We all love gin, right? Gin is indeed what makes the world go round.
Now that we’ve established that beyond doubt let’s just say it’s been a little while since I made gin – in fact it’s been almost two years since the Lime & Chilli Gin first graced this little corner of the internet. Since then there’s been Mulled Gin, Seville Orange, and Raspberry Gin (coincidentally, the last of these is TUS’ most popular post), but having an incredibly busy summer stalled boozy creations, and what spare time there was mainly centred on sport, comedy and spending some valuable time in the pub.
Autumn was scarcely quieter, but time has been found and the kitchen is back in full swing. I recently took a little trip up north to spend a boozy weekend with friends and decided a few weeks before that it was high time a new gin was created. It was early October, so seasonal fruits and a little spice was in order.
I had ready access to delicious fresh apples and brambles (or blackberries, depending on where you’re reading this); they are such a great combination that it just seemed right that they would make a good fruity gin. And since cinnamon adds a delicious new level to this pairing it seemed almost rude not to.
One of my favourite things about this recipe is that if fits this time of year perfectly. It’s slightly sweeter that many other gins, the colour really lends itself to autumn, and ultimately it’s delicious. You can made it at any time of year, of course, using frozen berries, but if you are doing so remember to thaw and drain them first.
It went down a storm when we opened it – it’s dangerously drinkable, you are pre-warned – and didn’t last all that long. In theory should last up to three months, but none of the gins I’ve ever made have lasted long enough to know for sure.
Apple and Bramble Gin
This recipe is based on my Lime & Chilli Gin, but substituting the fruits; it also uses a little less sugar as the fruits are sweeter. It makes approximately 70cl of gin, and you can always use the fruits again afterwards to make a deliciously boozy cake or crumble.
700 ml gin
1 large bramley apple
200g (1 punnet) of brambles/blackberries
75g caster sugar
1 cinnamon stick
Take a large mason jar (approx 1 litre) and into it pour the sugar and about 100 ml of the gin. Seal the jar and swirl it around to disolve as much of the sugar as possible. Pour the brambles in, then use the back of a large metal spoon to mash the fruit a little. Peel the apple and then cut into small chunks – no larger than 5cm² (the smaller they are the more surface area there will be to let the flavours impart into the gin), add the chunks into the jar along with the cinnamon.
Pour the rest of the gin in and use the large metal tablespoon to stir everything together, ensuring that all of the sugar is dissolved. Chop sticks also work very well for this!
Seal the jar and store it in a cool, dry place that is out of direct sunlight. It will take about two weeks for the flavours to become just right (it will colour early because the brambles, don’t be fooled into thinking it’s done), you should stir, shake or swirl every couple of days.
After the fortnight, sterilise the bottle(s) it will be going into. Using a coffee filter, piece of muslin or (my preferred option) a sieve lined with kitchen roll to filter out the fruit and the cinnamon. I tend to do this into a just so it is easier to pour into the bottles. Decant the filtered gin into your bottles and seal, serve with tonic over ice.