The season is nigh', to rummage again in the hedgerows, concoct what preserves one might. The next posts will surely be full of forage and preserving, as we hoard in preparation for the winter. The weekend was spent on bikes foraging, and this evening a brief stint at Sloe and Bullace Gins.
I have already posted a foolhardy recipe for the Sloe Gin... Here's a brew made with something of our rampant garden hedge - we suspect it is Bullace.
The same recipe applies for Bullace as for Sloe - about 4pts Gin to 3lb Fruit and 1lb Sugar.
(I notice however the River Cottage handbook suggests equiv: 1.2 pt : 1lb :1lb , so perhaps one should say each to their own, depending (always) on what is to hand, and what feels right)
Shake/stir regularly and allow to mature over several months (at least two). Then strain through muslin, bottle, and age further in bottles. My father prides himself on drinking his ancient vintages of the stuff, here in the cottage we have trouble keeping it 'til Summer. Indeed, my father is so abstemious, he would ne'er pick a Sloe before the first frost.... here, we couldn't wait. There will surely be a post-frost batch to follow.
Drink these wintry Gins in the depths of the season, huddled by the fire, fill a hip-flask on a blustery walk, or use for a farmhouse Kir aperitif, mixing it with home brewed Elderflower Champagne. Right now however we're drinking a more sober homemade Blackberry + Lemonade with Water Mint. (Juice of 3 Lemons, 100g Sugar, a few squashed Blackberries and some Water Mint leaves, topped up with Sparkling Water and Ice if you have.)