Okay – I’m not going to lie – it’s busy around here at the moment. Anyone would think that there’s some kind of holiday impending…
Anyway, it turns out that despite the craziness of the ‘tide, my wife’s sister wasn’t prepared to move her Hen Party back by a couple of weeks to accommodate the fact that I’d promised to develop a bespoke cocktail for them, and was quite busy at the moment. Something to do with already having booked her plane tickets over from Australia or something. Selfish if you ask me…
Anyway – yesterday evening, I finally settled in to make a cocktail both sufficiently special for the event, but which also reflected the turning season, and seeking to get the most out of our new Bathtub Gin.
The premise I started off with was wanting to create a blackberry sour, but after mucking about a bit with some (absolutely delicious) Briottet Crème de Mure it became obvious that I needed to go down the fresh route, and add an extra dimension to it somehow.
Off on a bit of a tangent now, but bear with me… I’ve made no secret of the fact that the Worship Street Whistling Shop is one of my favourite establishments in the world, and I find it very hard to get past the Panacea cocktail every time I go in there. This astonishing drink is made using Compass box Asyla, Lemon, Sugar, and a Shrub made from Honey and Lavender. The best bit about it in my view is the ‘double-hit’ of sourness provided by the lemon juice, and the Vinegar in the shrub. I set about trying to recreate this ‘double-sour’ hit by knocking up my own Fresh Blackberry and Lavender Shrub:
- 450g Fresh Blackberries
- 50g Caster Sugar
- 50ml Water
- 200ml Red Wine Vinegar
- 10ml Master of Malt Lavender Bitters
Method: pop everything except the vinegar in a pan, and boil for about 10 minutes until the blackberries come apart completely. After the 10 minutes are up, add the vinegar, bring back to a gentle simmer, and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Sieve the Shrub, and bottle. This’ll keep for a few weeks in the fridge. If you’re being extra fancy, you can run it through a coffee filter as well to get rid of all the flesh / pulp, and make the finished drink even smoother and creamier, but a word of warning – you’ll need to leave it overnight to run through the coffee filter, as it’s quite a thick emusion.
With the shrub made, I mucked about with a few different proportions before finally settling on the recipe below:
- 50ml Bathtub Gin
- 20ml Fresh Lemon Juice
- 20ml Blackberry and Lavender Shrub
- 25ml Gomme Syrup
- 25ml Fresh Egg-White
Combine ingredients in a shaker (without ice), and shake for 30 seconds or so. This is a trick I learned from WS2 main man Ryan Chetiyawardana, and helps to add an extra level of creaminess and body to the drink by emulsifying the ingredients before chilling.
Next, fill the shaker with ice, and shake until the shaker frosts up on the outside.
Sieve the cocktail through a bar strainer, and serve in a martini glass, with a sprinkling of Lavender flowers if you have some to hand.
Excuse the crap photograph, but take it from me, the drink is pretty superb.