Tag Archives: foraging

“Sloe Sparkles”

A fun Christmas or New Year party drink, for breaking the ice, or serving as a pre-dinner aperitif is this delicious recipe using homemade Sloe Vodka.

Pour a measure of Sloe Vodka into a champagne flute and add a squeeze of lemon. Top up with either champagne, prosecco or any sparkling white wine, chilled.

Enjoy!

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Sloe Vodka Update

Three months after creating and bottling up my Sloe Vodka, it was time to finally sieve the alcohol and fruit, then bottle (and taste) the final product.

The sloes that came out of the storage bottle were a gorgeous rich red colour which in turn made the vodka an amazing translucent red colour.

Having never made or tasted Sloe Vodka before, I poured myself a small measure and was pleasantly suprised at how clean, crisp and full of flavour it was. It was sweeter than I thought it would be as well! I had to stop the tasting process so that there would be some left to give away as xmas presents.

I also have some other ideas planned on how to use some of the vodka in a post to come, so watch this space!

Also read Sloe Vodka Watch – Day #3.

Sloe on Foodista

Elderberry Vinegar

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Continuing the theme of my recent trips foraging in the woods behind our home, I finally got round to creating my latest flavoured vinegar -Elderberry Vinegar.

Since we began with foraged fruits alone, we have made Sloe Vodka, Blackberry Vinegar, Blackberry and Apple Crumble, Blackberry Brandy and now Elderberry Vinegar.

Elderberries are much tougher that blackberries and therefore the vinegar cannot be cooked in the same way. Instead the elderberries need to be baked in the oven with the vinegar and sugar to extract the most from every berry by allowing them to burst.

Once the vinegar has been bottled, it can be used as a great salad dressing and with cheese too as an alternative to the Blackberry Vinegar.

8ozs of Elderberries
Half pint of white wine vinegar
4ozs caster sugar

1. Place the ingredients in an oven proof dish and cook in the oven for an hour and a half @ 150C (300F).

2. Let the mixture cool and strain the liquid through a sieve before bottling.

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Elderberry on Foodista

Sloe Vodka

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Having foraged what seems like half a truck load of sloes, I decided that I personally would prefer to make Sloe Vodka rather than the common format Gin!

Having seen it for sale at country game fairs I thought I would try it out, simply replacing vodka for the gin. So my mum gave me her Sloe Gin recipe and off I went!

1lb Sloes
8ozs Caster sugar
75cl Vodka

1 Prick the sloes all over with a cocktail stick or needle. If you wait for the first frost of the year, the sloes may already be cracked open.

2 Mix the sloes with the sugar and then add them to a large storage bottle or container with the vodka.

3 Store the bottle in a cool dark cupboard and shake it every other day for a week. Then shake it once a week for two months.

4 The sloe vodka will take on a beautiful dark red colour and be ready to drink.

5 After two to three months, pour the mixture into bottles through a funnel lined with fine mesh or cheesecloth and store in a cool place again.

Might have to make a lot more of this stuff for xmas presents looking at the amount of sloes I have left. My only problem is that I wish I had someone to prick all the sloes for me!!

Now read… Sloe Vodka Watch – Day #3

If you make this recipe, please come back and let me know!

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Sloe on Foodista

Blackberry Vinegar

First read… Urban foraging

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12ozs of Blackberries
Quarter teaspoon of peppercorns
1 Cinnamon Stick
Half pint of white wine vinegar
6ozs caster sugar

Bring all the ingredients to the boil gently and then pour them though a strainer.

Add the cooled vinegar to a vinagrette bottle and use as a dressing over salads etc.

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Blackberry on Foodista

Urban Foraging

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When I was younger, the idea of being dragged out for the afternoon fruit picking with the family was as much fun as going to the dentist. But recently, with the advent of TV shows like River Cottage, ‘foraging/fruit picking’ has become a growing trend, which I got suprisingly hooked by when going for a walk this afternoon (saturday) in the woods behind our home.

We started to notice bush upon bush of untouched blackberries within a few minutes of our walk, so abrubtly turned round, picked up a container and went back to start filling it. Within only a few minutes, we had collected just under a pound of blackberries and were already deciding what to do with them.

When we got back home we decided that we would try to make three things from them all:

Blackberry and Apple Crumble (Gluten Free)
Blackberry Compote
Blackberry Vinegar

the last two being more of mum’s suggestions and recipes. Over the next few days I will add the recipes on here, once I have tried them out.

Now I realise why we were dragged around picking fruit as children, as you cannot find fruit this fresh in your local supermarket!

On the walk home, we also noticed bushes of sloes and elderberries, so if tomorrow is fine weather, I think another walk is in order. Already have some ideas as to what to do with them!

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Blackberry on Foodista