Wednesday, 24 December 2008

our own christmas tonic, bottled & ready to go under the tree

I've just spent the morning bottling our Christmas tonic ready to give as presents. It's been fermenting since August so it's a bit special.

Here's how we made it:
1 litre of whisky or vodka
1 lb (500g) sugar
1 lb (500g) winter berries
Leave in a cool, dark place for at least 3 months, giving it a good shake every week or so. Then strain & bottle. Serve either in suitably smart liqueur glasses to sip in a genteel manner or in a hip flask to nip from while enjoying the great outdoors.

This year we used a mixture of blackberries, raspberries & redcurrants, however you could use any berries. We made a whisky and a vodka, however you could also use brandy instead, or gin is great with sloe berries. If you do make a sloe gin, the sloe skins need to be broken - instead of pricking each individual berry you can freeze them, spread out on a tray, for 24 hours then defrost them so the skin breaks.

We did have a cheeky taster at the weekend & it definitely warms you up! We'll be keeping a few bottles for sure & I'm already planning to make some for our wedding next year. Any new recipe ideas would be welcome...

Juliet D-H

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