Elderberry gin

PT30M

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This is my basic recipe for elderberry gin, but I love adding different ingredients to change the final flavour. Orange rind and a cinnamon stick gives the gin a festive twist, while lime zest with coriander seeds and lemongrass works surprisingly well too.

1
Carefully remove the berries from their stalks. Combing through them with a fork is a quick and effective method, but be careful not to squash the berries if they are particularly ripe. Discard any green or unripe berries
2
Place the berries in a bowl of cold water, remove any bits of leaf and stalk that rise to the surface of the water, then drain the clean berries and place them in a 1 litre jar
3
Pour the gin over the berries and add a couple of pieces of lemon peel. Close the jar and leave to steep for at least 1 month away from direct sunlight, turning the jar every now and then
4
After the berries have been steeping for 1 month or more, strain the gin through a sieve into a bowl. Keep the berries – they are delicious stirred through gravy for your roast dinner or sprinkled over ice cream. To sweeten the gin, place the sugar into a pan with 100ml water and set over a low heat, stirring until it has dissolved into a syrup. Allow to cool completely
5
Once the syrup has cooled, stir it into the gin bit by bit, tasting along the way until you are happy with the sweetness
6
Pour into a presentation bottle using a jug or funnel. It is now ready to drink, but ages well over time. Serve straight or add tonic for something more refreshing
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