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Cab's Wild Food Page
Liquers













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The simplest and easiest way of preserving wild fruit
















Soak fruit in alcohol, with sugar if you wish, till it's done. It's that simple. Well, sort of. It doesn't have to be fruit, and you have to make sure the base ingredients are edible, but that's about it.
 
Here are a few tried and tested recipes for making liquers from wild ingredients. I hope these inspire you to try a few of your own.

Blackberry Whisky
1 preserving jar of blackberries
Enough whisky to cover
Sugar to taste
 
Simply fill the jar with blackberries, shake in a few dessertspoons of sugar, and cover with whisky. Shake, leave for a few days, and test the sweetness (you might need to add more sugar till you get the taste the way you like it). After a couple of weeks, it should be more or less done. Pour off the whisky into a bottle, leaving just a dribble with the berries (which are great in ice cream, clafoutis, autumn pudding, etc.)
 
Works best with a smoky highland malt, use a good blended Scottish whisky of some sort and you'll be fine.
 
Cherry Brandy
1 preserving jar full of cherries (sour or sweet)
1-2 blanched almonds
Enough brandy to cover
Sugar to taste
 
Fill the jar with cherries, add the brandy, and sweeten to taste; go easy with the sugar to begin with, you can always add more, and you don't want this too sweet. Invert a few times a week, and after 2-3 months you'll have fabulous cherry brandy. Keep some alcohol in the jar you keep the cherries in, and use them up before they start tasting too strange... You'll know when this has happened...
 
The almonds are optional. I don't find that they add much, but some people insist they're necessary. Take your pick.
 
Sloe Gin
Half a jar of sloes
Half of the weight of sloes in sugar
Enough gin to fill the jar
 
This is the undisputed classic English liquer. It isn't the best one you can make, but it's by far the best thing you can do with all the sloes you'll find.
 
The trick to making a really good sloe gin is to make sure that the berries have been frozen, either on the tree (picked after a frost) or in your freezer.
 
Soak the fruit in the jar for at least three months, preferably longer, in the dark. Shake the jar every day or two, and when done decant into a bottle. Check for sweetness, and sweeten more if you need. I find that the fruit is still inedible, but the gin is superb!
 
Blackcurrant Rum
Blackcurrants to half fill a jar
1/3 the weight of blackcurrants in sugar
Enough rum to fill the jar
 
As simple as all of the other recipes, soak the blackcurrants and sugar in the rum till they taste great.
 
Raspberry Vodka
Raspberries to fill a jar 1/4 to 1/3 full
A few teaspoons of sugar (a very small amount)
Enough vodka to fill the jar
 
This is an amazing brew' be sparing with the sugar, when you've made this it's like being hit in the head with a bag of raspberries. It'll need at least a couple of months to be ready, and it's better if you can give it at least six months.