A 200 year old Mulberry tree in a nearby garden has generously donated it's juicy scarlet bounty to Mother's Ruin. With the help Nick and Siobhan and baby Ethan we discovered the only way to pick mulberries is the the old fashioned way. Shaking and tapping the high heavily hung branches, and pouncing on the ripe berries when they tumbled down. Staining hands and sheets, a few hours work gave up enough berries for a small batch of gin which after only a few days has turned a deep glowing ruby red. I think the tart and slightly aromatic fruit is going to be a perfect match for the gin.
It's possible that this old tree is related to the first mulberry trees that were imported to Britain in the 1600's by King James who was keen to rival the Chinese silk trade by starting one of his own. Unfortunately for the silk worms he imported the wrong kind of mulberry, as they only eat the leaves of white mulberries. Fortunately for us he imported the black mulberry which has the juiciest and most flavoursome fruit.
The mulberry tree is a place for myths and story tellers. The fictional story teller Kai Lung unrolls his mat under a mulberry tree. Star crossed lovers Pyramus and Thisbe love and die under the mulberry tree, with the colour of mulberry juice stained forever blood red in honour of their grief. Modern story tellers words without borders share a piece of writing about an Iranian mulberry tree.
A Mulberry and lavender cocktail
- 20 medium sized Mulberries (or 10 large ones)*
- 1 tablespoon Lavender Simple Syrup
- 2 ounces vodka
- 5 mint leaves
- Drizzle of honey
- Fresh lemon juice, 1/2 lemon
- Soda water, fill
Combine mulberries, mint, small drizzle of honey and simple syrup in cocktail shaker. Muddle until mulberries are juiced. Add ice, vodka and lemon juice. Shake and strain pulp using a sieve. Pour over ice in glass and garnish with extra mulberries and lavender sprig. Said to cleanse the blood, act against aging and packed full of vitamin C and Iron, surely the perfect summer tonic.