wild foraging cocktail kate humble escape to the farm
3 Nov

The summer nettle & honeysuckle cocktail featured on episode 4 of Escape to the Farm  was made in the height of summer. It might’ve been raining but it tasted of June and, if you’re lucky, you’ll still find a few honeysuckle flowers clinging onto un-cut hedgerows and will be able to make a taste of summer even in November. Nettles have a second flush of growth in the autumn & you’ll be able to gather young leaves right up until winter.

You’ll need:

  • A bowl of nettles
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • Sugar to sweeten
  • 200g thawed frozen strawberries & cherries (frozen British fruit is delicious thawed into cocktails)
  • A handful of honeysuckle flowers (or roses if you have them in your garden)
  • 50ml elderflower cordial
  • 2 dandelion leaves (for bitterness)
  • Gin or vodka
  • Soda water
  1. Firstly make your syrup; place the washed nettles in a pan & cover with water, place on the heat and bring to a simmer.
  2. Cook for a few minutes, turn off the heat and leave to infuse for 30 minutes. Your liquid will turn black & look unappetising- don’t give in, it’ll become a thing of beauty.
  3. Strain the leaves out of the liquid (you can add these to omelettes or soups) and stir the lemon juice into the liquid- it should change colour, if you’re lucky turning pink.
  4. Stir in enough sugar to sweeten the liquid & set aside.
  5. Place the fruit, flowers, cordial, nettle syrup and dandelion in a bowl with your tipple of choice & mash the ingredients together, until all the fruit, floral and bitter flavours have mixed.
  6. Pour the mixture through a sieve (Kate used cleavers on the program but a standard kitchen sieve will also do!), serve neat, on the rocks with ice or lengthened with a glug of soda water.

Sit in a sunny window & pretend you’re back in the summer (just not on a rainy summer’s day).

If you’re going out foraging for ingredients always make sure you know exactly what you’re picking, some wild plants are poisonous. Go with someone who knows what they’re doing or check your plants in a foraging book.

When you pick, don’t take more than you need and make sure you leave plenty behind to regrow. Avoid areas that might be polluted and try and pick above dog height! 

Find out more about Liz Knight & Forage Fine Foods.

See foraging courses on the farm.

Back to Escape to the Farm.

for more about Humble By Nature
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