Cranberry Gin

Home-made Cranberry Gin

Zingy and zesty home-made Cranberry Gin is one of my favourite seasonal drinks. This delicious Cranberry liqueur has the wonderful sweet-sour taste of fresh cranberries and is perfect at a Christmas or New Year party or after a seasonal family celebration. I make it for my family to drink over the holiday season but also make a few extra bottles as they are brilliant Christmas gifts.

Latest posts from tastebotanical

What you need to know about making Cranberry Gin

  • Although it is incredibly easy to make, you do need to think ahead. You cannot just rustle up a batch of Cranberry Gin to drink tomorrow as it needs around a month for the infusion of flavour to happen.
  • You can make it with fresh cranberries, when they are in season in the winter months, but you can also use frozen cranberries if you want to make it at another time of year.
  • It is important to prick the cranberries with a skewer or sharp knife as this helps to release the flavour into the gin.
  • I use a basic, “own-brand” gin from the supermarket to make this recipe. It is not worth using anything fancy. You can also use vodka as an alternative.

Loved this recipe? Checkout the Recipe Index

Cranberry Gin flavour variations

I have suggested adding a sprig of rosemary to the cranberries in this recipe. I think rosemary combines well with their sweet-sharp flavour. It is also one of the few fresh herbs that I can harvest from my garden in the winter months.

Sometimes, I make my Cranberry Gin without any additional flavourings. If I do decide to add another flavouring, I tend to just add one as I like the clear, clean taste of the cranberries.

The following flavourings go well with cranberries, so please feel free to experiment.

  • Orange or other citrus fruit such as clementines, mandarins or tangerines – add a few large pieces of the zest to the jar with the cranberries
  • Cinnamon – add a cinnamon stick
  • Ginger – add some pieces of fresh ginger

Loved this recipe? Checkout the Recipe Index

Other home-made gin liqueur recipes

If you enjoy this Cranberry Gin, you may also be interested in my other easy recipes for Rhubarb GinPlum GinDamson Gin, Blackberry Gin and Elderflower Gin.

Other Cranberry recipes

I am a big fan of cranberries. They freeze very well so I use them throughout the year. However, as they are in season in winter, I make a lot of cranberry recipes around Christmas and New Year.

  • Cranberry Sauce – a classic and so much nicer when you make it yourself. I add cinnamon, white wine and orange and it is always on my table for Christmas dinner!
  • Cranberry Ice Cream – slightly more unusual but this is one of my go-to ways of using up any left over Cranberry Sauce. My other is Cranberry Pavlova which often appears as a dessert for family meals between Christmas and New Year.

Loved this recipe? Checkout the Recipe Index

Home-made Cranberry Gin liqueur recipe

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Cranberry Gin

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 400 ml 1x
  • Category: Gin
  • Cuisine: English

Description

This easy Cranberry Gin liqueur has the zingy sweet-sour taste of fresh cranberries. Make it for your family or give as a seasonal gift.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 200 g (7 oz) cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 200 g (7 oz) caster sugar (superfine sugar)
  • 400 ml (17 fl oz) gin
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary (optional)

Instructions

  1. If using frozen cranberries, allow to defrost.
  2. Wash the cranberries thoroughly. Prick each of them several times with a sharp knife.   This will allow the juice – and flavour – to transfer to the gin.
  3. Put the cranberries into a sterilised jar.  Add the sugar and then the gin. Make sure the gin covers all the cranberries.

  4. Add the sprigs of rosemary.

  5. Shake thoroughly to ensure it is mixed.

  6. Seal the jar and leave in a cool, dry, dark place for two weeks.

  7. At the end of that time, the gin is ready to drink.    Strain the gin into sterilised bottles through a clean muslin or cotton cloth held in a funnel and it will keep for approximately six months.


Notes

You can sterilise your jar by washing it in warm, soapy water, rinsing well and then drying off for 15 minutes in an oven set at 140C/120C fan/gas 1.

Although it only takes 30 minutes preparation time, you will need to allow four weeks for the flavour to develop.

You can scale this recipe up or down according to how much cranberry gin you want to make.   Simply double, triple or quadruple the quantities of all ingredients to make more and halve to make less.

Keywords: cranberry, cranberries, gin

Beetroot Soup with Coconut

Beetroot Soup with Coconut

This easy Beetroot Soup highlights the earthy sweetness of roasted beetroot. It is enhanced with the gentle heat and lemony flavour of fresh ginger and the creamy richness of coconut.  Although it is easy to make and the ingredients are simple, it does taste quite subtle and sophisticated.    It is great for a simple autumn lunch or supper but is not out of place as a starter at a dinner party.

