Whenever I visit a market in Shanghai I immediately beeline it over to Sarah from Amelia’s to discover their latest concoction. I am not embarrassed to admit that I’ve eaten a jar full of her jam with a spoon. Alone. In less than 60 seconds. That poor jar of Cranberry Chutney never even made it to our Thanksgiving table.
First, let me tell you about Amelia’s, in case you’ve never heard of them,
Amelia’s was originally the brain child of Amelia Heaton-Renshaw some five years ago. As the business grew, so did Amelia’s desire to return home. It was at this point that the new owners, newlyweds James and Sarah Butler stepped into the fold.
The have maintained the ethos Amelia began, in bringing high quality, reasonably priced produce to the locals and expats of China. We make sure we use the best quality locally sourced produce and absolutely no additives or preservatives.
The jams are jam packed with addictingly delicious flavors that I cannot resist and ZERO additives or preservatives! That’s why I love Amelia’s!
When I return home with my 3 newest jams (I always buy in 3. I don’t know why) Mr. Nomad shakes his head in disbelief. Not because I’ve bought more jam, he is slowly accepting he can’t stop my food hoarding compulsions, but because he knows I won’t share them. Instead I’ll eat them all by myself. It’s a delicious problem to have, what can I say!
The sheer number of jams and chutneys they make you’re guaranteed to find your favorite flavor. Strawberry, Kumquat Brandy Marmalade, Tomato and Chili, Mango Chutney…. There’s just so many great jars of goodness!
Personally, I love the Sweet Onion Chutney, which tastefully compliments any cheese platter. You can even stir a spoonful into your favourite beef stew or gravy recipe to add an extra wow taste!
There are other excellent flavors that are very unique to Amelia’s. With China’s notorious plum rain starting in June, plums come into season, so make sure you grab a jar of seasonal Plum Jam. It’s absolutely delectable on breakfast toast or atop a shortbread cookie. Another unique jam is the Chinese Yangmei Jam, a Chinese berry that is available for about 3 weeks a year from May/June. Amelia’s then turns those berries into the most incredible jam. While I am yet to try this concoction, I’m a huge fan of yangmei berries so I can only imagine how good it will taste as a jam!
When Sarah told me about a new way to enjoy Amelia’s jams I couldn’t wait to try it. Add a spoon of jam to your favorite cocktail or mocktail spritzer to make a fun and refreshing drink!
I thought I knew it all when it comes to the mass consumption of jam. Eat it with a spoon, stuff it in a cupcake, stir it in stew or gravy and now this! Jam Cocktails!
The concept is quite obvious. Jam has the sweetness that most cocktails and mocktails require and since Amelia’s only uses fresh fruit your drink will retain the great flavor that you expect. So go ahead and experiment with different drink flavours and jams. The creative possibilities are endless, but Sarah has come up with 3 drinks that highlight some of the most popular jams.
Strawberry Delight: Add a teaspoon of Strawberry Jam, squirt of lime juice and some mint leaves to soda water. This is a deliciously refreshing beverage that the whole family will enjoy. You can add a splash of rum for an adults only version of this drink. This was yummy yummy, but I added extra spoon of strawberry jam for a stronger flavour.
Mandarin Old Fashioned: Using Mandarin Marmalade, add a teaspoonful to lemonade or Sprite for a deliciously sweet and sharp taste to a classic cocktail. For an adults only version, add a generous shot of whiskey!
Raspberry Queen: A drink fit for the Queen of England! Add chopped cucumbers and soda water to create a refreshing drink perfect for those hot summer days in Shanghai. This drink can be made for adults by substituting the soda water for sparkling wine.
After tasting the three varieties with a couple of cocktail aficionado friends, we determined that the Mandarin Old Fashioned was our favourite. Maybe it was because I made that one first but we drank it last so the flavours of the marmalade had more time to develop in the drink.
If you’ve never enjoyed a spoonful of Amelia’s jams, you really need to grab a couple of dozen jars. Sarah is always at the pop up markets like Jiashan Market, selling jams with a side of British sausage, or is it sausage with a side of jams… I guess that depends on your tastebuds!
Pick up your favourites at The Pantry (205-1 Wulumuqi Nan Lu) or The Market (280 Aomen Lu)
**I was given free jam in return for my post. However all thoughts and opinions are my own.**
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