It’s not just the weather, our wardrobes and mood that change over the summer, restaurants too update their food and drinks menu to match the season. When it’s hot I don’t have the same hunger as in colder months but you’ve got to eat. Fresh and light meals are my got to. Cocktails on the other hand, they’re delicious any time of the year and the ones Gusto Cookridge have on their menu are very tasty.
A couple of week’s ago, a small group of bloggers (myself included) and plus ones went to Gusto in Cookridge for a cocktail masterclass followed by a 3-course meal from their summer menu with prosecco and sangria flowing.
Gusto Cocktail Menu
We started off the evening at the bar, as you do. Our assigned bartender and waiter for the evening talked us through how to make three of Gusto’s summer cocktails which we also got to taste. All very refreshing! Think cucumber, elderflower and fresh fruits.
First up, a play on French 75 but with an English twist. A very easy cocktail to make at home using three simple ingredients. Very refreshing and perfect in front of the TV watching Wimbledon.
English 75 | Muddled Cucumber, Apple Liquor, Prosecco
Second up, a sour pornstar martini. This is my favourite out of the three. I prefer refreshing cocktails and drinks over sweet. I don’t mind sweet but I find it sickly to drink more than one in a go. Sour on the other hand, very different AND this is fun. The froth at the top gives it a lovely texture.
Lychee Sour Martini | Tanquary Gin No10, Lychee Liquor, Pineapple Juice, Vanilla Fruit Syrup, Passion Fruit Syrup, Drop of Egg White Bitter
Last out, a cucumber & elderflower martini. It can’t get more British summer than this. A really nice and easy to drink cocktail. I’ve got most of the ingredients at home so I’ll definitely give this one a go. I love elderflower, one of my favourite ingredients in drinks.
Cucumber & Elderflower Martini | Muddled Cucumber, Gomme Syrup, Lime Juice, Elderflower Liquor (St-Germain), Hendricks Gin
Gusto Food Menu
To start, we were served Marinated Olives, Cheese & Truffle Crispy Ravioli and Dough Petals. The latter vegan friendly with tomato, crispy shallots and housemade romesco mayonnaise dip. Vegetarian and meat options are also available. I enjoyed all of these snack dishes and could easily keep them coming all night to make a full meal.
Normally I take a while to decided what to eat when looking over a menu but this time it was a simple choice. Although Gusto’s summer menu has a lot to offer it was only one main that stood out to me – the lamb rump. Not surprisingly everyone else ordered the same, apart from the vegan on the table going for the meat free equivalent – cauliflower roast. That looked amazing too and more than filling enough for one person.
The lamb is really nice and tender. I wouldn’t have mind mine a touch bit more red but still very delicious. Normally I have issues with a bit of meat getting stuck in my teeth but not on this occasion. The dish is both eye popping and flavoursome. The colour and freshness brought by the pea pure bed. Just enough red wine jus to give a bit of moisture.
No side included, they’re always extra. Per usual I went for the truffle skin-on fries.
Starters were more difficult to decide between, but I went for ragu arancini balls. I’ve previously only had cheese filled balls so wanted to try with meat. Although the meat is really tasty (slow cooked for 5 hours), I felt it didn’t give the same texture as a vegetarian version.
None of the desserts jumped out to me and I was surprised and a little bit disappointed they only have ice cream as a fresh option. I prefer light desserts all year around and during warmer months I want them even more. The chocolate options (Chocolate Mousse with Salted Caramel and Warm Chocolate & Hazelnut Brownie) aren’t for me, although they do look good.
Instead, I ordered in a plate of Eaton Mess ice cream. Thinking back, I believe you can pick and mix your flavours which would have made it more fun and if the other flavours are as tasty as the Eaton Mess, it’s a given on a hot summer day/evening. I like the touch of sprinkled gingerbread crumb.
Have you tried Gusto’s summer menu yet? What food do you prefer to eat in summer and hot sunny days?
I was kindly invited to Gusto in Cookridge for their blogger masterclass evening in return for this honest blog post. As always, photos, views and words are my own.