Blueberries are well and truly in season, so this week I was thrilled to get my hands on a berry bargain that had me grinning with joy all day.
Halls Green Grocers based in Holcombe Market, North London were selling a huge box (2.5kg) for a jaw dropping price of £2.50. I was so thrilled at the prospect that I made blueberry pickle, blueberry cake, blueberry smoothies and then I decided to start thinking about Christmas. Borrowing a recipe from my uncle, I set about making a batch of blueberry brandy, ready to sip when the temperature drops and the festive spirit kicks in.
This recipe is incredibly easy, a case of whacking everything together into a mason jar and letting magic happen over the next 3-6 months. If you make yours now, it can be a lovely Christmas gift and can also make a delicious base for your very own Kir Royale!
Ingredients to make Blueberry Brandy
- 500g blueberries (note this recipe can be used for any other fruit. I’m thinking pineapple next!)
- 250g sugar.
- 500ml or 50cl cheap brandy. You don’t have to use any fancy plonk since the fruit will transform the flavour.
- 4 cloves.
- 1/2 stick cinnamon.
- 1/4 teaspoon of mace (optional but recommended)
- Half a lemon’s peel + 1 thin slice.
Note: blueberries aren’t as potent as pineapples, quince or other fruits – and it’s nice to have a bit of bitterness or sourness to offset the sweetness. That’s why I’ve added half a lemon’s peel and a thin slice. This will allow the resulting flavour to be more complex.
What do to after 3-6 months has passed.
When time is up and you’re ready to drink, strain the mixture through a muslin cloth. Then simply pour into a bottle and seal.
Drink neat, with or without ice or as a delicious base for a cocktail.