Monday, 8 October 2012

Something for a Winter's night in

This time two years I was telling a friend over the phone about the little blue berries that I had found growing on a few old gnarled and moss covered bushes, down by the shores of Lough Sillan.
Myself and the boys had been on an 'adventure' walk down a hidden lane not far from the house we were renting at the time.
I didnt know what they were; she thought they may be Sloes and if they were we could make Sloe Gin with them. I had heard of Sloe Gin before but it was one of those obscure things that you hear of but dont really know how it is made and I had no idea what a Sloe was.
So I did a bit of research on Sloes and after the first frost (its recommended to leave them until then)we hit off down the lane again, armed this time with plastic bags to collect these wee blue berries. As it turned out I didnt get much help from my offspring as these wee berries were on very thorny bushes, they are not called Blackthorn for nothing!
Armed with a bag full of them I made over a litre of Sloe Gin.

And that was the start of my love of fruit flavoured Vodka/Gin making. Last year we tried Plum and Sloe vodka (we prefered the vodka to the gin), both delightful liquers to drink and they came in handy as extra wee gifts to family and friends last Christmas.

This year because we have no Plums and there are very little Sloes in the hedgerows I decided to try out other fruits.

I halved our harvest of Blackcurrants (the rest will be made into jam when winter starts) and put them in a sterilised Kilner Jar, added some caster sugar...

Then the vodka..


Closed the lid tight and gave a nice shake from side to side.

Next fruit is Blackberries (idea courtesy of a fellow blogger, @edibleireland, who made Blackberry Whiskey last year ).

Have to give them a shake twice a day until the sugar has completely dissolved, then a quick shake once a week.
I will store them in a dark cupboard for about 6 - 8 weeks. After that I will strain the fruit (using muslin) and put the liquer into sterilised bottles for the Christmas. The wonderful thing about these fruit liquers is they can be left to mature for a year (or more if you can leave them that long).

Cant wait to try them out. I will post an update later on in the year to give my verdict on these particular fruit liquers.


  1. haha yep, might have a few more fruits drowned in vodka to try as well :)

  2. We hope they will be; if the Plum & Sloe vodkas last year are anything to go by they should be tasty.

  3. Slurp slurp!! Thanks for reminding me...... great post!!

  4. You are very welcome! they are coming along nicely, had a wee taste last night. Very sweet/nice.