Annie Gray suggested on the Kitchen Cabinet making basil wine and gave instructions here on her blog.
I had a go at it a few weeks ago and have had a demi john sitting and bubbling in front of the telly right in front of me. I carefully sterilised the demi john with brewing powder before adding the sugar syrup and basil leaves, but as I did so I wondered about whether the fresh basil leaves, harvested from a supermarket plant, would stay the course of the brewing process.
And of course they didn’t. They are now a festering morass of mould sitting on top of a pale green liquid with a yeasty mess underneath. This could have been avoided, I think, if I had just boiled them with the sugar syrup, as that should have been enough to kill off anything nasty. Similarly, it’s odd to have a recipe that only half fills the demi john. Why not simply double and fill up the space?
Is this normal? Should I throw it out? Siphon the liquid out carefully and strain?
(I don’t have a more recent photo because the camera on my phone has stopped working 😦
Slightly more optimistically, the crab apple tree in the garden is looking highly healthy.
So I had a go at this recipe for crab apple liqueur – basically halve and steep in vodka and sugar.
This has very quickly turned a highly satisfying deep ruby colour and as the weeks pass, the apple halves are slowly sinking down the kilner jar.