Written by Phil Brown, Badger Bushcraft Blog Sunday, 18 September 2011 08:21
Following on from a recent blog post and keeping to a theme we will now be looking at another spirit based drink that will be ready in time for the Festive Season and that is damson whisky.
With the recent gift of a lovely bag of damsons (Prunus domestica subsp. Insititia) as featured in our Badger Bushcraft Blog article “How To Make Damson Brandy Liqueur”, and with this years jam supplies, jars and jelly bags on route from the wholesaler the remaining damsons needed to be used.
With the Festive Season approaching faster than I would like to consider it seemed like a good idea to take a look at another spirit based drink and use up the remaining fruit.
To make damson whisky you will need:-
- Caster Sugar
- A Wide Necked Bottle or Jar
Wash and drain the damsons in a colander to rinse off any dirt, leaves and foreign bodies.
I find the flavour of whiskey quite overpowering so for this recipe I decided to leave the stones in the fruit as an experiment to see if the almond tones from the stone would be detectable as the concoction matured. Instead of pricking I scored around the entire circumference of the fruits with a sharp paring knife before placing them in a wide necked “snap top” style preserving jar until about one third full of the cut fruits.
Next the caster sugar was added, as the damsons were exceptionally ripe and already packed full of sugar only an initial 150g of caster sugar was added to the recipe. As the mixture matures and absorbs the sugars and colour from the fruit it can always be tasted and further sugar added if needed.
The jar was then filled to the brim with whiskey.
Once full the jar was shaken.
As with other homemade jarred products this will now sit in a dark and cool cupboard and to help extract both sugar and flavour from the fruit the jar will be shaken every so often. Some guides and recipes recommend shaking every day but to be totally honest I do this as I remember or whenever I open the pickles and preserves cupboard and this seems to be sufficient.
Before drinking and sharing with friends I will filter the contents through muslin and decant into a clean bottle. I am sure that the “boozy fruit” will come in handy, once the stone has been removed, as a tasty topping to vanilla ice cream and other sweet dishes!
The abundance of wild fruits and berries is just another wonderful excuse to get outdoors and explore the local environment near our base in the heart of Kent.
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.