Wednesday, 30 August 2006

Project For Tonight

I started making sloe gin a few years ago- it is lovely to give as a present, and rather delicious to break out at Christmas, or to warm up after a crisp winter walk! Then last year I branched out into blackberry brandy- I liked this even more! This year I am going to make both, and also try cherry brandy. I bought my cherries from the market at lunch time, and am going home tonight to make it. I have saved my clubcard vouchers so the brandy cost me something like 30p! The beauty of this is that you dont need to buy the best brandy on the shelf either- shops own brand will miraculously transform itself into something really rather special...enjoy!

Sloe Gin

1lb sloes
8oz caster sugar
1 litre gin

2 1 litre bottles (use the gin bottle and another bottle)

Empty the gin into a large jug

Prick each sloe (or make a cut with a vegetable knife) and put them into the empty bottles- half in each.

Sprinkle the sugar over the sloes. (I use a funnel for that made out of kitchen roll. Messy otherwise)! Sometimes I use less sugar, so I can taste it and add more later if I think it needs it.

Top up each bottle with gin, screw the lid on and shake gently.

Put in a cool dark cupboard, and shake gently each day for a week.

Then shake gently each week for two-three months.

Put the gin through a coffee filter (a fine sieve will do, but a coffee filter is better) to remove the sloes and any sediment.

Have a taste to see if you want to add more sugar.

Either pour into one large clean bottle, or several smaller ones.

The longer you can store it before drinking the better it will be. It is drinkable this Christmas, but if you can keep a bottle or two back for next Christmas it will be dynamite!

Blackberry Brandy

I lb blackberries
6oz caster sugar
1 litre brandy

2 I litre bottles (use brandy bottle and another bottle)

Empty the brandy into a large jug

Divide the blackberries between the two bottles.

Sprinkle the sugar over the blackberries using the kitchen roll funnel. I find blackberry brandy needs less sugar than this, but you might like it sweeter.

Top up with brandy, screw the lid on and shake gently.

Shake gently each day for a week, then each week for two months.

Strain the blackberry brandy through a coffee filter, to remove sloes and any sediment.

*Keep the blackberries- they are lovely with ice cream, or stirred into crème fraiche or similar- they keep well in a jam jar in the fridge*

Have a taste to see if you want to add more sugar.

Either pour into one large clean bottle, or several smaller ones.

This is great to drink after a month of storage, but does get better with age.

Cherry Brandy

This is my first year making this, so it is a bit experimental. Hence I am only making 750mls!

1 ½ - 2 lb cherries
3 oz caster sugar
750 mls brandy

2 empty 750ml bottles (use brandy bottle and another bottle)

Empty the brandy into a large jug.

I can’t decide if I am going to stone them or not- probably not. But I will slash them like the sloes.

Divide the cherries between the two bottles, sprinkling sugar over them as you go.

Top up with brandy, screw the lid on and shake gently.

Shake gently each day for a week, then each week for three months.

Strain the cherry brandy through a coffee filter, to remove cherries and any sediment.

*keep the cherries- they are really, really nice. You could even give them in a pretty jam jar as a present as well. They keep fine in the fridge, and are lovely with ice cream. Or dipped in dark Green and Blacks chocolate…mmm…*

Either pour into one large clean bottle, or several smaller ones.

I like to make pretty labels using those little old fashioned card tags that you can buy. And sealing wax sometimes. I like to get little bottles with corks from Oil and Vinegar to put the finished product in. There is something really satisfying about pulling the cork out of a bottle of home made blackberry brandy...

Enjoy!

2 comments:

miss*R said...

Hi Mimi ~ what are sloes? the blackberry brandy sounds good. I like to use brandy when I bottle fruit - peaches in brandy is so yummy with icecream!

Mimi said...

Hello Miss*R,

sloes are odd things- they look like tiny tiny grapes, but much firmer, and they have an almost dusty quality to their skin. They grow on blackthorn bushes.

But be very, very aware! Lovely sloe gin they do make, but if you bite one, ick, they make your mouth screw up as they are very sharp, and they make your mouth feel like it does if you bite a too raw banana!

Your peaches sound utterly delicious! You must post your recipe!