Sarah and I decided to make sloe gin very late on in the season last autumn and, despite out valiant efforts, could find not a single sloe in the greater Falmouth area. (We’ve since been told of several sites to tap up next autumn, so watch this space). What we did find though were plenty of blackberries and an almost-full bottle of vodka – the blackberries were wild, the vodka was Sainsbury’s and lurking behind the gin in my cupboard. So, roughly following Self-sufficient in Suburbia‘s instructions, we chucked the vodka (probably about two thirds of a litre), about 400g of blackberries and 200g of sugar in an airtight jar, shook it all up and waited ’til Christmas.
I kept it on my kitchen shelf next to my radio and shook it up every morning for a month and then once a week for a two further months. At first it looked like one of my childhood attempts to turn rose petals and water into ‘perfume’.
Eventually, it was all I could do to persuade Sarah to leave it locked in its jar until our New Year’s gathering when we mixed it with champagne (or at least some kind of fizzy wine that made us think it was champagne) and enjoyed it heartily with our nearest and dearest. I can’t remember exactly what happened after that, but I do know the blackberry vodka was a hit and likely to become an annual tradition.