At the heart of it, gin is basically neutral spirit flavoured with juniper berries so it’s no wonder its so popular with distillers. The term ‘bathtub gin’ is often used when describing gins that originated during the Prohibition era. In the 1920’s, when the sale of alcohol was illegal, people would to go great lengths to mask the flavour over their cheap over-proof spirit by mixing up herbs and spices in their bathtubs to sell at speakeasy’s and holes in the wall. Lucky for us gin is far easier to get your hands on nowadays and with it recently overtaking whisky in terms of the amount of distilleries there are in Scotland it’s obvious that we love it. We’ve created a simple recipe for you to follow, most of these ingredients can be either bought, foraged or grown in your very own back garden!
750ml (1 bottle) good quality vodka
2tbsp juniper berries (minimum)
1 tsp coriander seeds
2 cardamon pods
1/2 cinnamon stick
lemon & orange peel (no pith)
Sterilise a bottle & add vodka and all ingredients except from the lemon and orange peel.
Close and store in a cool, dark place for 24 hours.
Taste (determine if it needs anything else – makers discretion).
Add the citrus peels and store for another 24 hours.
Take it out and taste again, you don’t want to over brew it (think tea!).
Using a sieve filter out all the botanical’s, if you want a crystal clear gin, re-bottle & leave for a further 24 hours then filter with a muslin.
Bottle and enjoy!
There isn’t anything much more satisfying than harvesting your own fruit. The feeling of knowing you’ve grown something and being able to share it with your loved ones is what makes most foraging farmers like us tick!
When buying our cell grown saplings, whether it’s a gift for someone special or indeed for your own garden, planting them young makes for a greater established plant. Once established, you only have to wait a couple of years before they will start to produce flowers, and in turn, fruit!
Below we have offered up two of our favourite recipes. One for a delicious rowan and apple jelly and the other is a scrumptious elderberry jam.
1.5kg rowan berries
1.5kg crab apples
White sugar – 450g for every 600ml of strained liquid
Juice of 1 lemon
Chop the apples (no need to peel or core) and place in a large, heavy saucepan with the rowan berries.
Cover the fruits with water and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer until the fruits are soft and broken down, this takes about 20 minutes.
Using a muslin cloth or any clean, cotton cloth, lay over a large bowl.
(now for the tricky part) Tip the pulpy fruits and liquid into the cloth and gather the edges of the cloth up together.
Tie the cloths above the bowl, you can suspend from a chair on a table or a beam.
Allow the liquid to drip into the bowl for at least 4 hours, but ideally overnight. Remember not to squeeze the cloth or the jelly with be cloudy.
Measure the juice in a jug, the pour into a pan. For every 600ml of liquid, add 450g sugar. Add in the juice of the lemon and bring it to a boil.
Boil rapidly for about 10 minutes and then test. Spoon a little jelly onto a fridge-cold plate, let it sit for a minute, then push the blob with your finger. If the surface of the jelly wrinkles then it has set. If not, boil for a few more minutes then test again.
Once it’s reached it’s setting point take it off the heat and pour into clean, sterilised jars and seal.
400g Jam Sugar
1 tbsp of Lemon Juice