I was reminded this evening (thanks Dave!) that several months ago I wrote a blog about my fruity vodka making and haven’t, as yet, filled you in with the progress of these delicious concoctions. I do apologise and will do my very best to rectify this immediately. Vodka tasting can be a messy, dangerous business and probably should be consigned to new years eve party or other such momentous occasions but, as we never know what tomorrow may bring, let’s crack on. *for those of you sharing new year with the broccoli’s fear not, we will exercise restraint, there will be plenty to go round.
First, their appearance. Once the vodka has been strained through a kitchen, not garden, sieve and the fruit discarded ( or scattered over vanilla ice-cream mmm) the resulting liquor takes on a very rosy glow, helped muchly by the fairy lights.
This is quite a different appearance to when they were made several months ago. It’s amazing what a bit of time and agitation can do. All 16 bottles have been gently swished over the past few months to ensure even dissipation of fruit and sugar. What surprises me is that the white currant vodka has a red colour to it. I can understand the damson, pink gooseberry and rum and black looking rosy but the white currants? Odd.
The picture above is my pink gooseberry vodka. I have always been wary of gooseberries having been forced to endure a raft of bad gooseberry crumbles somewhere in my dark past. Then I discovered the pink ones and what a joy they are. Earlier this year my dad was surprised when I turned my nose up at the gooseberry harvest and urged me to, well there is no delicate way of putting this, slurp the inside of the berry out, thus avoiding the sharp, bitter, prickly skin. If you have never tried this, do, it will change your perspective on gooseberries forever. But I digress. Pink gooseberry vodka, it was quite nice, well, it must have been more than quite nice, there is none left. It took a little more sugar than usual and I am tempted next year to add a vanilla stick or two to sweeten it a little. The white currant vodka is…interesting. Some may say it is an acquired taste. I find it tart, it makes my nose wrinkle in a most unattractive manner and I end up leering and gasping with one eye open and one tightly shut. Yet my old man loves it. If you bear with me I will do a live blog taste test.
Me ” Darling would you like a white currant vodka?” Him ” Which one is the white currant?” Me “The one with the white currants in!” Passing him the vodka…. Husband studies it quizzically. “Why is it red?” For goodness sake he has been drinking it for weeks and never felt the need to be so observant. I think he is angling for a bit of blog fame. Him “Are you typing this?” “It’s not red it’s, sort of, rosy with a single currant looking like an eyeball staring back at me!” Hand on hip like some 1920’s film star he, finally, takes a sip. “What do you think Mr Gatsby?” say I. “Sweet, vodka, fruity. In no way, bitter or tart, unlike me wife” Excuse me for a minute readers….
Let’s try him on the damson vodka. “Darling, try this one” I know reader this is where I should slip the arsenic in but I will resist. I have vodka testing to do. “It already looks more gloopy” he observes through slightly squiffy eyes. “It’s got a lovely bouquet, very fruity”. I am getting the giggles. Think it’s the vodka. He’s off. “Sweet, bordering on the diabetic but slightly acidic. I don’t think I could drink more than a bottle”. He prefers the first, says it’s more manly, interesting as I love the damson vodka. It almost feels good for me…like a tonic….
And now swiftly on to the Rum and blackcurrant. Now this was a blinding flash of inspiration on my part as I have several blackcurrant bushes that produce an abundance of fruit. Using the same 1/3 rum to 1/3 sugar to1/3 fresh blackcurrants I have managed to ‘preserve’ the fruits in alcohol, capturing that taste of summer! We have finally found a bottle at the back of the booze store and will sample it for you dear readers.
Ahhhh delicious. Cheap white rum is not too dissimilar to paint stripper but add a smidge of sugar and some ripe fruits and you have pure nectar. All traces of rum disappear, it’s a bit like alcoholic Ribena. Ribena alcopop? Interesting. Husband seems happy, he is peering bleary eyed into the bottom of a glass. “I see five blackcurrants” he cries ” Is that my five a day?”
I must go now readers my old man has passed out on the kitchen floor. I will sweep him into bed and settle myself in front of a roaring log fire with a small glass of something nice (schloer?) and a few seed catalogues that are jammimg up the front door. So, so long and a very happy new year to you all x