There’s something about foraging and getting food for free that really appeals to me. It’s not just that it’s free and delicious, but there’s something about it that feels really natural; my ancestors no doubt would have been foraging for their food so it’s good to get back to that and enjoy these treats for myself!
We went foraging with Chris’s Dad on Sunday and just look at our bounty… Blackberries, sloes, rosehips and crab apples were all aplenty and ours for the taking; and take them we certainly did. The hedgerows seem particularly heavy with fruit this year, so I don’t feel bad about taking a few berries away from the birds; I always leave plenty of the smaller ones on the bushes for them to enjoy anyway.
So, once we’d been out and picked them I then had to decide what to do with them… I think my little trip to Scotland last week may have had more of an impact on me than I’d realised when I decided I would use some of the blackberries to flavour a bottle of scotch whisky.
I haven’t made this before, but I’m told it’s incredible. Even those who don’t really like whisky will love this, either neat or with a little apple juice. I’m hoping that’s true but I will have to wait a few months to find out myself. I scoured the internet and found so many different recipes for the whisky, so did what I usually do in this situation and combined them all to make my own recipe. I’ll let you know how it turns out in a few months!
I use a Kilner jar for this recipe. Wherever possible, I try to stick with Kilner as my brand of choice and you will notice that when you look at previous posts on this blog. There are a number of reasons for this – not least the fact I can always be assured of a quality item when it carries the Kilner name. I know that it’s going to do the job well and, importantly in this recipe, I know the seals will be air (and whisky!) tight, so nothing will get in or out of the jars unless I want it to.
You’ll want a reasonable whisky for this recipe. It doesn’t need to be a fancy single malt, but at the same time you don’t want to use a stomach-burning value brand either. I’ve gone in the middle of the two with the Queen Margot whisky from Lidl.
This is so simple, I am almost ashamed to call it a recipe but here it is for you anyway…
A great way to use up fruit picked from the hedgerows. Decanted into small bottles, this would make excellent Christmas presents too!
- 600g blackberries
- 300g sugar
- 70cl bottle whisky
1. Pour the blackberries and sugar into a sterilised jar and then pour over the bottle of whisky. The jar will need to be at least 2l to hold everything.2. Close, making sure the jar is sealed well and give the jar a good shake to dissolve most of the sugar. Don’t worry if some doesn’t dissolve straight away, it will do in time.3. Leave in an accessible place for at least once a month, shaking at least once a day to ensure you draw all of the flavour out of the blackberries into the whisky and dissolve all the sugar.4. Pass through a muslin to remove all the pieces of blackberry and decant into a large bottle or several smaller bottles for presents. The fruit can be used to make jams or chutneys and will taste wonderful!
DetailsPrep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 800ml-1l finished whisky, plus some boozy blackberries
With the rest of the foraged fruit, I intend on making a hedgerow jelly to spread on toast or serve with roasted meats. Watch this space for the recipe and pics!