What you need to know about my Beetroot Soup
  • Roasting the beetroot (step 1) is important as it intensifies the flavour and earthy sweetness of the vegetables. If you wrap them in foil while they are roasting they will retain their juiciness and it will also mean that the skin is easy to remove.
  • You can use larger beetroot, up to the same weight of 350 g, if you do not have small beetroot. If so, cut them in half before roasting.
  • The natural starch and fibre of the beetroot thickens this soup rather than flour. This adds an additional element of nutrition and makes the soup perfect for anyone who is gluten intolerant.
  • Cooking the chopped onions slowly is really important (step 4). It caramelises the vegetables and gives the soup a real depth of flavour.
  • Using fresh ginger (step 5) is really important. I think this is one recipe where dried ginger will not do. Fresh ginger has a complex lemony flavour, in addition to its hit of ginger heat. It makes a huge difference to the flavour of this simple soup.
  • My recipe is vegetarian but it is easily converted into a vegan recipe. Just replace the butter with vegetable oil.
  • This soup freezes very well so  you can make a batch and keep it for when you need a quick beetroot fix!

Loved this recipe? Checkout the Recipe Index.

Other easy vegetarian soup recipes

I have lots of easy, vegetarian soup recipes. If you like this Beetroot Soup, you might like some of the others. All my soups are vegetarian and all can be made vegan by substituting animal fats, such as butter, for vegetable fats. Some of them are pretty simple such as Tomato Soup, Fennel SoupJerusalem Artichoke Soup  or Sweetcorn Chowder and showcase a single vegetable. Others combine vegetables which have complimentary flavours such as Curried Parsnip and Apple SoupMoroccan Spiced Sweet Potato SoupCeleriac and Apple SoupMushroom and Chestnut SoupPumpkin and Sweetcorn Soup or Leek and Potato Soup. A few have more unusual combinations of flavours such as Butternut and Peanut Butter SoupNettle Soup uses foraged ingredients. I also have a few chilled soup recipes, which are fantastic cold in the summer, but can also be served warm such as Asparagus and Pea.

Other beetroot recipes

I love the sweet, earthy taste of roasted beetroot and the fantastic rich carmine pink colour that it brings to every dish.  The flavour is autumn on a  plate and the colour cheers me up as days are getting cooler and I know winter is on its way.

In addition to soup, I think beetroot is a brilliant ingredient in salad. I make a very quick and salad, Raw Beetroot and Carrot Salad with Citrus Dressing and also a Middle Eastern-inspired Roasted Beetroot Salad with Yogurt and Tahini. I also have a fantastic recipe for a Beetroot Tart which can be eaten either hot or cold.

Recipe for Beetroot Soup with Coconut

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Beetroot Soup with Coconut

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 6 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Cuisine: English

Description

This autumnal vegan soup combines the earthy sweetness of beetroot with the gentle heat of fresh ginger and the the creaminess of creamed coconut.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 6 small beetroot (around 350 g or 1 lb in total)
  • 25 g (1 oz) butter and 1 teaspoon oil (or 2 teaspoons of oil if vegan)
  • 1 onion
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 cm of fresh ginger
  • 500 ml (1 pint) water
  • Half teaspoon of vegetable bouillon powder
  • 50 g (2 oz) of creamed coconut

Instructions

  1. Set your oven to 200 C/Gas Mark 6. Wash your beetroot and loosely wrap each one in kitchen foil.  Place the wrapped beetroot on an oven tray.   Roast the beetroot in the oven for around 40 minutes until soft.   Remove the beetroot from the oven and allow to cool.  When they are cool enough to handle, remove the skins using a sharp knife.   Roughly chop the peeled beetroot.
  2. Heat the butter and oil in a large heavy-based pan
  3. Peel and chop the onion, add it to the pan and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Cook very gently for around 30 minutes until the onion is soft and sweet. Slow cooking caramelises the natural sugars in the onion and greatly improves the flavour of the soup.
  5. When the onion is cooked, add the chopped beetroot together with the peeled and crushed garlic cloves. Peel the fresh ginger and finely grate it into the pan.
  6. Add the water and vegetable bouillon power to the pan. Gently cook the soup for 5 minutes.
  7. Add the coconut cream to the soup.
  8. Blend the soup until it is smooth using a food processor or hand-held blender.
  9. You can add a final swirl of coconut cream to each portion for an added creamy richness if you wish.

