This is our recipe to make homemade Damson Brandy. You can use the same recipe and substitute the brandy with gin or vodka - basically your spirit of choice! We especially enjoy a small glass of Damson Brandy on a cold winter's evening or whilst doing a winter tidy up in the garden.
454g (1 lb) Damsons
225g (1/2 lb) Caster Sugar
1 litre (1 3/4 pints) Brandy (or other spirit used)
How to make Damson Brandy:
Rinse and pick over the damsons and remove any stalks or stray twigs. Pat the damsons dry and then using a fork, prick over the fruits. I live to make lots of holes in the fruit to really get the damson flavour and the rich, vibrant red colour.
Place the damsons into a large 2 litre jar or divide equal amounts between smaller jars.
Pour over the sugar followed by the brandy (remember to adjust the quantity if you have divided the damsons into 2 or 3 jars). Shake well to encourage the sugar to start to dissolve. Once a day, give the jar(s) a good shake until all of the sugar has dissolved. This should take around 7 - 10 days.
Once all the sugar has dissolved, place the jars in a cool, dark place and leave for 2 - 3 months.
When the brandy is ready, strain through a muslin cloth to get a nice smooth gin without sediment. Decant the brandy into clean, dry bottles. Seal and label.
Damson Brandy matures over age so it will be quite happily be kept for at least a year - that's if it lasts that long!
Top Tip: Damson Brandy is really warming and is especially good if poured into a slightly warmed glass - or if a filled glass is left on top of a hot radiator for a few minutes!