We have a whole bunch of essentially hedgerow like plants growing in the garden. We’ve been making elderflower cordial for a few years. I’ve had a couple of goes at elderflower champagne as well but it always goes mouldy in the first fermentation before I can get it in bottles. Still, the cordial makes cracking salad dressing, cake and best of all, gin’n’tonic’n’elderflower.
Something in the weather this year has made all the fruiting plants in the garden go mental: blackberries, damsons, crabapples and the elderberries are all doing quite well.
In previous years I have made blackberry vodka – very easy, very nice. We still have most of a bottle of elderflower gin which I think we probably steeped for too long and has quite a bitter edge. Perhaps if I sugar it…
This year I’m having a go at patxaran – something MYM has been talking about for a few years: steep pernod with sloes, coffee beans and a vanilla pod. There are not a huge number of google hits for that, but there is sloe.biz, which appears to be a forum dedicated to things you can do with sloes. One of their topics dedicated to patxaran suggested you can use ouzo instead of pernod, and suddenly I realised I could make something like that without even going shopping, as I had damsons in the garden, undrunk ouzo in the drinks cabinet, coffee beans from the time I bought those instead of grounds (or possibly from the time I wanted to drop them in sambuca) and vanilla beans from eBay.
Within just a few days it’s taking on nice red hue.
Howabout crabapple wine? I’ve got a demijohn that hasn’t done anything possibly ever (… that’s a point. Why do I even own a demijohn?) How long would it take to pick and crush 6lbs of crab apples? Where do I get campden tablets and the other weird ingredients? (Wilkos probably, that’s where the demijohn and the airlock came from) Can I really ever use the fermentation bucket ever again, after it’s been living in the roofless, spidery shed for the last six years?
Perhaps I’m better off sticking to the steepy types of recipes rather than the actual brewing. Elderberry liqueur?