How to make an autumnal wild berry cocktail, by Emma Mitchell

Sometimes a spot of booze is needed. And sometimes it needs to be sweet and prettily coloured and sipped while watching an old film on a chilly evening beneath a soft blanket. Follow Emma Mitchell's recipe to make this delightful berry cocktail.

The Berry Cocktail © Emma Mitchell

This recipe is easy to make and perfect for drinking by the fire. The delicate pink or tawny colour is made from the old year’s berries. You can use a nip of the hawthorn gin or a simple, delicious blackberry syrup that, with some brief simmering, distils the flavour of late summer so that you can taste it in your glass. All poetic thoughts aside, it will cheer you right up if there’s a squall blowing outside, you dropped your purse in a puddle or you’ve yet to tackle your tax return. It is, like its namesake Mary Berry, reassuring and very lovely.



For the cocktail:

Sloe, damson, hawthorn or rosehip gin (click here for our sloe gin recipe or click here for Emma Mitchell’s hawthorn gin recipe on BBC Countryfile Magazine‘s website) or blackberry syrup (recipe below)

Your favourite white wine

A good tonic water

A few fresh berries (optional)

For the blackberry syrup:

350g (12oz) frozen blackberries

200g (7oz) golden caster sugar

Splash of water

The Berry Cocktail. © Emma Mitchell
The Berry Cocktail. © Emma Mitchell

Step by Step

Blackberry syrup:

  1. To make a simple blackberry syrup, simmer the frozen blackberries with a good splash of water and the golden caster sugar until the fruit just breaks down and the juice is released. Don’t allow it to become thick and jammy.
  2. Strain the syrup through a sieve into a sterilized bottle and keep it in the fridge – you can save the pulp and eat it with your breakfast cereal.


  1. Make your Berry Cocktail using the following ratios: 1 part fruit gin or blackberry syrup, 2 parts wine, 2 parts tonic water.
  2. Add a few fresh berries to your glass for decoration, if you like.
  3. Snuggle down and toast Mary Berry and the summer that was.

This is an extract from Making Winter by Emma Mitchell, published by Mara Books, £14.99

Making Winter by Emma Mitchell