Vimto cordial is a soda concentrate popular in the UK and Middle East, flavored with juice from fresh-pressed grapes, tart black currants, raspberries, herbs, and spices. It isn’t common in the US, but I found some at the Mid-East Market in San Bruno the last time I was stocking up on falafels and hummus. The hint of spice in Vimto inspired me to pair it with a heavily spiced sharwarma dish, with the fruit adding a nice contrast, and cucumber, lime, and gin to keep things bright and fresh. I took inspiration from our fizzy formula, pulling down the sparkling portion for a shorter cocktail. Tanqueray Bloomsbury and its notes of coriander and cassis was my gin of choice, and it worked like a dream.
- 1.5 oz Tanqueray Bloomsbury Gin
- 1/2 oz Vimto concentrate
- 1/2 oz Lime juice
- 2 oz Soda Water
- 3 slices of cucumber, muddled
- Muddle cucumber in bottom of a shaker, add gin, Vimto, lime juice, and ice, shake until well chilled. Double strain over a single ice cube in a rocks glass, top with soda water and garnish with a cucumber slice.
Sharwarma is a heavily seasoned meat that is traditionally made rotisserie style. A dish I make for my catering company is sharwarma tostadas, and they go flawlessy with the Bella Rosa. This fusion dish combines homemade beef sharwarma with crispy tostadas, and is served with spiced onions and tahini sauce. It is perfect as an appetizer, or even as the main course.
Beef Sharwarma Tostadas
To make the beef, combine with marinade ingredients and rest for at least 2 hours. When ready to prepare, sauté in a non-stick pan until meat is at desired temp (I prefer medium rare). Let sit for about 10 minutes before cutting into bite sized pieces.
- 1 lb sirloin (thinly sliced)
- 1 tbsp allspice
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp salt
- ¼ cup olive oil
For the Tahini sauce, simply combine ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
- 1 cup tahini
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp salt
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp minced parsley
To make Tostadas, heat oil in a small sauce pan and fry until they are golden brown, salt each tortilla.
- 1 package of mini corn tortillas
- 4 cups oil
Thinly slice a medium onion, season to cover entire onion and let onions sit for about an hour.
- 1 Onion
To assemble, begin by adding enough beef sharwarma to cover each tostada. Put a few slices of spiced onions on top, and finish with a drizzle of tahini sauce.