How to make Damson Gin
The clue is in the name
This will be our 4th damson season in our home which means that every September our driveway turns purple with fallen damsons. So far I have made everything from chutney, compote, ice cream and even pickled them but until today I am yet to try damson gin!
With the help of two lovely ladies we collected a bowl of damsons and knocked up a batch of damson gin which will be ready just in time for Christmas. Unlike elderflower gin, leaving the damsons soaking in the gin for 2 to 3 months will enable the gin to take on the damsons flavour and purple colour. The longer you leave them the more rounded the flavour.
I have to say so fair this is my favourite recipe, not only because it has gin in it but you don’t have to do anything with the fruit stones, like you would with a compote, chutney etc
Only 3 ingredients are needed:
- 70cl Gin (I hear it also works well with Vodka)
- 450g Damsons
- 220g Sugar
The only equipment you need is a litre air tight jar like a kilner jar.
1. Begin by sterilising the jar. Preheat an oven to 140 degrees and place the jar and lid in the oven for approx. 30 minutes. This happens to be the perfect time for a cup of tea and a natter before we get onto the fun bit!
2. Give the damsons a good wash and discard any that feel too soft.
3. To help release the damson flavour make one long cut line from top to bottom on each damson.
4. Taking the cooled jar, add the damsons, sugar and shake.
5. Now pour in the gin. Then give a good stir using a chop stick or spoon to encourage the sugar to dissolve.
6. Now leave in a cool dark place for 10 to 12 weeks. During the first 2 weeks shake the jar every couple of days. After the first 2 weeks you can just give it a shake once a week.
7. When you are ready to taste the gin, strain the gin back into a bottle. If you don’t want to discard of your damsons I hear they are very nice added to a winter stew or casserole. Just remember to remove the stones first.
If you are happy to share, a bottle of homemade damson gin makes a great Christmas present.