Written by Phil Brown, Badger Bushcraft Blog Saturday, 17 September 2011 16:53
The wild fruit trees that grace the Kent landscape in which we live are laden with fruit galore this year and now is the time to harvest some of Mother Nature's bounty and make all sorts of fare to grace our tables both now and into the coming seasons. In this Badger Bushcraft Blog article we will be making damson brandy liqueur.
I was delighted to receive a wonderful bag of the plumpest, juiciest and sweetest damsons (Prunus domestica susp. Insititia) that grow both in gardens and the wild hedgerows that surround our peaceful village. So I must take this opportunity to my lovely and thoughtful friend Caroline for her kind gift.
Last years “Egerton New Years Day Village Walk” was exceptionally good fun and there were several hip flasks doing the rounds with home made liqueurs aplenty all of which were stunning. With this years walk in mind I have decided to make some damson brandy liqueur which I intend to filter through muslin and then use the fruit to make some Hunter’s Chocolate which will also feature on our Badger Bushcraft Blog later in the year.
To make damson brandy liqueur you will need:-
- Caster Sugar
- A Wide Necked Bottle or Jar
Firstly I washed and drained the damsons in a colander removing any leaves and foreign bodies.
I next carefully cut the damsons in half with a sharp paring knife and removed the stone with a twist of the two halves. I prefer the flavour of fruit spirits and liqueurs without the stones, to my palate the almond flavour of the stone can often taint the beautiful flavours of the fruit and this will also save some time when making the Hunter’s Chocolate later in the year.
I placed the cut fruit into a clean and sterile Kilner jar until it was one third full.
Onto the cut damsons I then poured approximately 200g of caster sugar, the fine grains of which soon dissolve with little shaking. Always remember more sugar can be added to add sweetness and viscosity at a later date.
I next poured in the remnants of a bottle of brandy; whilst I could have filled the jar I am only looking for a small quantity of the damson brandy liqueur enough to fill a hip flask and it was not worth making a special journey to the shops as I can always add some more in the future.
Shaken not stirred as a famous book and film character once said.
The damson brandy liqueur will now sit in a dark cool cupboard and be shaken occasionally before being strained and decanted into a hip flask for the 2012 Egerton New Years Day Walk where it will be shared with our friends and compared against their hedgerow liqueurs.
This is a wondeful time of year to be outdoors and Mother Nature's bounty is all around for us to use and enjoy!
If this blog article has been of interest please also see "How To Make Damson Whisky"
Please remember with gathering all wild food "if in doubt leave it out". Don't ever take risks with the ID's of any form of wild foods