The Taste of Early Summer in a Glass
Nature is so clever at pairing flavours together and letting them conveniently ripen at the same time. Gooseberries and elderflower do just that, ripening in early summer while the garden and countryside is still fresh light green, before the dusty days of summer.
Homemade gooseberry gin and homemade elderflower syrup form the basis of these 3 gooseberry gin & elderflower cocktails, combining the delicate flavour of elderflower with the freshness of gooseberry. Try them. It’s easier than you think to make. And rewarding to sit back and sip your own concoctions.
I make my own elderflower syrup (find out how here) and grow my own gooseberries to make gooseberry gin.
Gooseberry and Elderflower Fizz
Gin fizzes are so versatile, easy and fun to create. You can make something quite elegant and light with only a couple of ingredients. They are a great starting point for those of you who are not familiar with making cocktails – yet!
Here, I’ve used my 2 signature ingredients, combining homemade gooseberry infused gin with elderflower pressé. I bought the pressé but it is just as easy to make your own by adding a little homemade elderflower syrup to sparkling water. You can always substitute the pressé for prosecco and bump up the alcohol content of your fizz.
Highball or champagne flute
60 ml / 2 oz of your homemade gooseberry gin
Pour the gin into a chilled glass.
Top with elderflower pressé.
Garnish: fresh elderflowers
Now for a slightly more complex cocktail. This one combines gooseberry and elderflower with fresh zesty citrus and is one of my all-time favourite cocktails. Created by Matt Gee at the Milk & Honey bar in New York.
The original recipe calls for London Dry Gin but I think this combination is more fun and evocative of warm sunny summer days. Lemony silky smooth.
45 ml / 1.5 oz homemade gooseberry gin
30 ml / 1 oz homemade elderflower syrup or St. Germain liqueur
5 ml / 1 bar spoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
5 ml / 1 bar spoon freshly squeezed lime juice
15 ml / .5 oz pasteurised egg white
Shake ALL the ingredients with ice in a shaker.
Normally you would dry shake a mixture containing egg white first but in this instance, you are not trying to create a head of foam but create a silky texture.
Fine strain into a martini glass.
Garnish: lemon and lime zest
My original recipe. I have a thing for creating cocktails based on the flavours of my favourite desserts. In a previous post, I created a Lemon Meringue Pie cocktail.
Of course, it isn’t really a pie. But I can dream.
Ingredients for the ‘pie filling’:
60 ml / 2 oz homemade gooseberry gin
22.5 ml / .75 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
15 ml / .25 oz simple syrup
Shake in a shaker with ice.
Fine strain into the coupe glass.
Tip: Don’t be put off by the thought of making a cocktail foam. They are quite simple to make and add a nuance of flavour to the mix. A ‘foam’ is just a fluffy head of protein. Doesn’t sound very appetising, does it? And if you didn’t flavour the egg white it would make your cocktail smell and taste unappetisingly eggy. But by adding a small amount of flavoured syrup or liqueur to the egg white you create a cocktail that has layers of complexity.
Ingredients for the ‘pie crust’:
This is essentially an elderflower foam.
30 ml / 1 oz pasteurised egg white
7.5 ml / 1 and a half bar spoons homemade elderflower syrup or St Germain liqueur
Dry shake in a chilled cocktail shaker to emulsify the egg white and create a frothy foam.
Or just cheat by using a mini electric whisk.
Pour the elderflower foam over the gooseberry filling to put the ‘crust’ on the gooseberry pie.
Garnish: fresh or dried elderflowers