One of the extra surprise treats in our Members' April Gin of the Month boxes was some gorgeous Elderflower Pressé from Cornish Orchards - which makes a deliciously refreshing mixer for gin (as in the recipe below).
Cornish Orchards' award-winning premium juices and ciders are made using traditional craft practices on Westnorth Manor Farm, part of the Duchy of Cornwall estate in Duloe.
When Andy Atkinson first moved to the farm in 1992, he was intent of producing a different liquid altogether: milk. But despite having arrived with a herd of dairy cattle, Cornwall Council’s mission to save and replant traditional apple orchards in the region inspired him to plant three orchards on the farm, initially with the intention of providing vital habitat for birds and other wildlife.
As well as successfully creating this habitat, Andy also found himself with a huge collection of traditional Cornish apple varieties – one of the largest in the county. The temptation was too much – in 1999 Andy juiced, blended and bottled the delicious crop for the first time, selling the results at local farmers’ markets where it proved an instant hit. A year later he made his first cider.
The incredible reaction to his fruity wares made up Andy’s mind: it was out with the cows, in with the apples (but don’t worry we’re reliably informed that the cows found a good home too!).
Today, Cornish Orchards’ dedicated team of over 30 local staff creates a wide range of different products from the fruit trees at Westnorth. Each autumn as they ripen, the apples are washed and pressed, then the fresh juice is either pasteurised and bottled or fermented into cider using a combination of different yeasts and the right balance of apple types to create what Andy calls “a good, clean, appley flavour.”
For the Elderflower Pressé, fresh-picked elderflower from Cornish hedgerows is blended with fresh pressed lemon juice and pure spring water collected on Westnorth Farm. The result is a refreshingly floral sparkling drink that combines beautifully with gin, as in the recipe below.
Death in the Afternoon
50ml Tarquin’s Rosemary & Thyme Gin (or 35ml of gin and 5ml of Cornish Pastis)
10ml Cornish Orchards Elderflower Pressé
5ml Lemon juice
Fresh Strawberries, quartered
Stir the above ingredients with ice. Serve in a flute glass and top with Prosecco.