It may be a childhood trauma - I was lost one evening in a pretty big and dark pine forest. Probably for at least 15 minutes. Enough to put me off pine trees for good.
So it's a testament to my love of gin that I walked into a pretty thick overgrown piece of pine woodland today in search of juniper mapped out in the center of the woodland.
I found exactly one tablespoonfull of ripe juniper berries. It took me at least 20 minutes and the puncture of every one of fingers to secure them Need I add that I did all this at noon on a very warm day? One saying needs to be altered: Only mad dogs and gin crazy women stay out in the noon day sun.
The whole area has the delightful name; Russia. It's protected and in the center is a museum in honor of a quite famous Danish artist named Rudolph Tegner. Dotted around the landscape are some of his sculptures. All in all a quite magical places.
Especially when I came across two wild cherry trees with quite a few ripe berries on them - all begging to be picked.
Once home the junipers were smashed a bit and set to steep in vodka (yes I'm making gin tasting vodka) and the cherries were pitted and turned into cherry shrub - well actually just cooked with a bit of sugar, lemon juice and cherry vinegar until I was satisfied with the taste. Until I get Michael Dietsch's book on shrubs I don't know if I'm doing it right, as I never make huge batches meant to be preserved for any lenght of time.
I decided to look to the White Lady for a red version - and the only fitting name was Red Lady as the cherries were picked in Russia:
- 3 cl cherry chrub
- 3 cl Marashino
- 5 cl gin - I used Tarquin's
- egg white
I am pretty sure that most of my expert readers can tell from the picture I did not use enough egg white. The drink should have a strong, even white head. On top I intended to garnish with a tiny amount of black, Icelandic, carbon salt. But because I used too little (the rest was necessary for dinner and I only had one egg left) it sank to the bottom of the cocktail.