WILD BLACKBERRIES AND GIN
In the past the women of the maritime villages of West Wales would have been very busy at this time of year preserving all the foraged berries and fruits from the gardens and hedgerows. In some diaries of this era they mention walking for miles and miles chatting together and picking all the nutritious free food especially blackberries which are so versatile and offer up beneficial substances in their leaves and fruits.
For our purposes blackberries and gin are a winning combination especially when the blackberries are freshly picked in August or September. A Bramble Cocktail using homemade Blackberry Cordial or Liqueur or a Blackberry Gin Fizz made with muddled blackberries are full of summer joy and are best enjoyed freshly made. All these homemade delights are a good way of experimenting with foraged plants and fruits and also a fantastic way to recycle our Welsh Sister Gin bottles.
We are relatively new to preserving and making cordials and concoctions so all our recipes are in a process of development. We would really welcome any suggestions and ideas - do contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Included here are three different ways of including blackberries into your garden gin cocktail repertoire. The first brew is a Blackberry Cordial which can be dribbled into a Bramble cocktail.
WILD BLACKBERRY CORDIAL
You will need a medium saucepan, a measuring jug, a sieve , a bowl, muslin cloth, a potato masher or similar, a funnel and sterilised, empty, recycled Welsh Sisters Gin bottles or similar..
500 g of blackberries
2 cups of sugar
150 ml water
1/2 tsp citric acid or lemon juice
Rinse the blackberries in cold water and put them in a saucepan with the water. Gently cook over a low heat for 10-15 mins. At this point it might be a good idea to mash the blackberries with a potato masher or wooden spoon. Sieve the berries through the muslin and into a large bowl. Press the fruit to get as much juice out as possible. Measure the juice to calculate how much sugar to add - 1 part sugar to 5 parts juice is a good ratio but this depends on how sweet you want the cordial to be. When we use the cordial with our gin we like it to be quite sweet but not sweet enough to drown the taste of the gin!
Return the juice and sugar to the pan and place over a low heat. You want the sugar to dissolve but you don’t want the mixture to boil. Remove and stir in ½ spoon of citric acid. Funnel the cordial into a sterilised bottle and seal.
For a more powerful punch to your Bramble you can add Blackberry Liqueur.
For Blackberry Liqueur you will need a large bucket or bowl, a potato masher, a sieve, a muslin cloth, a jug, a large saucepan, 8 empty sterilised bottles.
600 g blackberries
750 ml good quality red wine
500 g sugar
Large glass of Vodka
Mash the blackberries in a large bowl or bucket, pour over the red wine and leave in a cool place for 2 days to macerate. After 2 days sieve the mixture through a sieve and muslin cloth into a large pan and add sugar. Heat very gently until the sugar is dissolve – be careful not to boil the mixture. Simmer for 5 minutes. Leave to cool then stir in the vodka. Pour into the bottles and seal and label. This can be used straight away if desired.
For a luscious red Blackberry Cocktail look no further than a BLACKBERRY GIN FIZZ.
BLACKBERRY GIN FIZZ
For this you will need a cocktail shaker, a muddler or long spoon, a small bowl, a sieve, 2 iced flute glasses.
100 g blackberries
50 ml Welsh Sisters gin
1 tbsp Lemon Juice
1 tbsp elderflower Cordial
1 tbsp sugar syrup
200 ml Prosecco
Muddle the blackberries in a bowl until mashed into a puree. In a cocktail shaker place a few ice cubes, a couple spoons of blackberry puree, 2 shots of gin, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice 1 tablespoon of sugar syrup and a tablespoon of elderflower cordial. Shake very well.
Strain the mixture through a sieve and distribute between the two flute glasses half filling them up and top up with Prosecco.