Fruit Spirits are super easy, super yummy and make great presents - what's not to love! We make a selection of different ones each year; Sloe, Crab-Apple and Blackberry always feature as we can forage these fruits in the fields behind our house. We also like to try out new concoctions; this Raspberry and Mint gin is truly delicious, and is probably the most requested one by family and friends. This January, feeling decidedly starved of things to stick into alcohol, I even made lichen vodka - using Oakmoss lichen. So far the jury has been pretty much unanimous on this particular infusion; apparently it is an acquired taste!
You will need...
Glass Jar or bottle big enough to hold the ingredients, that seals well enough that you can get away with giving it a shake without it all leaking out!
Add the caster sugar to the raspberries – I used about 100g (you can leave out if you prefer a less sweet drink, or alternatively add sugar syrup to taste once the spirit has matured)
Top up with the Gin (I use supermarket own brand London Gin). I don’t usually bother sterilising my Jars for fruit alcohols as I believe the spirits have a high enough alcohol content to kill any bacteria, so I just go for ‘dishwasher clean’.
Give the Jar a good shake and store in a cool dark place. Give the Jar a shake each day for the first week. Leave to mature for at least a month – you will notice that the colour leeches out of the fruit into the spirit as time goes on.
When you think it is ready (I usually leave mine for between 1-3 months) strain the fruit through butter muslin and bottle. This photo shows me doing this with Blackberries I picked back in September that have been steeping in Vodka.
Finally serve anyway you fancy…..
These fruit spirits should keep for a number of years stored in a cool dark place, and apparently will develop a more complex flavour the longer you keep them. (I say apparently because we have never managed to keep ours from one year to the next). Each years batch will have its own taste depending on what sort of year we’ve had – long hot summers allow the fruit to develop more sugars within it.