11 June 2015

Fruit Infused Alcohol ~ Now is the Time to Start!



In my last post I mentioned an alcohol tasting session that spontaneously broke out at my sister’s house when someone brought along a bottle of blackberry gin which, of course we all politely tasted.

Naturally this prompted the opening of some delicious Damson Vodka my nieces had made a year or two back, followed by 12 year old Sloe Gin made by my late father, which was beautiful.

Next came some Limoncello and then, in keeping with the fruity scheme, Calvados. As this was less sweet than the others we all felt the Calvados should have been first so probably need to have another go soon and do the thing properly.  It’s OK, by the way, we used tiny little glasses!

Anyhoo this pleasant evening got me thinking that I really should give fruit (and flower) infused beverages a mention as it’s time to get started on some of these.

Firstly then, as the time really is Now to start on this ...

Elderflower Cordial or Champagne

Elderflowers are flowering even as I type so on a lovely sunny day (you want the flowers to be dry and fragrant) go and pick some and make cordial or champagne. 

For the cordial ...

20-25 large dry elderflower heads
(some open flowers, some still in bud, not much stalk, shaken to remove insects)
1 ltr water
900g white sugar – granulated or caster
4 lemons (or 3 lemons and a lime or 2 lemons and an orange)

~   Bring the water to the boil.
~   Put the sugar into a large bowl and pour over the boiling water, stir to dissolve.
~   Grate the zest (brightly coloured outer skin only) from the citrus fruits and add to the syrup.
~   Slice the fruits and add those too.
~   Leave to cool.
~   Add the thoroughly examined and picked over elderflower heads.
~   Cover and set aside for 48 hours.
~   Strain carefully and gently through a nylon sieve lined with clean muslin down through a funnel  into clean, sterilised bottles.
~   Keep in a cool dark place for 6 weeks or freeze in ice cubes for several months.

Elderflower Champagne is a little more complicated so I think I will direct you to an expert in this field  where you will also read about a usual technique known as “forking off”! Alternatively just dilute your homemade cordial with sparkling wine.

Moving on, the next item that needs your consideration as soon as possible is ...

Rumpot/Rumtopf 


This is made from a variety of summer fruits as they come into season which some are doing right now.

Cherry Bounce (same link) is a delicious variation on Rumpot using cherries – did you guess?


In September you can get on with all sorts of delicious drinks based on the following simple recipe ...

Blackberry/Damson/Sloe  Gin/Vodka

500g fruit (sloes, blackberries or damsons)
250g sugar
1 ltr gin or vodka – but 2 empty bottles!

~   Sloes and damsons will benefit from either being pricked with a darning needle (if such things still exist!) or frozen and thawed so that they split – either way helps release their juices into the booze.
~   Divide the fruits and sugar between the two bottles and top up with the gin or vodka.
~   Seal tightly.
~   Put the bottles in a cool, dark place and give it a good shake every day or so until you are sure that the sugar has completely dissolved.
~   After about 3 months carefully strain the liquid from the fruit (through a scaled muslin) and decant into clean and sterile bottles.
~   Leave it alone for as long as you can – a few months at least but, as our experience with Daddy’s 12 year old sloe gin proves, several years is a good idea.

Discard the sloes – you might like to eat the damsons with some ice cream (or make alcoholic damson ice cream using my genius recipe) but taste one first because they may well be bitter.
  

Limoncello you can make any time you like, the recipe is here. 



Calvados is probably better bought in but here's recipe for Blackberry and Apple Vodka.

An Easy Way to Sterilise Bottles

An hour or so before making or decanting your drink wash and rinse the bottles and put them on their sides in the oven.  Turn the oven on to 160ºC/325°F/140ºC fan/gas 3 for 10 minutes then turn it off and leave the bottles in there till cool. Metal lids can be boiled.

In Other News ...

~   I apologise again for my slackness in blogging – this is partly because I’ve been away but also because I am trying hard to convert my Genius Recipe books so that they can be published in hard copy as well as ebooks. Hopefully "Luscious Ice Creams without a Machine" will be up and ready soon.

~   We went for a glorious walk along the coastal path from Caerhays the other day – it’s a part of the coast I’ve never explored and was very, very lovely.




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1 comment:

Charlotte Oates said...

Sounds like a fun evening, although I definitely agree that you need to repeat it with all the drinks in the right order!

I've not tried making my own fruit infused alcohol before but Im very tempted to give it a try.

Thanks for joining #FoodYearLinkup x