I first came across this combination in a recipe for gooseberry and gin fool as an Old English pudding, a lovely, light mousselike dessert which seemed to kick-start the first of the berry season. I’ve always had a great love for “goosegogs”. Along the Esk Valley, the village of Egton Bridge nestles at the foot of Egton Bank, on the edge of the River Esk, near the steam railway and, at the beginning of August, the school’s classrooms are converted to shrines of the beloved local berry. The World Championships are held here every year and have been since 1800, thus The Egton Bridge Old Gooseberry Society. The prizes not gleaming trophies or dazzling medals, but bales of blankets and packs of triumphant tea towels, it’s the title that’s important and every ounce and every grain counts towards this annual event.
The finished gooseberry gin gives a light, syrupy finish with even a hint of grapefruit, which comes from its tartness and the “nose” of early summer meadows on a hazy day. Lovely served with venison dishes or used as a sorbet with a dark chocolate and juniper pudding.
Add the alcohol and sugar, mix thoroughly and pour into