Christmas is a time for giving, and the best gifts are homemade! Last year I went a bit biscotti crazy, but 2018 was the year of the gin. Wineberry gin to be precise.
“What’s a wineberry?” I hear you ask.
Good question. According to Wikipedia “Rubus phoenicolasius is an Asian species of raspberry in the rose family.” basically they’re a smaller, less good raspberry. We have a wineberry bush in our garden and it goes a bit crazy in June and July, at one point I was filling up a 2 litre ice cream tub a day with fruit. These all went into the freezer ready to be turned into something wonderful.
September comes round and it’s time to get making, I bought 3 litres of gin
Berry Gin Recipe
- 3 litres of gin
- 800g berries (this would work well with blackberries/strawberries – any berries)
- 500g sugar
- Pour the sugar into the gin and mix thoroughly until it all dissolves
- Pour into a sealable, sterilised container, add the berries. Shake/stir it once a week for three months and it will slowly turn a deep red colour
- After 3 months the berries should have sunk to the bottom of the container. Taste to see if you’re happy with the flavour (you can add more sugar if necessary). Strain to remove the berries, then transfer to gift bottles. Save the berries though – these can make an awesome boozy jam!
- Enjoy, over ice, with tonic and a sprig of mint? Preferably in front of the Christmas tree.
Take it up a notch
If you’re an avid gin fan, you will be familiar with the art of ‘gin bottle BS’. That is the blurb of ridiculous marketing hyperbole they put on the label to justify the £35 price tag. A personal favourite being ‘A Roller-coaster botanical Odyssey in a glass‘ from The Botanist label.
If you can’t beat ‘um, join ‘um.
To make this gin feel extra special I then decanted the finished gin into glass bottles and finished them off with a cute label (complete with my very own gin bottle BS) drawn on Adobe Illustrator – and kindly printed by the lovely The New Witty.
Winberries grown organically in suburban Gedling give this gin its lustrous ruby hue and complex fruit flavour.
Very little attention was given to the cultivation of this fruit, so the organic credentials are more through neglect than design – although Sam did cut the branches back once because he was worried they’d scratch his car.
Best severed chilled, over ice, with tonic and a sprig of mint.