This is it, the week of the Country Living Fair, the busiest week of the year for me. I’ll be there every day (Thursday through Sunday) doing four talks/demos and classes per day. I’ve spent the last week up to my ears in ingredients, shopping, crafting kits, lists of tools, books, to do lists and packaging. I’ve rehearsed and tried things out, made changes and often thrown things about in the kitchen when it all got too damn much.
But now it is all done and dusted and organised and ready! I hope.
Last week the blog was all about giveaways and competitions while I madly sorted and organised behind the scenes. I’ll be anouncing all winners etc next week when normality decends on my little world again.
This week I wanted to share with you the things I will be doing at the fair. So to start with today we have the gorgeous Blackberry and apple gin (aka Brambly Apple Gin) that I will be making in my first demo each day in the Lifestyle Theatre. It is from my Gourmet Gifts For Christmas bookette and ebook.
While Sloe Gin is always the standard one thinks of when it comes to fruit flavoured gins I like to try other pairings with this wonderful drink. ~In the summer I make strawberry and lavender gin and for winter sipping I like to make this tasty Blackberry And Apple Gin is rich and fruity andvery like the inafmous sloe gin that so many people are well aquainted with.
The great thing about your blackberry and apple gin is that, unlike sloe gin it doesn’t take months to mature. In fact this charming little tipple will be ready to tempt your taste buds in just 4 weeks, which makes it the perfect gourmet gift for Christmas if you get cracking on it just now!
How To Make Blackberry And Apple Gin;
For a standard 750ml (1 pint) bottle of gin you will need 225g/8 oz of blackberries (or brambles as we like to call them here in Scotland) and you can use either fresh or frozen berries, whatever you can find, the same weight in apples (any type you like), a bay leaf and 200g/7 oz of caster (super fine) sugar.
Now don’t go lashing out on Tanquery or Bombay Sapphire or anything pricy here, let’s just stick with supermarket own brand gin for this recipe.
If you want to make less of this fabulous hooch just half the recipe. Remember this is a liqueur so you don’t need to give someone a full sized bottle. I collect small bottles throughout the year (single serving wine bottles are ideal and of course you get to quaff the contents!) and these are the perfect size for mini liqueur gifts as you will get about 6 shots out of one.
The only tools you’ll need here are a sharp knife, a large jam/pickle jar (I tend to use the Kilner type as the wide mouth makes it easy to get the fruit in and out), cheesecloth/muslin or kitchen roll and a sieve to strain the liqueur and of course your little bottles for gifting.
Make sure that you sterilise all glassware before use by washing in hot soapy water and drying in a warm oven for 20 minutes. The same applies to lids.
Wash and dry the apples and rinse the berries. There is no need to peel or core the apples, simply roughly chop them and pack into the jar along with the berries.
Pop in the bay leaf and then add the sugar on top.
Now pour in the gin and pop on the lid tightly.
Give this a really good shake and put it in a dark cupboard for 4 weeks remembering to give it a shake every day for the first week to get all that sugar dissolved into the booze.
After four weeks the gin will be a gorgeous deep red colour and the fruit will look rather sad.
Now it’s time to strain the liqueur through the cheesecloth/muslin or paper lined sieve and decant it into those sterilised bottles ready for giving.
Make a pretty label and add a note saying that this is great serves either on its own as a shot (room temperature or ice cold – the choice is yours) or as a long drink with tonic or soda.
Blackberry And Apple Gin (aka Brambly Apple Gin) makes a great gift for foodie friends, it’s so easy to make and really tasty and unusual too.
- 225g/8oz blackberries
- 225g/8oz apples
- 1 bay leaf
- 200g/7oz caster sugar
- 750ml/1 ¼ pints gin
- Chop the apples but don’t bother
- to peel or core them.
- Put the chopped apples, blackberries,
- bay leaf and sugar in a large wide
- mouthed jar.
- Pour over the gin and seal the jar.
- Shake well and put aside in dark cupboard
- and shake every few days for 4 weeks.
- Strain through muslin or kitchen roll and
- decant into pretty bottle.
- Serve ias a shot (either room temperatiure or ice cold) or with tonic/soda