Simple, Delicious and Ever so Slightly Alcoholic
My poor gooseberry bushes succumbed to the nasty little Sawfly caterpillars, so the berries I did have were added to blackcurrants to make jam. All of the above can be used to make jam and jelly but it's nice to bottle up something with a bit of fizz for the festive season.
WHAT WE NEED
- A clean bucket
- 1kg berries or fruit
- 1kg sugar
- Lemon (or lemon juice)
- Small cup of vinegar
- 5 litres of water
- Suitable bottles - screw top fizzy drinks bottles work fine
I prefer to boil my water before adding it, but many people don't bother doing this. Pour the water over the fruit and stir until all of the sugar has dissolved. You'll find that most of the fruit floats but it doesn't take long for the colour to begin flowing. This one looks a rich red, as it's made up of rhubarb, blackcurrants and raspberries.
Cover your bucket with a tea towel or similar to protect the contents from flies, dust etc and then sit it aside for a few days to infuse. I give mine a stir each morning. The resulting liquid can be bottled from as early as day three.
Again I use the boiling water method to clean a large jug, sieve and funnel, then decant the fruit mix from the bucket through the sieve and into the jug. From here, it gets poured into the bottles via the funnel lined with a coffee filter, before sealing the bottles. These should then be sat somewhere cool and safe, where the process of natural fermentation can work its magic.
You can also use a mixture of elderflower and red clover or any combination of mixed fruit and flowers you prefer. Having tried several different combination, There still hasn't been one that wasn't agreeable - they all tasted lovely, especially chilled and shared with friends.