Kitchen Garden Guides

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Alcoholic fruit drinks I make

I went to a Church of England Girls Grammar School …. most of which I loved, but the day I left I decided I’d had enough Christianity for several life times and believed not a word of it. In fact, from that moment on I believed in no gods at all.

However, from time to time, hymns or bits of the bible, especially the old school chapter, come into my head, to be thrust at anyone who is nearby.

And so it was a few moments ago, as I surveyed my dwindling supplies of cassis and raspberry ratafia, and my happily brewing limoncello, that I burst forth with “….these 3 (referring, in the original piece, to faith, hope and charity!) and the greatest of these is….”

Which exactly is the greatest of cassis, raspberry ratafia and limoncello is a question which remains unanswered through millennia, I suspect. I make all of them with local fruit at different times of the year.

Cassis is one I love to drink on cold winters nights, by the fire. Mine is thicker than usual, with the black currants whizzed up in a neighbour’s Vitamix and unable to be strained completely but which I have become rather partial to. Another neighbour suggested brewing in brandy, which I did and it is much richer than when done with vodka.



Raspberry ratafia I made with less sugar, as the recipe suggested adding more sugar later, to taste, when the brewing was finished. I decided not to add any more as the aroma and pungency of the raspberries was very special…. one reason being that I let them stew in vodka for 6 months, instead of one! This is a pre-dinner drink which I usually sip slowly whilst getting dinner…. and the raspberries were delicious with ice cream!



image Limoncello is definitely a drink for a hot summer’s night. Being made of lemon peel, it lends itself nicely into being made in winter, to drink in summer. We used to always have it at the shack, sitting outside watching the sunset, after a blisteringly hot day. Poured over ice it is perfect…. I am still waiting for such a day, here in southern Tasmania and am having to adjust my opinion of when is a good time to drink limoncello as there is still some of last year’s left, while this year’s is brewing!

Some people mix them with various things like mineral water, white wine etc but I sip them all neat, in shot glasses or tiny, crystal, stem glasses. I think that they lose some of their alcohol when left to brew, even if the lid is good, which is fine by me; I just want the flavour.

You can find my recipes here.



Jo said...

All of those drinks look and sound divine! I have bookmarked the limoncello recipe to use up another few lemons from my extensive collection..

Deborah Cantrill said...

Kate the best way to add sugar is to make a 1to 1/2 sugar/water solution. Bring to boil, allow it to cool then add small amounts at a time til it suits your taste.
Don't forget limes make wonderful (I think better) limecello!!