Blackberry gin

by Alison, 06/10/2013

This is our second attempt at making anything alcoholic. Early in the summer, before we started the blog, we had a disastrous attempt at making cider. Ollie grated pounds of apples before getting called to the boat. I stirred it every day for a week, and  then somehow managed to strain a very heavy enamel bucket of cider through a very tiny piece of muslin. After decanting into bottles, I waited for Ollie to come back so we could taste it together. I am so glad that I did. The cider was awful. It would have been terrible to decide whether to tell him immediately or to wait and let him see for himself. I'm still not sure if it was something in the process we did wrong, whether the bottles didn't seal right and it went bad or if the recipe just wasn't to our taste. 

Therefore with the blackberry gin, I am trying not to get my hopes up to high. It's a lot of waiting and hoping before you can tell whether you make it right. In fact it will probably be 2014 before we taste it.

My inspiration again came from a friend. They had mentioned making it and I was intrigued. I had tried sloe gin before and liked it, but never blackberry gin. However I love a gin and tonic and as you have read in our food posts, we love blackberries. Also seeing as this time we do not actually have to make the alcohol, just flavour it, I think we have a much higher chance of success.

This recipe was adapted from a recipe on the Mintcustard food blog. I use adapted in the loosest sense due to the lack of actual ingredients. The only change in the recipe was the volume of alcohol, they used a 1L bottle, but we only had the regular 70cl bottle and felt that was sufficient.

70cl bottle of gin
350g granulated sugar
350g blackberries

Sterilise the jar / jars that you are going to use. Heat the oven to 180˚C. Wash and dry the jars, removing any labels. Place in the oven for 10-15minutes. I used two sealed Ikea jars (one with a 1L volume and one with a 500ml volume) to accommodate this recipe.
Divided the sugar, blackberries and gin evenly between your jars, or if you have one big enough, place it all in the same jar. I put 2/3 in the large jar and the remaining 1/3 in the small jar.
Invert the jars a couple of time, until the ingredients are well combined.
Now here comes the waiting game- First you invert the jars daily for a fortnight.
Then invert the jars every couple of days for the next fortnight.
When the month has passed, strain the berries from the liquid and place the liquid in bottles.
Leave the gin to mature. This is supposed to take 2-3month, so it should be ready to drink on my birthday :)

In the mean time though, I'm looking forward to making something with the terrifically boozy blackberries that will be strained out of the liquid. This should happen in a week or two, any suggestions?

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