The damson liqueurs have a wonderful rich ruby red colour and make lovely Christmas gifts as do the slightly paler sloe liquers.
Use 2 litre Kilner jars as this leaves room to shake the contents of the jar. Sloes, damsons, blackberries And raspberries can all be used and any alcohol – vodka, gin, whiskey, rum, brandy. Our favourites last year were blackberry whiskey and damson vodka( the damsons give a beautiful almond flavour).
Wash and dry the fruits before pricking them all over (no need to prick the soft fruits like blackberries and raspberries).
For blackberry whiskey put 2kg blackberries, 225g sugar ( less if you like, you can always add more at the bottling stage depending on taste) and a bottle of whiskey into a sterilised Kilner jar ( sterilise in dishwasher).
Shake the jar every couple of days until the sugar dissolves.
After 3 months (less if you want it for Christmas!) or you can leave it for two years and let the flavour intensify( patience is a virtue), decant it into swing top bottles if you have them or any small bottles. Use muslin as a filter over a funnel. Last year we froze the whiskey saturated blackberries and thought they could be used a dessert or with porridge and cream on Christmas morning. David nobly tried them with porridge – ugh, they really were not worth saving. I threw out the sloes but have frozen the damsons and will try them in a dessert at some stage.
For the sloe/damson liquers use 450g fruit, a bottle of whatever spirit you like, 350g sugar (less if you like it tarter) and follow the above instructions.