|Damson Gin & Vegan Mofo Day 14|
I've since been back, I even drew myself a little map so I could find them again and I was devastated to find that the tree had been stripped bare! I could have cried, even Marco picked up on my disappointment. There wasn't a single berry left on the tree, not even near the top. Whoever had found the tree after I had, hadn't picked to the foraging code, you never ever strip a tree, bush or even an area of its produce. You should only take a small amount for your own consumption. I was heartbroken, full stop, and I could have kicked myself for not taking just a few when I first found it.
Thankfully I had managed to get some damsons on an earlier visit to the community orchard where my parents live. So instead of making Sloe Gin I have made Damson Gin. I've made Damson Gin for quite a few years as I am lucky enough to have a friend with 3 damson trees who is more than happy to give me some big bags of damsons and in return I make her some jam. If you make this now it'll just be at its peak for drinking at Christmas, and it makes an excellent Christmas present.
130g Granulated sugar
1 Litre Gin
As soon as you pick your damsons, wash and dry them and freeze straight away. Freezing the damsons saves you the mammoth task of pricking each fruit so it releases the juice into the gin. Its a massive time saver and I thoroughly recommend it. Its the first year I have done this as I've only just bought a freezer, but I really don't know how I managed without it before. When I've pricked each damson in the past it has taken me hours!
On the day you decide to make the Gin, remove the damsons from the freezer and defrost. As they defrost you will notice that the bowl you are defrosting them in starts to show some of that lovely pink juice.
Once the damsons have defrosted, add a few damsons to a large kilner jar that you have sterilised. Top with some sugar and repeat until all the damsons and sugar have been used.
Top the mixture with gin, fasten the top and shake so that the sugar starts to dissolve. For the first day keep shaking the gin every couple of hours or so, then shake once every day for the first week. By the end of the first week all the sugar should have dissolved, but don't worry if you can still see some, keep shaking once a day.
For the next 4 weeks turn the jar upside down and back upright every morning. Keep the jar in a cool dark place for up to 3 months. Then strain into sterilised bottles and seal.
If you make this now it'll be a great tipple for Christmas!
|Layer the damsons and sugar|
|Add the Gin!|
|Damsons bathing in Gin|
|A Christmas Tipple|