October 24, 2018
This summers weather made for some strange harvest this year. Corn and walnuts were tiny and dried off early. Fruit trees on the other hand went crazy. Carrying so much fruit that the branches broke before they were ripe. For sloes the year seems to be perfect. Usually you have to climb dozens of trees to get a decent amount of sloes. This year the branches were low and thick with berries.
The unfortunate thing about sloes is that you should wait for the berries to freeze over on the tree. Only then the tree will draw back its juices and the sloes lose their bitter / sour taste and get soft. Which by default seems to mean that you lost your harvest to birds and squirrels. You can cheat the system a little by putting the berries into your freezer over night. Won’t help much with the sour but they will get soft so the juices can get absorbed by the alcohol more easily.
ELDERBERRY SLOE LIQUEUR
_ place sloes in the freezer overnight
_ give the sloes a good squeeze and place them in a large bottle
_ add elderberries, sugar, orange peel and cardamom [bashed open]
_ fill up with vodka
_ give it a good shake and store in a dark place
_ leave for at least 6 weeks [shake every few days]
_ strain liqueur though a fine meshed sieve [best through a cloth]
[taste and add more sugar if needed]
_ funnel liqueur into sterilised bottles
[the liqueur is great right away but will get smoother another couple of weeks in]