You Will Need
Wash the berries and, with a pair of sharp scissors, remove any stalks and dried remains of the flower from the end of each berry. As haws are quite small this can take some time, so pop a film or box set on or listen to the radio while you top and tail them.
While you are preparing your haws, you can sterilize your jar. If your jar has a rubber seal, remove it and put to one side. Set your oven to 140°C/275°F/gas 1, wash your jar in hot soapy water thoroughly, place it on a baking tray (preferably upside down) and put it in the oven for around 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and allow to cool. Try not to touch the inside of your jar before you make your gin. Boil the rubber seal for 10 minutes in a saucepan of water.
Once they’re free of their stalks and flower remains, tumble a layer of haws into your jar around 3cm (1.in.) thick. Pour in around a quarter of your sugar.
Add another layer of haws, top with sugar and repeat this process until you have filled the jar. Now pour in your gin.
Once you’ve filled your jar to the top, seal it, upend carefully a couple of times in case air has become trapped between the haw berries, and then top up with more gin to minimize the gap between the surface of the gin and the lid.
Place your gin on a kitchen shelf out of direct sunlight or in a cupboard for 4–6 weeks. After this time the colour from the berries will have seeped into the gin resulting in a beautiful pink, rosé wine colour.
You can let the haws infuse further but sediment will begin to form at this stage as the berries break down, which can be difficult to remove. To avoid this, sterilize another sealable jar or bottle and place your funnel in the top and several layers of muslin into the funnel. Pour your hawthorn gin through the muslin in the funnel and into the second jar or bottle. Discard the berries.
Enjoy on its own while nestled under a blanket or with good-quality tonic water.