Keywords: beetroot, soup, vegan

This recipe has been shared on #CookBlogShare with Apply to Face Blog and #FiestaFriday with Fiesta Friday and Liz @ Spades, Spatulas & Spoons

Leek and Potato Soup with Fresh Chives

Leek and Potato Soup with Fresh Chives

This Leek and Potato Soup is a lovely, simple traditional soup. It is warming and hearty with a mild onion flavour. The potatoes thicken the soup without making it too heavy. It is filling enough to serve as a light lunch with some good bread but it can also be served as a starter for a more formal meal.

It is a truly versatile soup because it can be eaten either hot or cold. The cold version is similar to the French cold soup Vichyssoise which is generally made with chicken stock. This means that it is a soup for all seasons. It will warm you up in winter and cool you down in summer! If you are serving it cold, you need to allow it to cool down to room temperature after you have made it. Then put it in the fridge for at least two hours – ideally overnight – to ensure that it is properly chilled.

I like to stir a little cream into the finished soup and top it off with some fresh chives. Neither are essential. The soup will taste good without these additions if you do not wish to include them.

What you need to know about making Leek and Potato Soup
  • You must cook the leeks and onions slowly to allow them to sweeten and soften without burning.  Don’t try and rush this stage. This slow gentle cooking is what will give your soup its extra-special flavour.
  • A good quality stock is essential. This will give your soup depth of flavour. You can use either vegetarian stock or meat-based stock. If you have home-made stock, either vegetarian or meat-based, so much the better. I sometimes use home-made chicken stock or the cooking juices from a boiled ham. Both go well as a basis for this soup. You can use stock-cubes or powder to make the stock if you do not have any home-made stock to hand. If so, try and use a good quality brand.
  • This soup is vegetarian if you use a vegetable-based stock. You can make a vegan version by substituting the butter for an extra tablespoon of oil and omitting the cream.
  • This soup can be made in advance and then reheated. It also freezes well and can be kept in the freezer for at least 6 months.

Other easy vegetarian soup recipes

I have lots of easy, vegetarian soup recipes. If you like this Leek and Potato Soup you might like some of the others. All my soups are vegetarian and all can be made vegan by substituting animal fats, such as butter, for vegetable fats. Some of them are pretty simple such as Nettle Soup, Fennel SoupJerusalem Artichoke Soup  or Sweetcorn Chowder and showcase a single vegetable. Others combine vegetables which have complimentary flavours such as Curried Parsnip and Apple SoupMoroccan Spiced Sweet Potato SoupCeleriac and Apple SoupMushroom and Chestnut SoupPumpkin and Sweetcorn Soup or Leek and Potato Soup. A few have more unusual combinations of flavours such as Beetroot Soup with Coconut or Butternut and Peanut Butter Soup. I also have a few chilled soup recipes, which are fantastic cold in the summer, but can also be served warm such as Asparagus and Pea and Tomato.

Leek and Potato Soup recipe

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Leek and Potato Soup with Fresh Chives

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 35
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: for 6 people 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Cuisine: English

Description

This is a really easy soup which can be eaten either hot or cold.  Although it uses relatively cheap ingredients, the soup is elegant and flavourful and is not out of place as a first course at a dinner party.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 leeks
  • 2 onions (I use white onions to keep the colour of the final soup pale)
  • 2 large potatoes (about 500 g or 1 lb)
  • 50 g (2 oz) butter
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 litre (2 pints) good quality stock 
  • A bunch of fresh chives
  • A little double cream (optional)

Instructions

  1. Wash the leeks, trim off the dark top parts of the leaves and chop the stalks roughly.  Peel and chop the onions.
  2.  Heat the butter and the oil in your saucepan.  Add the chopped leeks and onions, season them with salt and pepper,  and very gently fry them for around 20 minutes until they are soft and sweet.   It is really important to  add seasoning at this point and to cook gently to bring out the flavour of the vegetables – it will make a huge difference to the taste of your soup.
  3.  Next, peel and chop the potatoes and add them to the saucepan with the leeks and onions.  Cook gently for a few minutes.
  4. Add the stock to your saucepan and simmer the vegetables gently for about 15 minutes.
  5. Turn off the heat and allow the soup to cool slightly before blending.

