Autumn has arrived


With a rich carpet of golden leaves covering the grass and the first frosts on my windscreen to scrape off, I can officially say autumn is here. September was the driest on record and I was slightly lulled into a false sense of security by the regularity of the fine conditions. However, of late, I have been rushing around desperately trying to finish the chores before the weather changes. Grass to cut, hedges to trim, windows to paint and berries to pick!

A few years ago, my daughter and I picked a load of brambles (or blackberries to everyone south of the border) and made lots of rather lovely (even though I say it myself) bramble jelly. It was lovely to have in the cupboard but is all gone now so we thought we should do some more. As we have been picking I have been thinking of a more adult use for them and I have a slightly modified recipe for Sloe gin which I think could work well. I haven’t actually made it but thought I would share what I plan to do and we can all try it and compare notes just before Christmas.


I reckon it would be rather nice as a liqueur or with tonic a bit of a change from normal gin. I got the idea after drinking a lovely Scottish gin called Caorrun where the bottle recommended having a slice of apple, rather than a slice of lemon, with your gin and tonic….mmmmm!

Here’s the recipe I intend to use…

Bramble and Apple Gin recipe:

Makes about 800ml

300g crushed barley sugar (or more to taste)

1 apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped

250g blackberries

750ml gin

Using a funnel, pour the sugar into a large, sterilised bottle (you can sterilise the bottle in a very hot dishwasher, or boil it in a pan of water for 10 minutes).

Add the fruit and then the gin. Seal tightly, then label with the date and store in a dark place. Turn the bottle as often as you can to dissolve the sugar.

After three months, strain off the alcohol and place in dry, warm, sterilised bottles (prepared as described above). Seal and label with the date. It will keep for years.


I’ll let you know in a few months what it tastes like!

Simon X

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