Make your own Fruit Gins

When I was growing up my garden had such a wealth of fruit produce which I later missed. We used to have a morello cherry tree (which I was originally more interested in climbing) which my dad made a huge net to keep the birds out and sometimes we would make Cherry Vodka (something which actually my grandma used to do also). The last batch from this tree was in 2002 and since then I’ve used jarred cherries. Once I made blackberry vodka (freshly picked) but I didn’t put sugar in and it was a little too vodkary.

Personally I much prefer Gin. In the last couple of years the Gentleman of the House and myself have made Plum Gin. I started doing this once when plums were on 2 for 1 a punnet and thought hey why not and found a river cottage recipe on the internet (which I now can’t find) to give me the proportions of fruit/alcohol/sugar.

I was in London a few months and on one of the veg stalls I saw greengages! I once had greengage jam in a tequila cocktail which was amazing an i thought oooh i wonder what greengage gin is like. I wasn’t able to buy the fruit then but got some from my greengrocers (love them!) last week. I also bought damsons. Finally I bought some rhubarb a few weeks ago to make a cake but never got round to it so I think I’m just going to bob it in some gin and see what happens (waste not)

Getting the fruit/alcohol/sugar ratio is critical to the flavour and with practice you can tailor this to your preference depending on what your preference to sweetness is. Im using the ratio from the Damson recipe in  River Cottage Handbookno.2: Preserves. What is interesting is that the sloe gin recipe uses the same weight of sugar as sloes but with damsons its only half. Ive decided to use the half ratio for the greengages so that its not too sweet. (more can always be added later if needed)

Damson Gin

  • 500g damsons (pricked or halved)
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 600ml gin

Greengage Gin

  • 500g greengages (pricked or halved)
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 600ml gin

Rhubarb Gin – This i just adapted the recipe to however much gin and rhubarb I had left

  • 200g rhubarb
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 300ml gin

Make sure you use jars which seal properly. Give the jar a shake then store in a dark cupboard for around 6 months giving an occasional shake. You can leave them longer or shorter but it will alter the intensity of the flavour.

Once the Gin is ready empty the jars through a sieve and store in bottles (make sure they’ve been washed well or sterilised first)

Then drink and enjoy!


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