Notes

This soup can be eaten either hot or cold.

Keywords: leek potato soup

This recipe has been shared on #CookBlogShare with Curly’s Cooking and #FiestaFriday with Fiesta Friday and  Laurena @ Life Diet Health

Blackberry Gin

Home-made Blackberry Gin

This method for home-made Blackberry Gin is incredibly easy and results in a beautiful ruby-coloured, sweet liqueur. It has a delicious, rich, sweet-sour flavour.

I have only recently started making Blackberry Gin. Having had some initial success with Elderflower Gin and Rhubarb Gin (which is great for cocktails!) last year, I started to think about other seasonal fruits that I could use to produce delicious home-made gin! I have always been a keen blackberry picker but, in the past, have used them for jam and also cakes, puddings and desserts such as Blackberry Muffins, Blackberry Crumble and Blackberry Fool. However, it occurred to me that they might taste pretty good as a flavouring for gin.

Late August and early September is blackberry season in the Cotswolds. On my daily dog walks, I see the brambles growing rapidly during early summer. By mid-summer, their flowers are turning to fruit. In late summer, within a week or so, they suddenly seem to be covered in hundreds of juicy blackberries. You can, of course, buy blackberries all year round in supermarkets these days. However, there is nothing like picking your own. Even people who would never forage for any other kind of wild produce have memories of going blackberrying. Where I live, it is a pretty popular thing to do. On my relatively short drive to work last week, I saw no less than three groups of people, equipped with plastic containers and thick gloves, picking the blackberries that grow along the roadside.

In the past few years, there has been an increase in the popularity of flavoured gins, including Blackberry Gin, produced by niche producers and selling for a premium in supermarkets.  I think home-made and traditional is best in terms of both flavour and price, so why not try making your own? It is really easy!

Loved this recipe? Checkout the Recipe Index

Latest posts

What you need to know about making Blackberry Gin

  • First off, it is incredibly easy. Even to describe it as a recipe is a bit of an exaggeration! You simply need to combine the blackberries, sugar and gin and leave for the delicious fruity flavour to infuse the liquid.
  • However, you do need to think ahead. You cannot just rustle up a batch of Blackberry Gin to drink tomorrow as it needs around a month for the infusion of flavour to happen.
  • I think of this as a seasonal recipe and make it in August and September when there are plentiful wild blackberries growing near my house. I make a lot of infused gins around that time of year using season produce such as damsons, plums and also late rhubarb. Their sweet, fruitiness makes them ideal as drinks over the Christmas and New Year period.
  • However, if you want to make this recipe using bought blackberries – either fresh or frozen – it will still work. It will just be a bit more expensive to make as the main flavouring ingredient is not free! Also, I find that shop-bought blackberries tend to be sweeter than wild blackberries so you won’t get such a tangy sweet-sour flavour.
  • I use a basic, “own-brand” gin from the supermarket to make this recipe. It is not worth using anything fancy. You can also use vodka as an alternative.

Loved this recipe? Checkout the Recipe Index

How to drink Blackberry Gin

The result of this recipe is a sweet, alcoholic liqueur-style drink. I like it best served on its own in a small glass (or maybe several small glasses!). You can drink it as an aperitif before a meal or, my preference, as a liqueur at the end of a meal. It is also a good to drink as an accompaniment to a dessert course, as alternative to a dessert wine. This is particularly true if the dessert includes blackberries or other complementary flavours such as apple.

Loved this recipe? Checkout the Recipe Index

Other home-made fruit gins

If you enjoy this Blackberry Gin, you may also be interested in my other easy recipes for Rhubarb Gin, Plum Gin, Damson Gin and Elderflower Gin.

Blackberry Gin recipe

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Blackberry Gin

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Total Time: 15
  • Yield: 200 ml 1x
  • Category: Gin
  • Cuisine: English

Description

Making your own Blackberry Gin is so easy and the end result is a delicious reminder of blackberry season that you can enjoy all year around!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 200 g (7 oz) blackberries
  • 100 g  (3.5 oz) caster or super-fine sugar
  • 200 ml (quarter of a pint) gin

 


Instructions

  1. Wash the blackberries thoroughly.
  2. Mix the blackberries thoroughly with the sugar in a large bowl.
  3. Spoon the blackberries and sugar into a sterilised jar.  Leave for 24 hours to allow the blackberries to macerate in the sugar and   release their juices.
  4. Add the gin to the jar of blackberries and sugar.  Shake thoroughly to ensure it is mixed.
  5. Leave in a cool, dry, dark place for four weeks.
  6. At the end of that time, the gin is ready to drink!    Strain the gin into sterilised bottles through a muslin cloth held in a funnel and it will keep for approximately six months.

