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How to make an autumnal wild berry cocktail

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.

More berry foraging recipes:

On BBC Wildlife Magazine‘s website:

On BBC Countryfile Magazine‘s website: 

Blackberry vodka. © Elena Kirey/Getty
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Ingredients

For the cocktail

  • Sloe, damson, hawthorn or rosehip gin or blackberry syrup
  • Your favourite white wine
  • A good tonic water
  • A few fresh berries (optional)

For the blackberry syrup

  • Frozen blackberries 350g (12oz)
  • Golden caster sugar 200g (7oz)
  • A splash of water

Method

Blackberry syrup

  • Step 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.

    Making blackberry syrup. © Emma Mitchell
    Making blackberry syrup. © Emma Mitchell
  • Step 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.

    Keep the pulp to eat with breakfast, or ice cream! © Mint Images/Getty
    Keep the pulp to eat with breakfast, or ice cream! © Mint Images/Getty

Berry Cocktail

  • Step 1

    Make your Berry Cocktail using the following ratios: 1 part fruit gin or blackberry syrup, 2 parts wine, 2 parts tonic water.

    Sloe gin. © Joff Lee/Getty
    You can use sloe gin in your berry cocktail. © Joff Lee/Getty
  • Step 2

    Add a few fresh berries to your glass for decoration, if you like.

    You can add fresh berries to your drink for decoration. © Fiona McAllister Photography/Getty
    You can add fresh berries to your drink for decoration. © Fiona McAllister Photography/Getty
  • Step 3

    Snuggle down and toast Mary Berry and the summer that was.

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

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

Making Winter jacket

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