What to do with left over gin soaked gooseberries......

....make a Vanilla Panna Cotta with a Red Gooseberry Compote of course!

Every year we are given a small batch of pink dessert gooseberries, which have been picked from a small holding in Kent.  We infuse the gooseberries in gin to make a pink gooseberry gin liqueur, a sweeter alternative to our classic award winning green gooseberry gin.  It always seems such a waste to simply discard the fruit after the filtration process.  To be honest some fruits really take hold of the alcohol and become completely inedible as they are just way too boozy!!

However this year, I'm going to have a go at a recipe I found on the BBC Good Food website, using the red dessert gooseberries.  This recipe is to serve 4 persons:

Vanilla Panna Cotta with Red Gooseberry Compote.

For the panna cotta:

250ml milk

250ml double cream

20g sugar

1 vanilla pod, split lengthways and seeds scraped out

3 x gelatine leaves

For the red gooseberry compote;

500g red gooseberry

80g sugar


1. Combine the milk, double cream and sugar in a saucepan over low heat.  Split vanilla pod and scrape seeds out into cream mixture, add to the mixture.  Bring the mixture to the boil then turn off heat immediately and allow flavours to infuse for half an hour.  Remove vanilla pod.

2. Soak the gelatine in cold water for 5-10 minutes, until soft and floppy, then squeeze out excess water.  Reheat cream mixture to warm add gelatine and stir well until dissolved.  Pour the mixture into 4 small moulds, such as ramekins.  Then, leave to cool at room temperature.  Once cooled, put in the fridge and chill for at least 4 hours, until set.

3. To make the compote, put the red gooseberries in a pan with the sugar and 50ml of water.  Bring to a simmer and cook gently for about 10 minutes, until very soft.  Leave to cool completely and chill.

4. To turn out the panna cotta's, dip each mould very briefly in hot water for a few seconds - then turn upside down on to a serving plate and give it a shake.  Run a knife around the edge if necessary.  Serve with gooseberry compote.

So have a go and I look forward to hearing about or seeing the results. I would have thought that you could use any alcoholic infused fruit for this recipe, perhaps raspberries or strawberries?  Feel free to comment on here or via our Facebook page, Nipfromthehip or on Twitter @nipfromthehip. I'll post again or edit this one once I've tried out the recipe myself.

The story behind Nip from the Hip.

Introducing the mother-daughter team of Alison Smith and Joy Wilding. We created Nip from the Hip in the February of 2011.  My mother Joy, has a varied employment background including working as a carer in the community, quality control within the catering industry and labouring on fruit farms.  She was born and brought up on a Kent farm and has always had the concept of 'living off the land' in her heart.

I have a background of predominately nursing, and working within the healthcare sector in many guises.  In February 2011 I married my husband at the Savoy hotel in London.  As you can imagine, we had an absolutely fabulous time celebrating with close friends and family.  Myself and my husband are fans of the hip flask as are some of our friends.  We all made sure that they were topped up with something fabulous, including homemade liqueurs that my mother Joy had made.  The saying of the day was "I'll just have a nip from the hip" in times of stress, anxiety and celebration!  And from then on the name and the concept of Nip from the Hip was born.

We remain a small family business, with my brother David now working with us full time and my father supporting us with deliveries and at events.  We have a close network of friends that also support us in events in and around Kent, and of course we have no end of helpers and volunteers when it comes to tastings and sampling our liqueurs!

We strived to support and promote Kent, and Kent produce as much as we can within our business and our products.  Thank you to all of you that have supported us and helped us get this far in our business.

Best wishes for 2016!


Recipe for a G&T cake.

Personally, I am a gin and tonic girl.  I like nothing better than relaxing with a g&t at the end of the working day.  So I have been really looking forward to having a go at making a gin and tonic cake using some NFTH gooseberry gin liqueur.  Follow the recipe below and you will not be disappointed with the results.  The cake is very moist and flavoursome.  As it is made with natural yogurt the cake will keep for a while in a sealed container.

G & T Cake


225g butter, at room temperature 

275g golden caster sugar

Finely grated zest and juice from 2 lemons

3 large beaten eggs

210g natural yogurt

330g self raising flour

100ml NFTH gooseberry gin liqueur 

100ml tonic water

150g granulated sugar, plus 2 tbsp for sprinkling


Preheat oven at 160/140 fan.  Grease 150cm x 30cm cake tin and line with baking parchment.

Put the butter and golden caster sugar into a large mixing bowl.  Add the lemon zest and then mix by hand or whisk together.

Add the eggs and yogurt to the bowl, then give the mixture another quick whisk.  Then add the floor and gently bring the whole mixture together.
Spoon the mixture into the lined cake tin and bake for approximately 45 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin.  Meanwhile put 100g of granulated sugar into a pan with the gin, tonic and lemon juice.  Put the pan on a medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil, then let it bubble for 3-4 minutes until the sugar has dissolved.  Take it off the heat.
Using a fork, poke lots of holes in the top of the cake and then spoon the mixture over the top of the cake.  
Finally, sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of granulated sugar over the top of the cake, remove it carefully from the tin and leave it on a wire rack to cool.
Tip: I didn't pour all of the liquid over the top of the cake because i didn't want it too moist or sponge like.