Nettled Tom Collins

By Raymond Tibbs


Ingredients:

Nettle is a great flavour for sweetness and nose-tickling freshness. This drink was created by Raymond for an October Botanist Gin Tour 

  • 45ml Botanist Gin
  • 20ml Nettle Cordial
  • 15ml Lemon Juice
  • Ice
  • Soda

Method:

Mix all the ingredients except the soda in a mixing glass with ice then strain into a highball glass full of ice. Top with soda and garnish. We used purple vetch for a garnish, but mint would be nice.


Foraging notes:

Seemingly, the nettles (and the brambles) are managing to put out new leaves just now, when other plants are staring to die back for winter – not sure whether that’s a freak this year or whether that is their general pattern. Their sweet green smell is very familiar, but people cannot always place the flavour, so it’s fun to use it in cocktails. Because of the sting you’ll need a pair of gardening or rubber gloves for your picking, and you’ll need to find another plant to garnish with!

To make nettle cordial: Collect a kilner jar of young stinging nettle heads. Dissolve 200g sugar in 200ml hot water. Pour over the nettles. Chop through the leaves to help speed things up, just using kitchen scissors. Add half a teaspoon of citric acid or the juice of a lemon. Shut the lid and leave to cool for 2-3 hours or overnight. It might change to a gorgeous purple colour, depending on the variety and condition of the plants you have.