Last Sunday Danny and I were invited down to Ascot by Appletiser, to enjoy a day at the races and also dabble in the art of mocktails with a mocktail making class to celebrate the fact that Appletiser are now the official soft drink of Ascot races. It was a very wet Sunday for the Prince’s Countryside Fund Raceday, but there was plenty of activities going on at Ascot for this family day. Not only were Prince Charles and Camilla there but also Ant & Dec had joined in the fun, that included the lamb grand national, yes this was sheep jumping over fences!
We started off the day with a mocktail class with Appletiser and Katherine Larsen who is the 2014 UK Sommelier of the Year. In our pairs we each had our own table, decked out so beautifully with Spring flowers, apple place settings with names (this would be such a nice idea for a party) and everything we would need for the class, including the three Appletiser flavours and some fruit to start us off with the pairing of the drinks with food. During the class we learnt the best pairings for food for the Apple flavour Appletiser, the Apple & Pomegranate and also the Apple & Blackcurrant. It was interesting to learn about what paired well with each flavour and also learn a bit more about seasonal fruits.
For the Apple flavour it is floral and fruity and is best paired with foods like pork, to counteract the saltiness with the sweetness, also try it with black pudding and something like nuts. Pomegranate is more rich in flavour, its woody, earthy, sweet and a little musty. This then in turn works best with food like pheasant and duck, chicken curry dishes and salads with feta cheese as ii provides freshness to these heavy flavours. Lastly the blackcurrant is fruity, herby and has musky flavouring. This works well with sweet desserts like cheesecake, yoghurt and sorbet.
We also put together our own mocktail, using the Apple & Pomegranate, mint, maple syrup and lime. It was a really refreshing mix, although I maybe would have used the blackcurrant just as a personal preference as I’m not such a big fan of pomegranate.
After our mocktail class, we headed to the Appletiser box to watch the racing, where were treated to plenty of drinks and a buffet lunch. There is such a good view from the box that it would be amazing to come back in Summer, when the weather would be better.
I also headed down to the parade ring to take a look at some of the horses, my tip – look for the one that is smiling, I swear!
Danny and I placed our bets on a few horses and hoped for the best. After losing the first few, there wasn’t much hope, but we then managed to pick two of the winning horses in the end. Although I won’t be quitting the day job just yet.