnamese sweet pomelo in season right now, we have been busy testing out the best pomelo gin recipe to offer to our guests.

The Vietnamese pomelo is quite different from the grapefruit in America and Europe. Our rich clay soil and abundant amounts of water and sunshine ensure the distinctive sweet flavor in each juicy fruit. We experimented with mixing two different pomelo varieties in our recipe to produce a sweet but slightly bitter tasting cocktail. The left over pomelo meat after the infusion process was then preserved in the freezer to add texture and more flavor to each drink. Needless to say, this is one of our popular sunset drinks when our guests chill out by the swimming pool.

Enjoy the recipe and let us know if the pomelo or grapefruit from where you are can produce tasty cocktails as well.

Ingredients:

  • 45ml Pomelo-infused gin, using the best quality Vietnamese pomelo
  • 15ml Cointreau
  • 1 large spoonful of frozen pomelo (save it when you make the gin)
  • Basil leaves for garnish (straight from our garden)
  • 10ml Basil syrup (also made from the basil in our garden)
  • 120ml Soda water
  • Ice

Instructions:

  • Place pomelo gin, Cointreau, half of ice, frozen pomelo, basil syrup, and a tablespoon of basil leaves into the blender
  • Blend on ‘Icy Drink’ setting or equivalent if possible
  • Pour contents over some ice in a glass
  • Top off with soda water, stir, and serve chilled
  • Place basil leaves on top as garnish

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Water Apple Jam

With summer officially arriving in Hoi An and our trees full of more fruit than we know what to do with, the time has come to get creative and ensure that our guests get to enjoy our fresh fruit long after our tree has run out of offerings for them.  While many people find the water fruit to be a bit too tart for many palates, we believe that with a bit of tampering we have created a universal favourite.

Though some of our guests prefer this jam to be served with our homemade bread at breakfast every morning, I have been equally content to serve it with a cheese plate in the afternoon or even piled atop a bowl of ice cream to be devoured on hot days by the pool.

Whatever your inkling, we find this option to be a new popular item that is moving fast.

 

Ingredients:

  • 500 grams water apples
  • 110 grams sugar
  • 5 grams of honey
  • 5 grams of vanilla extract
  • Heavy dusting of ground cinnamon to taste

 

Instructions:

  • Remove and tough parts of the water apples and dice up the rest
  • Liquefy the water apples in a food processor. Do not add water or liquids yet as the apples are predominantly liquid
  • Mix the sugar, cinnamon, and water apples thoroughly in an open wide mouthed pot before placing it on the stove over medium heat
  • Continue to stir your sweet concoction with a wooden spoon continually over the course of 30 minutes

(Note: If you have a bread machine this can be far more ideal than hovering over a stove for 30 minutes, but for those of us with stove tops, just be sure to be careful to watch the jam carefully while on the stove and to stir continuously or parts will stick to the bottom of the pan and the sauce may very well burn throughout)

  • Once the substance has begun to solidify and the excess liquid has burned off, remove your jam from the stove and allow to cool to room temperature
  • Once cooled off, stir in honey and vanilla extract to taste
  • Once satisfied, place spoon your finished product into air tight jars and place in the refrigerator so it can be enjoyed for a while to come.