Both recipes are taken from Sarah Raven's Food for Friends and Family ISBN NO: 978-1-4088-0179-6. I must say I have a few of her books and I like them all particularly her Christmas one and this one.
The first recipe is for Blackberry and Apple Gin; but I don't see why you cannot exchange the gin for the vodka. There is no need to waste the fruit at the end of this as it can be served with ice cream or plain yogurt. Yum - Definitely one for the adults though. Sarah says that if you cannot eat all the fruit in one sitting then to top it up with fresh spirit until you can and that the apple can be swopped with pear and/or you can use vodka/gin. To be served as a liqueur or with champagne or fizzy wine as a "Kir" - nice for Christmas Day - I know! Hic. Or alternatively as an aperitif (a pair of teeth) with ice and tonic water.
Makes about 800ml
300g of granulated sugar
1 apple peeled, cored and finely chopped/or one pear
750ml of Gin/Vodka
Sarah tends to make this in the bottle whereas I tend to do all my liquer type drinks in a large Kilner style jar with a rubber seal.
Into a large sterilised bottle pour in the sugar with the use of a funnel. (the bottle can be sterilised in the oven, in the dishwasher or by boiling in a pan for 10 minutes.
Add the fruit and then the gin seal tightly and then label and date and store in a cool dark place. (one tip I have learned with darker coloured preserves to stop the colour fading is to wrap some brown paper around them to preserve the colour of the preserve. We don't want it looking wishy washy). Turn the bottle as often as you can to dissolve the sugar gradually. (In the Kilner jar I gently shake the contents every day) which ever method you use the result is the same.
After about three months strain off the alcohol and place it in warm dry sterilised bottles. Seal and label with the date. The drink will keep for years.
SLOE OR DAMSON VODKA OR GIN
With this recipe too you can eat the Damsons up with ice cream or yogurt after three months of macerating and then straining the liqueur off.
Makes about 800ml
450g of sloes or damsons
750ml of vodka or gin
about 350g of caster sugar
Remove any stems from the fruit and prick with a fork (or large bodkin). However if you have too many to process this way stick them in the freezer overnight which will help pierce the skins but will not affect the flavour.
Place the fruit in a large preserving jar which has been previously sterilised (using normal sterilising methods as outlined above) with the alcohol and sugar. If you do not want too sweet a drink add less sugar about 250g - you can always add a little more at the rebottling stage once you have tasted it and it is to your liking but once in you cannot take it away. Leave for approximately three months somewhere nice and dark for two to three months giving it a shake or moving it as often as you can. Then strain off the liqeueur and decant into clean warm dry sterilised bottles. The contents will keep for years. Not if you drink it.
Both recipes are ideal for making a bottle of something to pop into a Christmas hamper or present hamper.
There are lots of lovely recipes in this book and her other books.
Catch you soon.