Monday, 3 December 2012
Pink 'Champagne' Style Fizz of a VERY Frugal Variety.
With such a busy start to the month, I thought it best to get the frugal 'champers' on the go so we had some ready in time for Christmas.
I've no rhubarb left (other than frozen, pre-stewed for pies), so I'm using a mixture of fruits, meaning my 'pink champagne' may turn out to be a slightly darker shade of pink, verging on something resembling sparkling 'Ribena'.
Never mind, as long as it goes with a pop, fizzes and tastes nice, that is all that matters. I know there'll be Vitamin C in it, but not too much by way of alcohol. It's being started off as we speak!
CHRISTMAS 2012 LAST MINUTE 'CHAMPERS'
About half a kilo of mixed fruit (Free)
About half a kilo of sugar (50p)
1 sliced lemon (20p)
Splash of cider vinegar (1p)
3 litres water
I tipped three cartons of frozen fruit into my bucket - one each of blueberries, raspberries and blackcurrants - but didn't bother weighing the quantities.
To this, I added about half a bag of sugar, then a sliced lemon. I'm not a stickler for waxed or unwaxed as it seems to make no difference at all, from my limited understanding. In fact, a recent report actually suggested that the standard waxed lemons provide better flavour, so no point wasting money trying to source unwaxed varieties. Hopefully the lemon tree will grow and begin producing fruit over the next year or two, that would be handy!
Next was the water. I boiled the first litre and poured that over the top of the fruit and sugar, then added the next two litres, unboiled. It's warm enough to dissolve the sugar quite quickly. About a tablespoonful of vinegar was added and I used what I had available - cider vinegar. (The hens like it in their water.)
Job done! It's all been covered and is now sitting in the livingroom in its little bucket, infusing with flavour and alreay turning a pretty shade of pink. It will be left to soak until the weekend, but I'll give it a stir each day between now and then.
Come the weekend, the liquid will be strained, fruit set aside for some sort of pie filling or sponge topping and the resulting juice filtered off into my clip top bottles. I have three of those, recycled, of course, plus there are a couple of screw cap glass bottles that can be used. If my estimates are correct, I reckon it will cost 15p per bottle, including the electricity needed to boil the kettle.
I realise that this won't be particularly strong in the alcohol stakes, but a fortnight is sufficient time for the sugars to start fermenting and it does seem to work with almost every type of berry, edible flower or fruit I have tried.
Have fun if you try this at home, but don't forget to check the bottles for any signs of over-fizz, s pink isn't the easiest colour to get out of anything that happens to be in the way.