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Sloe gin , drinks and delights

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26 minutes ago, Demonic69 said:

Where do you tend to find Damsons? What time of year is best for them?



Damsons can be elusive creatures.

In the wild, you just need to be lucky to find a decent (mature) tree. My best crop came from a village pub who happended to have one in the garden. I've seen others in gardens of older houses that used to have orchards and fruit trees. They're quite an old fashioned product in that respect so some tree are very well developed.

I have found some sort of hybrid Damson/Bullace trees in the wild but the results were average. You end up with a small damson meets a large sloe type affair and they are not 100% damson.

The pub damsons made a good crop - I would call they `pure` damsons - no cross-fertilisation. 

In terms of harvesting - IIRC the end of August is generally the best time. They are very closely related to plumbs and will ripen and quickly fall off the tree. I usually find a window of 7-10 days to pick them.

Some places sell them mail order at the right time of year or look locally on places like Facebook for people selling them from their gardens.

The good thing with them is:

  • you need less to fill a Kilner jar compared to sloes
  • the brew can be ready in 3 months (longer is better though). I find that sloes really need 12 months to fully develop.
  • the booze soaked fruit can be used for crumbles, jam or dipped in chocolate and made into festive treats. Just remember to remove the stones.

I make mine almost a syrup consistency - lovely mixed with champers/prosecco or in a hip flask. Can also drizzle on vanilla ice-cream or a nice warm sponge!

I get requests every year for it from certain family members. It's like an addictive, alcoholic cough syrup.

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On ‎10‎/‎10‎/‎2019 at 13:07, Diver One said:

Strawberry vodka eh?

ive been looking for my next 'infusion', thank you.

what ratio strawberries to vodka did you use?

We just half fill a Kilner jar with strawberries, add 6oz sugar and top up with Vodka - strain off after a couple of months, adjust sweetness and bottle. It smells delicious and will be deep pink.

It's a big hit with the ladies on shoots if you can bear to part with any :) 

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Strawberry vodka

punnet of strawberries........greenery cut off, berries quartered

kilner jar

1Litre Lidl Tamova vodka


waited until,berries lost all their colour....about 2 weeks

filtered through muslin and now being drunk.....didn't add any sugar

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