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Cocktail Hour: Introducing The Woolwich Common

May 18, 2014
The Woolwich Common. Un(commonly) good!

The Woolwich Common. Un(commonly) good!

I’ve waxed lyrical elsewhere about how much I love Woolwich Common. This post is all about the cocktail I invented today as a tribute to this ancient, beautiful and underappreciated tract of land.

I’m calling the cocktail (wait for it, wait for it) the Woolwich Common. See what I did there? Okay, stay with me.

The key ingredient to the authentic Woolwich Common is blackberries picked from the bushes that have sprung from its venerable soil. When my parents visited last year they picked loads and my ever-resourceful mum organised them into freezer containers. This cocktail has partly sprung from me wondering what to do with all the berries. If you’re not lucky enough to live near Woolwich Common, other blackberries will do.

You will need:

Woolwich Common (or other) blackberries (a small handful per glass)

Gin (I prefer Bombay Sapphire)

Cava or Prosecco

Elderflower Sparkling Presse (I used Bottle Green)

Garnish: Anything really, but preferably a pretty flower picked from the Common on the day


Steep the blackberries in a little bit of gin for an hour or so. Then, muddle them in a bowl until the juices are released. I used the back of a spoon for this.

Gently spoon the berry mixture into a champagne flute. Then, drop a couple of ice cubes in. Carefully pour a measure of gin over the berries and ice. Add equal measures of Cava/Prosecco and the Elderflower Sparkling presse. Garnish and serve, preferably on a sunny terrace with a view over Woolwich.

History/neologism note: You may already know that in medieval times the people of Woolwich enjoyed certain rights pertaining to Woolwich Common. Herbage was the right to pasture for grazing animals, and turbary was the right to cut turf for fuel. I am proposing a new right for those of us who dwell near the Common in the 21st century. The right to groggage: the picking of berries and garnishes from the Common to use in cocktails.

Cocktail note: I invented a couple of other Woolwich-inspired cocktails last year, which appear in my 100 things to love about Woolwich.



From → In Woolwich

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