To celebrate the bounty of summer fruits we are preserving some in vodka to made boozy fruit for ice cream and make sublime summer fruit liquor to have neat on a cold winter’s day to remind us of summer days or to mix with lemonade or champagne for a summery cocktail.
We’re also making Christmas presents this year and this is one of the gifts we will be giving out.
It is made in a similar way to the jelly bean or candy vodka favored by students worldwide and made in most dorm rooms.
To make it, take 1.5 lb to 2 lbs of fruit and the same quantity of sugar for a sweet liquor or less sugar for a drier liquor.
Wash the fruit and pat dry and transfer to a large mouth bottle or jar.
Fruits such as blueberry or cherry, pierce the fruit with a fork before transferring to the jar.
Add the sugar on top of the fruit. You can substitute sugar for honey or agave or any of the other trendy natural sweeteners to taste.
Next pour half a gallon of vodka onto the fruit and sugar. The cheapest vodka works best and takes on the flavor of the fruit really well.
Seal the jar and shake gently to dissolve the sugar. Ensure that you turn the jar upright and open the lid to reduce any pressure.
Place the jar in a cool dark place and shake it every day for a month then allow to mature for 2-6 months.
The vodka will take on the color of the fruit and will darken over time. It is best the longer it is left but I struggle to leave it longer than 6 months.
After 6 months, strain off the fruit and bottle the liquor. The fruit is great in a boozy syllabub or pavlova, ice cream, trifle or just with cream.
This type of flavored liquor also works with gin and sloes (oh how I miss my grandparents’ sloe gin in England), blackberries (brambles) and gin or vodka, raspberries and vodka and even lemon and lime!