300ml gin (vodka works too)
After making the Ribes sanguineum cordial, place the used flowers into a lidded half litre jar. Top with 300ml of gin and allow to sit for about five days until the gin has pulled all the remaining colour and flavour from the flowers. Squeeze the flowers and discard. Strain the gin and bottle. This high percentage gin liqueur is a deep hot magenta colour (which unfortunately fades to a less exciting reddish pink after a few months) and is probably my favourite among all the foraged or bought liqueurs. There are hints of elderflower, cassis, and thyme, with just the right amount of sweetness, and it’s beautiful topped with tonic water or a not too sweet lemonade or sparkling wine for a Ribes Royal.
While I love using the same flowers for the cordial and then recycling them in the gin, of course the same effect can be achieved by steeping freshly picked flowers in the gin. Add half a teaspoon of sugar and a small squeeze of lemon when doing so, to bring out the fruity notes.