In Praise Of Fruit and Of Flowers

Wild Eve and its moderations

I’m sitting writing this snug by the fire with a blanket over my knees, dogs snoring quietly nearby. Outside the rain is lashing down, being blown in vertical sheets, walls of water drenching all in their path. The wind is picking up and today we expect gusts of 66mph, it’s definitely an inside day. From the window I can see sheep sheltering by an old ruin of a croft house in a neat line, nose to tail, huddled up against the prevailing south-westerly wind. We have entered storm season, the point in Harris where the light is fading and the elements rule. I love it. When I named Wild Eve, it was this season that I had in mind – it is totally wild, untamed and full of adventure.

 It's also by this point that most of our harvesting is done and we can get on with the making without the distraction of picking or planting. We chose to freeze some of our Roses, Clover and Meadowsweet when we picked them this year. There were two reasons for this – Harris Roses flower over about 3 weeks but unlike traditional cottage garden Roses, their petals are few and their flowering sporadic. Freezing them means that we can gather enough to make a decent batch and we can wait to use them until we also have enough Meadowsweet which comes into full flower quite slowly and Clover that is everywhere and brings a honey taste to the drink.

Secondly, the process of making the Of Harris Flowers requires the petals of both Rose and Meadowsweet to be smooshable (is that a word?) which means that dry petals don’t work. To extract the oils from the petals we squish or smoosh them with the sugar until a fine paste is formed. The sugar takes on all the scent of the Roses, Clover and Meadowsweet and it absorbs the oil brilliantly forming the perfect base upon which to build taste.

Of Harris Fruit

 For Of Harris Fruit we also employ the freezer but for different reasons – Rosehips taste so much better after the first frost, it really sweetens and softens them, bringing out those lovely jammy notes. Equally Rowan berries benefit from a quick blast in the cold to soften the fruit. Given that frost is uncommon where we live, right beside the sea in Harris, the freezer makes a great substitute.

There is something so very pleasing about knowing that every flower, hip and berry are picked or grown within a stones-throw of home in Northton and then made at our workshop a couple of miles away. For this reason, there aren’t many bottles of either - it is truly a limited edition. It felt more important to pick close by and make what we could rather than race around the whole island looking for plants to raid. It is part of our drive to embrace sustainability and seasonality.

Of Harris Flowers

 Both drinks are really stunning and great companions for Wild Eve. The really exciting part is that you can create any combination of them depending on your mood. The Of Harris Flower is a wonderfully floral, rich option. It softens Wild Eve and really brings out those wonderful floral notes within her.

 The Of Harris Fruit is very different with gorgeous green, fruity, earthy notes. In combination they work beautifully.

Our suggested serves are:

Fruit & Flowers

50ml Wild Eve, 10ml Of Harris Flowers and 5ml Of Harris Fruit over ice or topped up with a little soda.

Fruit or Flowers

The 25ml Wild Eve and 10ml of either option over ice or topped up with a little soda. Alternatively if you’re feeling very floral have Of Harris Flower by itself with a decent  splash of soda or fizzy water or Of Harris Fruit served in exactly the same way.

 As we hurtle into Winter, it’s lovely to be reminded of picking days and long bright nights, especially when the weather outside is truly awful. It is also magical to be literally sending a little of this island out in every box.


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