I decided to take August off and have a bit of time by the seaside in the sun, do a bit of fishing; of course it rained and was foggy most of the time. So I decided to knock up a cocktail. I have some crab apples (or they may even be old cider apples) that fall into my garden and the blackberries are everywhere. This is a take on the whiskey sour, one of my favourites.

For the apple syrup

300g crab apples, washed
2tbsp caster sugar or more depending on the apples
4 or 8 good measures of Somerset cider brandy
20 or so blackberries
The juice of 2 lemons
1 egg white
Ice cubes

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Put the crab apples into a saucepan with the sugar and a cup of water, bring to the boil and cook on a medium heat for about 6-7 minutes, until the apples get soft. Blend briefly in a liquidiser, then strain through a fine-meshed sieve. The syrup should be quite sweet but still taste of apple – if it needs more, just dissolve some more caster sugar in the syrup.

Reserve 8 plump blackberries and put the rest in a bowl with the cider brandy. Whisk a few times to break the fruit up, then leave to infuse for 30 minutes; strain through a fine-meshed sieve.

To serve, put the cider brandy in a cocktail shaker with 4 tablespoons of the apple syrup, the lemon juice and the egg white, half fill it with ice cubes and shake well for a minute. Strain into glasses onto a few more ice cubes, or serve it straight with a couple of blackberries in the glass and a straw.

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