Gooseberry-Red Currant Gin Fizz

I’m not a big fan of overly sweet drinks. My tastes seem to run more towards the tart end of the taste spectrum and I love a cocktail that is discernably sour, though not mouth-puckeringly so. This variation on the classic gin fizz has a balanced flavour with just enough zing to be refreshing. You could make the juice with all currants or all gooseberries, though I prefer the combination. Look for gooseberries that are showing a nice red hue, which means they are riper and therefore less sour than all-green ones.

Fresh, tart berries yield delicious juice that is an ideal base for cocktails like this Gooseberry-Red Currant Gin Fizz.

Fresh, tart berries yield delicious juice that is an ideal base for cocktails like this Gooseberry-Red Currant Gin Fizz.

Ingredients

For the red currant juice

  • 1/2 pint (approx. 150 g) fresh red currants
  • 1/2 pint (approx. 150 g) fresh gooseberries
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup (90 mL) sugar (add up to 2 tablespoons/30 mL if you prefer things sweeter)

For the cocktail

  • 2 ounces (60 mL) gin
  • 2 ounces (60 mL) gooseberry-red currant syrup
  • 2 ounces soda (60 mL) soda water
  • Ice cubes and slices of lime

Method

For the juice

  • Remove stem and blossom ends from gooseberries with a sharp paring knife. Put gooseberries, red currants and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
  • Pour the berries and water into a cheesecloth-lined sieve or colander elevated over a bowl. Allow to drip for 5 minutes. Do not squeeze or press down on the fruit too much while it is dripping as this will make the juice cloudy.
  • While juice is dripping, wash the pot that you cooked the berries in.
  • Return the juice to the clean pot along with the 1/3 cup (90 mL) sugar. Heat, stirring, just until sugar dissolves. Taste the juice and if it is too tart for your liking, add up to 2 tablespoons (30 mL) more sugar.
  • Pour the finished juice into a clean glass jar. Cover and refrigerate until chilled. Juice can be stored in the fridge for one week or frozen for up to a year. If freezing, make sure to leave at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) headspace at the top of the jar.

For one cocktail

  • Fill a cocktail shaker (or clean 500 mL/2 cup glass jar with a tight lid) with ice. Add gin and fruit syrup.
  • Cover and shake for 1 minute to thoroughly blend and chill the drink.
  • Strain into a glass, top with soda water and garnish with a slice of lime. Add ice if desired.
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About Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I play with words and with food. I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. I'm also an enthusiastic explorer of faraway lands and cuisines.
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