A recent, and rather hurried, visit to the allotment one evening in the midst of Tatton flower show left me a little overwhelmed. In my absence the myriad of fruit bushes, carefully netted against hungry birds (see previous post ‘The plot thickens), had excelled themselves and were dripping with plump, ripe berries.
As any amateur fruit picker will tell you, harvesting these home-grown delicacies is an immensely satisfying, but considerably time consuming task. This is a job best consigned to a warm, dry morning of a day that can be given over entirely to preserving.
Perhaps I should heed my own advice more often. Late one evening, unable to resist the glistening berries, I filled several old, empty plant pots with ample amounts of gooseberries, redcurrants and white currants and headed home with my booty.
There’s only one thing to do when you find yourself elbow deep in juicy, ripe fruit, whose colours are as rich and vibrant as the setting sun. Run to the off licence before it closes.
Boozy berry vodka is a life saver when time is of the essence and I can’t think of a better way to catch the flavour and goodness of a summer crop. The only downside is you will have to wait at least three months before you can savour this tipple. On the plus side this coincides with Christmas by which time the berry vodka will be transformed into a luxuriant liquer that you can offer your friends and family guaranteed to kick start the festive season.
To make boozy berry vodka
You will need a 70 cl bottle of vodka
200 g caster sugar
fresh washed and de-stalked berries
a spare bottle
Pour the vodka into a jug and funnel the sugar into the empty vodka bottle. Add enough berries to half fill the bottle then pour the vodka back in. Re-place the lid, label and store in a cool, dark place. For the first month shake the bottle gently, every couple of days, to dissolve the sugar and break down the fruit.
Pink gooseberry vodka. Will re-convene at Christmas and let you know how it tastes….if I can focus x