Saturday, 6 August 2011

Damson Gin

On one of our walks around the Bidford area we came across a grove of wild damson trees. I kept going back to check on them and yesterday they were just ripe enough yesterday for me to pick and make damson gin. It’s a really good area for foraging as there are also lots of wild plum and cherry plum trees but these aren’t ripe yet.

tiny wild damsons
To make the damson gin you need to stab every one of 1lb of small wild damsons with a sharp knife to let the juice escape then pack  into a Kilner jar (or similar). Cover with 6oz of white sugar and shake to settle the fruit and sugar before filling the jar with the cheapest gin you can  find (£7.99 in Morrisons) Screw the lid on tightly and shake well. Top up with more gin if necessary and put in a cool dark place for 3 months, shaking daily until the sugar has dissolved.  After 3 months taste and add more sugar if it needs it then sieve out the fruit and pour the liquid into a clean bottle. Label and leave for as long as possible before drinking.  I’ve been told you can keep the fruit, put it back into another jar and cover with a medium sherry for another 3 months but I’ve never tried that.

1lb washed & dried damsons

On the way back from picking the damsons I found my first blackberries of the season. There weren’t many and although they were large and looked tasty they were quite sour. I poached them slowly with a pear that refused to ripen and had them with homemade pancakes for breakfast this morning DELISH!

We finally left Barton Moorings this morning but before we could go anywhere we had to de-spider the boat. After clearing the plants off the roof Roger used the hosepipe and sweeping brush to scrub it clean. I’d planned to wash the sides when we moored in Bidford but we decided to go to The Bridge for lunch instead. The meal was superb, again. It’s now raining so the cleaning will have to wait till morning.


Paul said...

Hi Yvonne, I enjoyed reading about your foraging and making damson gin, I make sloe gin every year, a little tip is if you have a large amount to prepare of either, put them in bags or a container and freeze them overnight, it will spilt the skins and you don't have to do them all by hand.


Yvonne said...

Thanks, I made sloe gin last year and it's maturing nicely. I also mad blackcurrant gin and that's amazing! I'm hoping to to find some good ripe plums soon as I want to try plum brandy to give as Christmas presents.