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Every season has its gifts; who can argue with a fresh Spring morning, the green buds opening up, making way for the warm sunny cloudless blue skies of Summer? Or these cold Winter days where thick snowflakes fall, slowly building a blanket that casts a silent stillness all around. Of all the seasons though, it is Autumn that delivers a captivating show of nature; one that draws you right in, embracing you in a safe, cosy way whilst showing you the twinkling lights of Christmas in the distance.
Autumn is a bit of a dichotomy. Parts of nature are dying but the natural world feels more alive than ever with a canopy of yellow, amber and crimson stretching all around us. The days are short but each daylight hour feels like a lustrous treasure. The mornings are frosty with a damp mist in the air which gives way to a golden mellowness as the sun moves closer to the earth. The world also seems to slow down a little. Holidays are over and people are around more; nesting, getting cosy and taking advantage of their closest natural surroundings to get their fix of fresh air exercise and sunshine.
Autumn is the season that embraces you and wraps itself around you like an enormous warm orange blanket; you can’t help but feel drawn in and want to make the most of what nature is pulling you towards.
There are so many simple ways to connect with nature at this time of the year which are good for the soul and so many opportunities to create, craft and feel relaxed and restored.
Autumn presents a colourful feast of nature; bountiful display of berries and fruits all ready for picking to turn into jams, crumbles, cordials and of course, gin! In the surrounds of Balmenach Distillery at the heart of Scotland’s Cairngorms, Caorunn’s Gin Master, Simon Buley forages for the five botanicals that we infuse to make Caorunn - dandelion leaf, bog myrtle, heather, blush apple and rowan berries. A sense of place and provenance are distilled in every drop of Caorunn and Autumn is the perfect time of year to explore nature’s larder and cook with your local ingredients.
3 apples - peeled and chopped
2 tsp sugar
a pinch of cinnamon
2 tbsp water
100g plain flour
25g demerara sugar
50g porridge oats
Soak the blackberries in the Caorunn overnight
Cook the blackberries with the chopped apple, sugar, water and cinnamon and simmer gently until soft
Places in an oven dish
Mix the flour butter and sugar until you get a crumb like mixture, then stir in the oats
Put the crumble mix on top of the fruit and bake at 190C for around 25 minutes
Service with custard, cream or ice cream – whatever takes your fancy!
1 kg blackberries
300 ml water
1 kg jam sugar
100 ml Caorunn
Place the blackberries in a pan with the water, cover and boil for around 10 minutes
Add the sugar and leave to oil for another three minutes
Remove from the heat and stir in the Caorunn
Skim off any froth from the top
Pour into sterilised jam jars, seal and store in a cool place
A warming cocktail when you return from exploring nature of an afternoon is the perfect ‘Autumn sundowner’. Something mellow with a bit of depth as you contemplate your thoughts from the day and enjoy that lovely Autumn glow from the mix of fresh air and nature.
Caorunn Negroni – the perfect pre-dinner sip before you enjoy your harvest feast
Prospect Park Bramble – the perfect way to make use of your afternoon’s spoils!
Pumpkin Pie Martini – we know, there is pumpkin spiced everything at this time of year but we’re definitely of the ‘don’t fight it, feel it’ mentality when it comes to pumpkin – it only happens once a year after all!
Autumn really is such a special time of year with so many opportunities to enjoy simple pleasures, reconnect with nature, family, friends and most importantly yourself. There is nothing more calming, rewarding and relaxing that creating something, whether it’s a craft, crumble of a cocktail – it’s an opportunity for ‘you’ time and to enjoy the benefits of the season.
We hope your next few weeks are golden!