I love this time of year in Britain; when the weather is getting warmer and warmer but it hasn’t quite got to the muggy stage and it’s still nice and cool at night. There are flowers in the hedges and the fruit has started growing on the trees; most of my time is spent outside and as far as I’m concerned, shoes are optional. I have done plenty of cooking with elderflower in the past and it seemed an ideal time to try out something slightly different and obscenely summery: Elderflower, Cucumber and Mint Gin.
You will need:
- 10 elderflower heads (here’s a useful guide to identifying elderflowers)
- 3 sprigs fresh mint
- ¼ cucumber, sliced
- 150g sugar
- 700ml gin
As with any foraging expedition, do make sure you know what you’re picking.
Elderflowers (and anything else you pick in the wild) need a good shake off before using them to get rid of any insects that may have come back attached and a quick wash under a running tap isn’t a bad idea either.
Put all of the ingredients together in a sterilised jar and give it all a good mix together.
Leave everything to infuse for two days before sieving the elderflower, mint and cucumber out. I also passed this through a muslin after I had strained it to get rid of any smaller bits and pieces.
I have tried this in two different ways so far; add a drizzle to a glass and top up with some bubbles and mixed with tonic. Because of the sugar in the gin it was really nice to add a bit of sweetness and a delicious summer flavour to some Cava rose. It is also divine mixed simply with tonic and enjoyed on a lovely evening. The elderflower, cucumber and mint work so nicely together and it takes hardly any time at all for the flavours to infuse. Such an easy thing to make with really tasty results. I like that it’s green too, another favourite of mine (but pink this time) is to add some grenadine.