Fruity Alcohol

Aug 1, 2013 by

Feeling a bit overwhelmed by the amount of soft fruit ripening in my garden and rapidly beginning to run out of jam jars and ideas. I suddenly thought “alcohol”  – as you do!

But not as in throw the fruit in the compost freezer type of way and pour a large glass of wine. Although the thought did cross my mind several times.

Alcohol, as in fruit marinating or steeping in a relatively neutral alcohol to transmogrify it into a fruity, flavoursome kick-in-the-glass type of alcohol. For enjoying in front of a blazing stove on a freezing cold, windy, rainy Irish winter’s night when memories of a lovely, long, hot summer are in the distant past.

Cue idea!

Redcurrants in vodka, following a recipe I made last year for homemade crème de cassis. I have named it crème de groseille rouge.

Well why wouldn’t it work? Or would it? The only way to find out was to try it.

So a 75cl bottle of “cheap” vodka was purchased (there’s not much point using a premium vodka when you are going to add fruit and sugar to it: to my mind anyway).

I added 750g of red currants to the vodka and put into a demi-john. Any glass jar with a lid or a bottle will suffice.  Leave to steep for three months.

After three months pour the mixture out into a large bowl and using a potato masher mash the fruit into the mix extracting as much of the flavour and colour as possible. Pour the mix into a large kitchen sieve lined with muslin. Allow to drip through for a couple of hours. Give it a gentle push to help it along with the masher.

Make up a sugar syrup with 300g of sugar and 150ml of water.

Add the syrup to the fruit mix. Add to taste. I don’t like anything too sweet so I always aim for less rather than more.  Add according to your palate.

Transfer into clean, sterilised bottles.

I can’t tell you what it tastes like because I’ve only just made it, but when I do get around to tasting it I will let you know. I intend to serve it with white wine, prosecco, or even sparkling water.

So gooseberries.

Googling recipes I came up with this.

I’m not sure how I will make the gooseberry syrup especially as I made gooseberry jelly with what I had left over. I also made redcurrant jelly with the rest of the redcurrants.

I read recently that the gin in Aldi had beaten Hendricks Gin in blind taste tests so I used this in the gooseberry recipe.

I will also report back on what the gooseberry martini is like. Being a gin lover I don’t imagine it will be too unpleasant.

For the jelly recipes I used a Nigella one for the redcurrants.  And I used this for the gooseberry one.

I bought these lovely little 250ml Kilner bottles in a kitchen shop in Gorey, Co. Wexford and I’m going to use my fruity alcohols to fill them and give them as little gifts at Christmas. Otherwise I would be very tempted to drink it all myself and that wouldn’t do at all (at all).

Tags: Fruity alcohol recipes  Redcurrants in vodka  Crème de groseille rouge  Gooseberries in gin  Green Cowboy Martini  Redcurrant Jelly  Gooseberry Jelly


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