Vegan gin and gooseberry jelly

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – I LOVE GOOSEBERRIES! And their season is always so over-before-you-know-it short. Gah! So it’s imperative to make the most of their tart but sweet, fruity, floral flavour before it disappears for another year.

I was eating one of my baked gooseberry and elderflower custards recently, when I had a sudden bolt of inspiration involving gooseberries and gin. I love gin, too. Especially at this time of year when its crisp, refreshing taste is perfect in a long, cold drink. But I digress. It occurred to me that gooseberries and gin would be a wonderful summery combination, and would make a deliciously grown-up jelly. No children allowed, for obvious reasons.

Once again, I also included some elderflower cordial – there’s a reason people put elderflower with gooseberries all the time. It’s because they taste amazing together ๐Ÿ™‚ The berries were lightly poached, then the liquid was ‘jellified’ and enhanced with a good slosh of gin. Yum.

What does it say about our household that there are five kinds of gin in the fridge? And that the cheapo one is Bombay Sapphire? Honestly, it’s not my fault – people keep buying it for me. Actually, I’m not sure that says anything better, come to think of it…

Back to the jellies. I set these with agar, so they’re completely vegan – hurrah! The texture is slightly different from a normal ‘gelatine’ jelly, and agar also produces a slightly cloudy jelly, but I don’t think that’s a problem. If anything, a hazy, soft-focus gooseberry jelly was more the effect I was after than sharply defined fruit in a crystal clear dessert. The latter is too formal, almost. My cloudy gooseberry jelly wafts onto the spoon and meanders down your throat in a cloud of loveliness…

Sounds like I’ve been at the gin again. Oops. This dessert turned out even better than I’d imagined. The softly set gooseberry jelly is sweet and floral with a subtle hint of juniper from the gin. Every other mouthful gets a berry, soft and sharp, cold and refreshing. This was just what I needed at the end of a long, hot day.

Enjoy this before the gooseberries disappear again. Makes 4. 

This sweet & floral gooseberry jelly wafts onto the spoon & meanders down your throat in a cloud of loveliness. A refreshingly grown-up summer dessert.

Gin and gooseberry jellies
Yields 4
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Total Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
131 calories
25 g
0 g
0 g
0 g
0 g
88 g
6 g
16 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 131
Calories from Fat 2
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0g
Saturated Fat 0g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 6mg
Total Carbohydrates 25g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Sugars 16g
Protein 0g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 200g gooseberries
  2. 4 tbsp elderflower cordial
  3. 2 tbsp sugar
  4. 5g agar flakes (approx. 2 tbsp)
  5. 50ml gin
  1. Top and tail the gooseberries and wash well.
  2. Place in a pan with the elderflower cordial, sugar, and 600ml of boiling water (from the kettle). Bring to a simmer and cook for 1-2 minutes, just until the fruit is soft and starting to split.
  3. Remove from the heat and use a slotted spoon to gently remove the gooseberries and divide them between four dessert dishes.
  4. Sprinkle the agar flakes over the surface of the liquid and return to the stove. Heat gently without stirring until the liquid is simmering and the agar has started to dissolve. Stir gently and simmer for several minutes, stirring occasionally, until all the agar flakes are dissolved and the liquid is clear.
  5. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Stir in the gin, then pour the liquid jelly over the gooseberries.
  6. Chill in the fridge overnight or until set. Serve cold.
I’m entering my gooseberry jelly into the Simple and In Season challenge, hosted by My Custard Pie. And once again Iโ€™m also joining the Shop Local challenge, hosted by Elizabethโ€™s Kitchen Diary, since these delicious gooseberries were grown (and bought) not too far away! Finally, these lovely jellies will be joining the fun over at Treat Petite, hosted this month by The Baking Explorer, and co-organised by Cakeyboi.

Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary  


  1. This looks lovely! The perfect refreshing dessert for a hot day like this! Shame I have used all my gooseberries up

  2. I do like the sound of these jellies Gooseberry and gin a perfect combination

  3. Gin and gooseberries. Two of my favourite things ๐Ÿ˜€ this looks like a really lovely summery recipe.

  4. You and I are on the same wavelength! Thank you so much for entering Simple and in Season. So glad to have this lovely recipe in the round up (which is now live).

  5. These look so refreshing and summery, thank you for entering them into Treat Petite!

  6. I share your love of gin though, sadly, not many people buy me bottles of the stuff! That has to chance : )
    These sound really lovely would love one right about now – it’s so hot. Gin and elderflower go very well together. Maybe I should just make myself a drink!
    Thanks so much for linking to #CookBlogShare
    check out the other entries here

  7. My pleasure! Enjoy your gooseberries. Hopefully this is the start of great things to come…

  8. Mmm yummy! My gooseberry bush finally has five berries on it after being in my garden for seven years! I am going to enjoy every single one of those berries. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for linking up with #ShopLocal!

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