It’s been a bit, er, rainy of late but the weather men are promising more sunshine by the weekend. With that in mind, here’s how to make a classic dessert and a frozen cocktail.

CHEF TONY SAYS: Neither of these are difficult to prepare (you can make the purée and cream in advance and place in the fridge then assemble at the last minute, thereby spending minimal time indoors) and you’ll love this cooling cocktail.


Eton mess


Eton mess500g/1lb 2oz strawberries, hulls removed
400ml/14fl oz double cream
2 tablespoons of icing sugar
3 ready-made shop bought meringue nests, crushed (if you want to spend time making them be my guest, they’re only going to get crushed)
Sprigs of fresh mint, to garnish


Purée half the strawberries in a blender. Chop the remaining strawberries, reserving four for decoration.
Whip the double cream until stiff peaks form, then fold in the strawberry purée, icing sugar, crushed meringue and the chopped strawberries.
Spoon equal amounts of the mixture into four cold wine glasses. Serve garnished with the remaining strawberries and a sprig of mint.


Cooling Cocktail


35ml/1¼fl oz white rum
1 tbsp strawberry liqueur
1 tsp sugar syrup (recipe below – I know you want to get back out in the garden but it’ s only 5 minutes and you can prepare ahead)
20ml/¾fl oz freshly squeezed lime juice
4 fresh strawberries

To serve
1 fresh strawberry


Place all of the ingredients into a food processor with a handful of crushed ice and blend until smooth.
Pour into a glass, garnish with a fresh strawberry and serve.


2 parts sugar

1 part water


Bring the water to a boil.
Dissolve the sugar into the boiling water, stirring constantly.
Once the sugar is dissolved completely, remove the pan from the heat (Note: do not allow the syrup to boil for too long or the syrup will be too thick).
Allow to cool completely and thicken, then bottle.


Next week: Chef Tony goes foraging.


Each week, discover recipes to nourish the soul, all compiled and concocted by Chef Tony, a gastronome with 15 years’ of experience cooking across the North West. Chef Tony has worked in some of the region’s best kitchens, including the award-winning Nutters in Rochdale and The Lowry at Salford Quays.