A little market stall outside my local supermarket sells berries. There are wild blueberries (they merit another post), northern highbush blueberries, lingonberries, late strawberries; chanterelles (right; not berries); and – this year – damsons. I’ve never seen them being sold anywhere around here.
Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple drinks damson gin, so I thought I’d try to make some. I don’t like the taste of gin, so I’m using Koskenkorva. This is an unflavoured barley alcohol, commonly known as vodka in English. In Finland it’s not called vodka, it’s viina (the word vodka appears on the label because of EU legislation).
I’ve never tasted damsons before. They’re a bit more tart than plums; I like them. In the early years of Badger Hill my parents got some small damson trees from a friend who said they’d grow anywhere. = absolutely anywhere. So my parents planted them here and there, but none of them grew. Eventually, they just disappeared. Apparently the acid soil of a pine forest wasn’t quite to their liking.
I searched google for damson gin recipes and found several. The proportion of fruit to sugar to booze seems to differ quite a bit. My experiment has 250 g damsons, 75 g sugar, 500 ml Koskenkorva.
When making limoncello, many recipes I’ve found say you should dissolve the sugar in water and then add it to the alcohol. Why dilute the alcohol?? I’ve always skipped the water bit in those recipes. Sensibly, the damson gin recipes don’t even mention water.
Now all I have to do is wait eight to twelve weeks. By which time it’s about Christmas time.
There’s a bumper crop of rowanberries this year. The problem is the berries are high up in the trees and very difficult to get hold of. If I do manage to pick a sufficient amount of them, I’ll make some gelée.
I'm Piisa and I will be sharing with you my thoughts on this and that, maybe even on whatever.