St. David (Dewi Sant in Welsh) is the patron saint of Wales, and 1st March – his feast day – is celebrated as a patriotic and cultural festival by the Welsh in Wales and around the world. As the national flower of Wales, Welsh people the world over proudly wear the leek – either the stalk, flower, or leaf – on this day. The Welsh leek has a flower, much like a daffodil, which is quite a bit easier to find around the world in March, so many use daffodils instead.
Why do the Welsh wear leeks?
Legend has it that on the eve of the battle against the Saxons, St David advised the Britons to wear leeks in their caps so they could be easily distinguish from the enemy. They won the battle and leeks became a Welsh symbol.
To celebrate and get you in the mood for this monumental day, we have a delicious Leek and Whiskey recipe, and Welsh-based cocktail for you to try.
Leek and Whiskey
- 6 leeks
- 3 tbsp cream (or crème fraîche)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 24 scallops
- 3 tbsp whiskey of choice
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Wash the leeks and slice into thin rounds. Fry gently in a pan for 10 minutes, until soft. Remove and set aside. In the frying pan, heat 2tbsp olive oil. Cook the scallops for 2 minutes of each side (note: don't overcrowd the pan, you can do a few at a time and set aside to keep warm). Once all the scallops have been cooked, remove them from the pan and set aside. Pour 3 tbsp of your favourite whiskey into the frying pan and stir over the heat. Remove the pan from the hob and stir in the cream. Season to taste. Arrange the Leeks and scallops on a plate and drizzle with the sauce.
The Red Dragon
This Welsh-based cocktail is a concoction of Brecon Botanical Gin with blood orange, green tea and hibiscus, and teapot bitters, finished with a Snapdragon flower. A sweet, refreshing cocktail. Almost looks too good to drink – almost!
- 35ml Brecon Botanicals Welsh gin
- 20ml The Vert Hibiscus Liqueur
- 10ml Gomme Syrup
- 5ml Monin Blood Orange Syrup
- 2 dashes Teapot Bitters
- 10ml lemon juice
- 10ml egg white
- 1 fresh raspberry
- Edible snapdragon flower (to garnish)
Place all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Top the ingredients with cubed ice, then top with a glass and give it a good shake. Double strain the mixture into a chilled Martini glass, garnish with the Snapdragon flower and serve immediately.