Text and photographs are © by Ellen Spector Platt & Ellen Zachos, all rights reserved.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

fruity booze...a special autumn cocktail

Look around you...summer is over.

I love fall: the vibrant foliage, the refreshing temperatures, the anticipation that heavy, sweaty garden work will soon be over. And so I raise a glass to Autumn in New York with this very special cocktail.

The recipe for the basic booze comes from 66 Square Feet (an excellent NYC garden blog, btw). I was immediately inspired to start a batch of my own, albeit with a slightly different agglomeration of fruits:
-mulberries (foraged in Central Park)
-red, black, and white currants (from my CSA fruit share)
-gooseberries (from my own bush!) N.B. Gooseberries are a VERY easy fruit to grow in containers. They'll take light shade and are rarely bothered by pests, perhaps because of their thorny armor.

3 lbs of fruit requires 1.5 lbs. of sugar. I layered the fruit and sugar in a VERY large jar, then poured in vodka to cover. Of course the sugar all washed down to the bottom of the jar, but I swirled it around every time I remembered and trusted that all would be well.

After 5 weeks of macerating, it was time to taste. I was curious about Marie's suggestion to mix the fruity booze with gin. It's vodka, after all, and since when do vodka and gin mix well? Um...since now.

2 parts fruity booze
1 part gin (I used Bombay Sapphire. The cucumber flavor of Hendricks wouldn't be right here.)
1 part seltzer
1 part fresh lime juice
over generous ice

I can't begin to describe how delicious this was. Sweet, yes, but the tartness of the berries balanced the sugar. And the color is OTW. Of course I love that it's not a flavor combination you'll find in a local bar. The best things are always homemade and this seasonal cocktail is no exception.

I put aside 4 small bottles for gifts (if they survive through to the holiday season) and I'm saving the vodka soaked fruit for an experiment with drunken jelly, perhaps next weekend.

So what to call it? Autumn Breeze, September Slammer, Fall Foliage Fizz? I'd love to hear your suggestions. Cheers!


Cheval Force Opp said...

What a great idea, I hate not using the last of the season but am usually so busy, this is easy. Cheval

Unknown said...

How about Autumn in New York?

Sounds mighty tasty; I was going to do something like this with my beach plums, but we ate all 6 of 'em off the bush!

wiseacre said...

That is how fruit juice should be made.

Save some for me. I should be headed down that way in a few weeks and I'd like to get a Berry Buzz on :)

molly said...

call it, fizz funk.
oh hell, doesn't matter, i'll drink it no matter what!

Ellen Zachos said...

Thanks Cheval, it truly couldn't be easier, as long as you can keep your hands off the brew while it's brewing.

Two excellent name suggestions already, thank you Jim and Wiseacre. I'm going to save them up till the weekend, pour myself a cocktail, and choose a winner!

Georgia said...

Must go berry foraging, shopping.

SaraGardens said...

It's the most beautiful color! I bet you could do this at various seasonal moments, and have a palette of flavor memories to indulge on a dark January evening.

Marie said...

I just found this :-)! Thanks for the kind words...

The gospel is spreading, yay.

Mine is gifts, too, and I think next time I'll use brandy, which is closer to the French version I first made (cognac!).

Jealous of the foraged mulberries. Next year with amelanchier berries, possibly? The ones in the park in DUMBO are delish.

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