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FOOD & DRINK

How to Make a Berry White with Natalie Ng from Door Knock

It includes a fruity ‘roll-up' and spiced port that you can use again and again.
By Emma Joyce
September 16, 2020
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How to Make a Berry White with Natalie Ng from Door Knock

It includes a fruity ‘roll-up' and spiced port that you can use again and again.
By Emma Joyce
September 16, 2020
  shares

in partnership with

It looks adventurous, but it's actually super easy says Natalie Ng, owner and operator of underground CBD bar Door Knock. Ng created the Berry White shortly after lockdown in Sydney, when she was reopening the doors of her Pitt Street bar to dine-in customers again. It's a twist on the classic negroni, and one of 50 inventive recipes that feature in the free Negroni Cocktail Book, designed to support Australia's bartenders during Negroni Week.

"I wanted to make a cocktail that was a little bit more accessible, while staying true to the original negroni," she says. Ng's creation has a deeper, richer and fruitier flavour that might entice new people to the Italian aperitif.

"I reckon it's a drink you can savour on a balcony, overlooking an ocean with a beautiful breeze — or in a decadent, cosy, underground bar, too — pairing with charcuterie and cheese."

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STEP ONE: MAKE YOUR OWN SPICED PORT

A key ingredient is Ng's spiced and strawberry-infused port. "It's actually super easy," she says. "In the bar we would have sous vide machines to infuse the port. At home, get a good quality port or porto. You can chuck all the ingredients into a bottle and let it sit there for 48 hours, and let those flavours incorporate into the alcohol."

Another option is to simmer the port with cut strawberries and spices at an earlier date, and bottle it for when you'd like to use it. "It becomes a really delicious port that you can drink with cheese, or for dessert."

500ml port
3 cracked cardamom pods
3 black peppercorns
2 sticks of cinnamon
1 star anise
5-6 very ripe cut up strawberries

Either place all the ingredients in a vacuum sealable bag and cook sous vide at 50 degrees for two hours. Or, chuck all the ingredients into a bottle and leave for 48 hours. Or, simmer all ingredients together at a low heat. Strain and bottle. Keep for up to six months.

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STEP TWO: MAKE YOUR OWN SPICED STRAWBERRY LEATHER GARNISH

"When I was creating this drink, strawberries were at the height of their season," says Ng, who creates cocktails with the most interesting flavour combinations in mind first, followed by a passion for sustainability. "It's about getting the best out of a particular ingredient." In the case of her garnish, it's a little like a fruit roll-up using the leftover strawberries from making the spiced port.

Separate the boozy strawberries from the spices. Add them to a blender and blitz until smooth. Spread the puree in a fine layer on baking paper. Dehydrate the strawberries on medium heat until they have 'leather-like' consistency (3–5 hours). Cut into pieces.

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STEP THREE: MAKE A BERRY WHITE

Ng makes her Berry White with Sipsmith Gin. "We use something that's juniper heavy, but also citrusy," she says. "I recommend any gin that's citrus- or spice-forward to go with the spiced port, but it's a matter of personal taste." She also buys in crystal-clear square ice from Australian company Bare Bones. "It makes the drink really visually impressive. Everyone forgets, but you need heaps of ice when making cocktails or having a dinner party. So make sure you get really good ice trays for large cubes, which are good for negronis as the ice doesn't dilute the drink too quickly. It's better than getting servo ice."

20ml Campari
40ml gin
20ml spiced, strawberry-infused port
Sea salt

Stir all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Strain into a rocks glass over a block of ice. Garnish with spiced strawberry 'leather'. Best served with Barry's tunes playing in the background.

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Door Knock's doors are open; you can order the Berry White, available on tap, for $22. You can also order the drink via its at-home cocktail service, which has a $100 minimum spend.

Negroni Week runs from September 14–20. Download the free Negroni Cocktail Book for 60 different negroni recipes to try at home.

Remember to Drinkwise.

Published on September 16, 2020 by Emma Joyce

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