This morning, found handful of blackberries and elderberries (bit late for them but couldn’t resist), some ripe sloes, rose hips and haws. Also foraged some quince from someone’s garden. Going for a low sugar, high kick infusion. Will report back in a year or so. Thought it would be good fun to simply use what I found.
Anyone else done any random infusions?
Over did the fruit. Will siphon off in a good few months and bang in a bit more vodka.
You know what, I think it looks ready already!
Nothing so random, Mick, but a big jar of Damson Vodka is quietly steeping itself in the dark. Should be drinkable at Xmas. It has been an amazing year for damsons, had to give loads away to neighbours.
I hope you put some brown sugar in there between the layers to take the edge off...
There's still lots of elderberries, and some brambles, in Fife. Going for a last pick next week.
Non booze related, I made an excellent harissa the other day with rosehip and haws.
Read this as hedgehog vodka... should have a drive up to Barnard Castle, clear my eyesight. Though maybe my drink has been spiked.
What’s your harissa recipe? Fancy a bash myself. I will be making quince jelly when they’ve ripened. I’m sure my neighbours didn’t mind me foraging them.
I’ve been that busy I never got round to getting damsons, although I do have plenty of bullace and will be using these with vodka. Blackberry whiskey is my fav, followed by damson vodka. Most of my sloe gin gets gifted out (most of it he’s gifted out TBH).
We have a damson hedge - if they don't get picked they squash all over the lawn. September is stewed damson month... I use white sugar per the recipe but cut it 50-50 with neat vodka when I drink it, it's a bit too sweet for me otherwise.
Chuck some damsons & a vanilla pod into cheap bourbon, leave for 6 months, strain then add sugar to taste. Absolute nectar!
Mine's normally gooseberry (Goosegrog) but I used Japanese quince a couple of years ago. People tell me it isn't a patch on "real" quince but it tastes OK to me ( as does the jelly) and it smells heavenly.
> What’s your harissa recipe?
Not actually my recipe, but here it is. Mixed hedgerow berries. I used 1.5 cups rosehips (dog rose), 0.5 cups haws. Top and tail the hips if you can be bothered, then roughly chop. Simmer on a low heat for 30 mins with a cup of water, bashing occasionally with a wooden spoon. Add more water if it's drying out, needs to be fairly loose for sieving. Press the mixture through a sieve to remove skins and stones, try to get as much pulp as possible. Meanwhile roast an onion and 5 garlic cloves with their skins on, a red pepper, and 3 red chilli's. Take the garlic out 1st so it doesn't burn. When the pepper looks charred take the veg out, remove skins and chop.
In a pot, dry fry 1tsp each of cumin, coriander and caraway seeds, and 1/2 tsp of paprika. Add all the other ingredients ,including the berry pulp plus 1tbsp of honey, and if you have any fragrant roses still blooming, add some petals. Simmer for 10 mins, adding a little water if it's needed, you're looking for a thick chutney texture. Season to taste with salt, a squeeze of lemon juice and a wee drop of vinegar, I used my homemade elderberry.
That's it. If you make it, let me know what you think.
I forgot to add, after the 10 min simmer, stick it in a blender.
The Scottish Government has announced a £2 million support package for the residential outdoor education sector, which has taken a severe financial hit due to the COVID-19 crisis.