Himalayan Balsam Gin
By making this unusual infused gin, you’ll actually be doing your bit for conservation! The Himalayan balsam is an invasive species of plant that was introduced here by the Victorians and is now rampant in the British countryside. At the right time of year, you’ll see the pretty pink flowers in abundance, often along streams and drainage ditches. When steeped overnight in gin, the flowers give a complex, floral and slightly bitter flavour, somewhat like angostura. And with an added surprise: when tonic is mixed with the golden gin, it turns pink.
- 1 litre Himalayan balsam flowers, any green stems removed
- Zest of 2 limes
- 1 litre gin
- 2 teaspoons caster sugar
- Fill a sterilised 1-litre jar (or several smaller ones) with Himalayan balsam flowers. Add the lime zest and pour in the gin. Fasten the lid on the jar and leave to infuse for at least 24 hours, but no more than 36.
- Strain the gin into a clean jug and add the sugar. Stir well to dissolve, then pour the finished gin into a sterilised bottle.
Recipe and photos by Otherwise for Wild Food UK