Last summer was a busy time for me. I’ve planned to produce some homemade infusions and liqueurs and spent a lot of time gathering berries, fruits and herbs, selecting and preparing them and eventually infusing various spirits with selected stuff.
Raspberry infused gin was the first point in my to-do list. I’ve decided it in winter when I’ve enjoyed Clover Club with raspberry syrup time after time. But that’s not the only cocktail where raspberry gin could be used. Many gin-based cocktails and longdrinks definitely benefit from substituting raspberry infused gin for regular one. But the first drink where I’ve started to use my raspberry gin was a punch variation which has been improvised by myself once when I’ve wanted to drink something refreshing and berry-flavoured.
I’ve spontaneously named it M5 Raspberry Punch. M5 is a code for Russian state highway from Moscow to Ural. I was born in a little town near M5 highway, and now we’re constantly driving this route to my parents’ countryside house and back to Moscow. And all berries and fruits I’m using in my DIY projects are from there, by the way.
I’ve took old Gin Punch as a principal and improved it a bit with raspberry infused gin. At the next step pair of grapefruit juice and honey was added – controversial but I love this combination so much. Honey (or honey syrup) here means that simple syrup should be omitted. To keep sour and sweet balance, I’ve took some maraschino liqueur which was popular ingredient for punches in the XIX century.
I’m used to making punches for two persons so my technology is not traditional. I shake my punches with ice and serve it straight.
M5 Raspberry Punch
- 60 ml raspberry infused gin,
- 20 ml fresh lemon juice,
- 20 ml fresh grapefruit juice,
- 15 ml maraschino liqueur (Luxardo Maraschino Originale),
- 15 ml honey syrup (1:1).
Shake all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Double strain in old fashioned glass or in cup. Garnish with mint sprig or with citrus slice.
It smells magnificently: raspberry, citrus and gin combination is near perfect. The sip started with sweet and sour taste where raspberry flavour is absolutely dominant while berries seeds and juniper add enough bitterness to make the taste more complex. On the swallow there was something floral, fresh and dry at the same time. It looked like combinations of grapefruit peel and honey on the background of gin’s faint herbs notes.
Aftertaste brought more dryness as raspberry’s sweetness starts to disappear in citrus and gin flavours combination. But it doesn’t disappear completely so aftertaste keeps its smooth and complex character.
In the end I mention about raspberry infused gin. That’s a simplest thing, just gather fresh raspberry (add some wild raspberry if it’s possible), place it in a jar with tight lid and add gin to the top. Use gin of regular strength (47% ABV or higher) because it gets significantly diluted with raspberry juice. Then put the lid on and place the jar in cool dark place for two week. Shake from time to time and begin to taste it after first seven days. Maybe you’ll find it infused enough before two weeks will be up – it depends on your raspberry quality.
Strain the mixture through mesh sieve, let it rest for a day and then pour infused gin in a clean bottle. Make it thoroughly and try to prevent any sediments of being poured in the bottle.
Note that the taste can degrade so use it during month or two.