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Confetti - Do It For Real

Culpeper Tonic and the Perfect Festive Cocktail

23 December 19 words: Eve Smallman

You can’t have your G without a T, and the folk at Culpeper Tonic know all about creating tantalising bubbles for your buds...

Jen and Vic run the Beeston-based business, and have a keen focus on natural, sustainable ingredients. The stuff is so good that two of their tonics were awarded Great Taste awards this year. ‘On the Moor’ tastes like a trip to the moorlands, with flavours of heather and gorse blossom, while ‘In the Forest’ walks tastebuds through the woods using notes of Douglas Fir, Birch leaves and a hint of oak smoke. 

The tonics are made from British ingredients and wild flavours, with many of the botanicals hand-grown or foraged by the owners in B-town and the surrounding area. Not just any old herb or flower makes the cut mind the criteria for being an ingredient is that it has to feature in the Complete Herbal by legendary British botanist Nicholas Culpeper (hence the name), and the plant is either found in the wild or is able to thrive without human intervention.

You can pair these lovely liquids with whatever you fancy, but if you’re game for jazzing up your gin game, you can try out this cocktail created by the owners… 

The Winter Forager Cocktail

This wonderfully Christmassy gin cocktail is the perfect blend of foraged fruit and spice. Enjoy in front of the fire after a long walk in the country, sip whilst trimming the tree or guzzle a few to get you through the trauma of present wrapping – we won't judge. 

Ingredients (for 1 cocktail)

50ml quality sloe gin

10ml clove syrup (see instructions)

25ml lemon juice

1 egg white

50ml In the Forest - Culpeper Tonic 

1 orange peel

1 star anise

Clove syrup

1 cup white sugar

1 cup water

⅓ cup whole cloves


For the clove syrup

1. Add the sugar, water and cloves to a small saucepan. 

2. Slowly heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes.  

3.Turn off the heat and allow to completely cool before removing the cloves. 

4. Pop your delicious clove syrup in a jar or bottle and keep in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. Use in cocktails, coffees or drizzled over sweet treats.

For the cocktail

1. Add 50ml sloe gin, 25ml lemon juice, 1 egg white and 10ml clove syrup to a cocktail shaker.  

2. Add a handful of ice, cap your shaker and shake vigorously.  We recommended humming a Christmas tune while shaking one verse of Jingle Bells will result in a perfectly shaken cocktail.

3. Pour through a strainer into your cocktail glass.  

4. Gently top-up with 50ml of In the Forest tonic by Culpeper Tonics and garnish with a whole star anise and a curl of orange peel.


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