Sunday, 14 September 2014

Hedgrow Drinking

There you have it, go harvest those Hawthorne's, that bush or tree could be over 400 years old, giving up its fruit every year for 400 years and nobody drops by in all that time, until you arrive!! Whilst everyone is chasing down Sloes and Damsons you could be collecting a hedgerow treat. Discard the Hawthorne berries though, but be sure to save the blackberries...
Add in a few harvested plump Blackberries whilst collecting the haws and you have a great sipping whiskey in the making. (recipe below)  On that cold winters day when the north wind is up your kilt add boiling water to taste, a slice of lemon and your are feeling warmer already, a great winters drink!!

TIP: I use a coffee filter to for my sloe gin, works well too for the two recipes above.

Hawthorne Brandy


600ml brandy
450g haws
225g sugar

prick the haws all over

put them and the other ingredients into a large bottle

shake daily for first week, then weekly for a further 3 weeks.

at end of 3 months, sieve the liquid to get rid of the berries etc and re-bottle into clean, sterilized bottles.

try not to drink at once, but leave for about a year; however I failed at this step, great when walking the dog


Blackberry Whiskey or Brandy:

2kg / 4lbs blackberries
225g / 8oz sugar (or less according to taste)
1 bottle whisky

Place the fruit, sugar and whisky in a large screw top or kilner style jar. Shake every few days until the sugar has dissolved.

Place in a dark cupboards for three months, turning slowly to mix once every two weeks or so.

Strain and bottle. The whisky will have turned a deep, dark purple. It can be drunk straight away, but the flavour will continue to improve for up to 2 years. Great on the shoot or walking the dogs.

On straining retain the berries, just great with vanilla ice cream, custard or plain yogurt. Infused with sugars, alcohol and holding their shape.