Today is another lovely strawberry day. I’m off to BBC Radio Scotland this morning to be on the McAulay & Co show again this time to chat about alternative uses for strawberries – Think Outside The Punnet!
One of the recipe ideas I’ll be sharing is how to make Strawberry & Lavender Gin.
I have made my strawberry & lavender gin so many times I can almost do it in my sleep, but strangely enough I haven’t shared the recipe here on the blog – high time I rectified that humongous error my friends.
I have made lots of different things over the years when I do demos, but by far the most popular is this one. Even if I am making a batch of other liqueurs, the strawberry & lavender gin always gets people’s attention. Maybe it is just that whole summer sunshine, holidays and happiness thing that strawberries bring us. They just make us smile, and adding in the extra fragrance and taste of lavender adds something special to that extra all important ingredient – the gin!
Whenever I make this I smile. Not just for the whole summer berries, smell of lavender or even the booze element, no, I smile because I remember that this one recipe started it all for me. It got me to places I’d never dreamed of. You see when I wrote my first book, So Easy Herbal back in 2010 I published it myself. I practically pounded the streets to try to get some publicity and boost my meagre sales. One of my PR efforts was to badger the producer of The Hour, a daily TV show at the Scottish Television Centre in Glasgow.
He liked the sound of that strawberry & lavender gin and I was invited on to the show to demonstrate how to make it and chat about my book. I was overjoyed and loved every minute of it. That one visit to the studios led to 1 1/2 years of my own bi-weekly slot on the show where I would demonstrate how to use herbs around the home, doing everything from making your own kitchen cosmetics to home remedies, cleaners and of course booze!
That show finished but I wrote more books, have written for lots of magazines and became a regular on the foodie and crafting demonstration circuit. I have also been fortunate enough to become a regular contributor to the McAulay & Co Show on BBC Radio Scotland.
All this going back to one idea, a few words, one little recipe – Strawberry & Lavender Gin.
- 400g/14 oz fresh strawberries
- 5 lavender heads
- 750ml/1¼ pints Gin
- 175g/6 oz caster sugar
- Wipe over the strawberries and hull them by removing leaves and stalks. Cut them in half and drop into a wide mouthed jar, Kilners work really well for this.
- Add the lavender heads and don’t be tempted to overdo it as lavender has a strong flavour and can get too medicinal if you use too much.
- Pour in the gin (normal supermarket stuff is what you want here, not to expensive stuff)
- Add the sugar, seal jar and give it a good shake.
- Put in a cupboard and shake every day for a week to get the sugar to dissolve completely.
- After a week the strawberries will have lost their colour and the liquid will be a gorgeous pink colour.
- Strain the liquid through 2 layers of kitchen paper in a sieve and decant into a pretty bottle.
- Serve ice cold as a shot or with ice and tonic water, fizz or lemonade.
Tomorrow I’ll give you the other more mundane things you can do with strawberries, but for today I raise a glass to the sumptuous strawberry that started it all for me.