Last year, pretty much the only thing the allotment produced was soft fruit, mainly raspberries, blackcurrants, raspberries, gooseberries, and raspberries.  Did I mention we had a lot of raspberries?  I made enough raspberry jam to sink a battleship but, since there’s only so much jam a person can eat, I made the rest into something warming for medicinal purposes.

Kilner jars maintain an airtight seal to prevent bacteria getting in

This couldn’t be simpler.  You need three ingredients; fruit, alcohol, and sugar, plus something like a demijohn or Kilner jars with a rubber seal to keep the contents fresh.   Make sure the demijohn is spotlessly clean before you start. Then all you need to do is put the fruit in the jars – enough to fill roughly a quarter to a third of the jar – add enough sugar to just cover it, then pour in the alcohol.  I used vodka but gin works really well too.  Seal the jars, give them a good shake from time to time and try not to drink it for at least three months!  If you can stand to wait longer than that you’ll get a more intense flavour though I don’t think more than six months is worth it, as all the flavour has permeated the alcohol by then.  You’ll notice it darkening in colour over time.  Then, when it looks ready, you just decant it through a fine sieve held over a funnel into a clean bottle; I saved the vodka bottles for this.

Ready to drink!

That’s it!  I made blackcurrant, raspberry, and a mixture of the two.  It’ll be lovely with a mixer and icecubes in the summer, made into slushies perhaps, poured over icecream or added to a pudding, as well as being comforting on its own in the winter while you sit by the fire contemplating.  Enjoy!