 


Notes

You can sterilise your jar by washing it in warm, soapy water, rinsing well and then drying off for 15 minutes in an oven set at 140C/120C fan/gas 1.       

Although it only takes 15 minutes preparation time, you will need to allow 24 hours for the blackberries to macerate  in the sugar and, once you have added the gin, it will take a further four weeks to allow the flavour to develop. 

You can scale this recipe up or down according to how many blackberries you feel like picking.  Add half as much weight in sugar as your weight of blackberries.  The amount of gin in ml should be equivalent to the weight in grams of your blackberries. 

Keywords: blackberries, blackberry, gin, home-made gin, blackberry recipe

Smoked Salmon Tart with Prawns

Easy recipe for Smoked Salmon Tart with Prawns

This Smoked Salmon Tart with Prawns is one of my favourite recipes.  It is so quick and easy it is the perfect after-work supper.  If you don’t want to make your own pastry, ready-made is fine, and this makes the recipe even easier.

The inclusion of  smoked salmon and prawns  also gives this tart seem a bit special and luxurious.  This makes it also good for a dinner party or a fancy picnic.  Smoked salmon and prawns are not the cheapest ingredients but a little goes a long way in this tart.   I use smoked salmon trimmings, which are available in most supermarkets, and are much more affordable than smoked salmon slices whilst still having all the taste.

I make a lot of savoury tarts as they can be made ahead of time so are great in all kinds of situations –  family suppers, dinner parties, cold buffets or picnics – and are good either hot, warm or cold .  If you like this recipe, you may also like some of my other recipes such as Crab and Prawn Tart with Chilli and CorianderCaramelised Onion Tart, Tomato TartButternut Squash Tart or  Herb Tartlets.

Loved this recipe? Check out the Recipe Index

Other quiche and tart recipes

I make a lot of quiches and savoury tarts. In my view, they are one of the most versatile and useful dishes. They are easy to make and easy to divide into portions, they can be made in advance, they can be served hot or cold, there are a lot of vegetarian options which still seem to please meat-eaters and there are lots and lots of possible flavour combinations. In addition to this Smoked Salmon Tart with Prawns, some of my favourites from this are listed below.

Smoked Salmon Tart with Prawns

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Smoked Salmon Tart with Prawns

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 1 tart serving 8 people 1x
  • Category: Tart
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: English

Description

This Smoked Salmon Tart with Prawns is extremely easy to make and tastes luxurious!  If you don’t want to make your own pastry, you can use ready-made which will make it even easier.  Smoked salmon trimmings are used to keep the cost down.


Ingredients

Scale

For the pastry:

  • 275 g (10 oz) plain or all-purpose flour
  • 125 g fat (5 oz) (I use a mix of half butter and half Trex as I think this makes the lightest pastry)
  • Salt and pepper
  • A little water

For the filling:

  • 3 eggs
  • 200 ml (quarter of a pint) double or heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper
  • Half a teaspoon cayenne
  • A little grated nutmeg
  • 100 g (4 oz) smoked salmon trimmings
  • 125 g (5 oz) raw peeled prawns

Instructions

  1. Set your oven to 180 C, 350 F or Gas Mark 4.
  2. Make the pastry. Put the flour in a bowl.  Add the fat and combine –  either by “rubbing in” by hand or processing – until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add a little cold water (2-3 tbsp) and shape the mixture into a dough.
  3. Roll out your pastry and use it to line your quiche or flan dish.   Bake for 5  minutes in the oven to allow the pastry to “set”.  This will stop the filling making it soggy!
  4. Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl, add the cream, and beat until combined.   Season with salt and pepper – you will not need much salt as the smoked salmon is very salty.  Add the cayenne and nutmeg.
  5. Stir the smoked salmon trimmings into the egg mixture.
  6. Place the raw prawns in your pastry case.  Pour the egg mixture over them.
  7. Place your quiche or flan dish in the oven and cook for 25 minutes.
  8. The tart can be eaten hot, room temperature or cold.

Keywords: smoked salmon, tart, smoked salmon tart, quiche,

Loved this recipe? Check out the Recipe Index