The coffee bean as we know it is the seed of a cherry-like fruit known as cascara. This fruit is usually discarded and at best broken down and used as a fertiliser. It can. however, be dried and brewed as a tea or used to create a cold brew. Coffee roasters Has Bean and Square Mile currently retail this dried fruit.
During the brewing process much of the cascara’s flavour and caffeine diffuses into the surrounding fluid, whether it be water in a tea or fruit juice in a syrup. The cascara in this recipe, from Square Mile, displays a delicious rose-hip sweetness. Here, I have steeped the cascara with pomegranate juice to form a fruit syrup/cordial.
1. Add the cascara and pomegranate juice to a pan on a medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring frequently and not allowing to boil.
2. After 20 minutes, pass the cascara-pomegranate mix through a sieve and set to one side. (The reason the blood orange juice isn’t added at this stage is so that it maintains it’s natural flavour, un-affected by the cascara).
3. In a large pan add the fresh blood orange juice and zest as well as the sugar and cascara-infused pomegranate juice. Stir the sugar until it has dissolved.
4. Over a high-medium heat reduce this mixture by half to form a glossy syrup. When reduced, place the syrup through a muslin cloth and store in a sterilised bottle or jar.
5. To serve, add 1 part syrup and 2 parts sparkling water over ice. Add a small bunch of mint and enjoy!