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Foraging recipes using rowan berries

This recipe comes from Wild Cocktails by Lottie Muir (CICO Books, £16.99)

Rowan, honey, and lemon foam

1½ sheets gelatine (platinum grade)

2oz (60ml) runny honey

2oz (60ml) rowan syrup (see below)

2oz (60ml) lemon juice

6oz (180ml) hot water

4oz (120ml) pasteurized egg whites

Wild honeysuckle blossom

Professional cream whipper with 2 N2O cartridges

Makes enough foam for 15 drinks

Place the gelatine sheets in a bowl of iced water and soak them until they are pliable (about 10 minutes). Meanwhile, combine the honey, Rowan Syrup, lemon juice, and hot water in a nonreactive pan over a very low heat, until the honey is dissolved. Strain using a fine-mesh sieve into a clean pan.

Squeeze the excess water from the softened gelatine sheets. Drop the sheets into the pan containing the mix and heat gently to dissolve the gelatine. Stir constantly and do not allow to reach boiling point. Turn off the heat as soon as the gelatine is dissolved. Let cool to room temperature (about 15 minutes).

Place the egg whites in a bowl and lightly whisk with a fork or whisk until slightly frothy and pour into the pan. Funnel this liquid into the whipper. Charge it with the 2 N2O cartridges, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Shake well for at least a minute and refrigerate. Let the foam stabilize for a minimum of 2 hours, preferably overnight, before using.

Shake the whipper well before dispensing. Tip it upside down so that it is completely inverted over the honeysuckle cocktail. Let the foam settle for 20 seconds before garnishing with wild honeysuckle blossom.

Use the foam in the Honeysuckle cocktail (image by Kim Lightbody)

Rowan syrup

Ingredients

2¼ pounds (1kg) very ripe, bright red rowan berries

Approximately 2 litres water

1 heaped tsp salt

3½ cups (700g) caster sugar

Sealable presentation bottle(s), sterilised

Makes approximately 1 litre

Separate the rowan berries from their stalks, then wash and rinse the berries. Add to a nonreactive pan and pour in about 1 litre of water and the salt, making sure the berries are covered. Bring to a boil and simmer long enough for them to become soft (about 25 minutes). Remove from the heat.

Using a large jelly bag or several layers of cheesecloth or muslin, slowly strain the berries and liquid into a wide-mouthed pitcher. Return the pulp to the pan and add the remaining 1 litre of water. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat. Strain the pulp, as above, into the pitcher. Return all the strained liquid to the cleaned pan, add the sugar, bring to a boil, and boil hard for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Funnel the syrup into the presentation bottle(s) while still piping hot. Seal. Store in a cool, dark place. Once opened, keep in the refrigerator and use within a month.