You may remember that last month I encouraged everybody to pick elderberries as well as blackberries for making tasty things with. Well, it's now October, and impatient little minx that I am I have brought my booze out of its vats a month early and bottled it in its final form.
When I picked my elderberries in mid-August I had about 800g of them, and decided to make a liqueur by using them to flavour some vodka. I'm a sucker for purple booze! A litre of vodka was therefore bought and I simply chucked all the ripe berries into it, sealed the containers and added sticky labels encouraging me to NOT OPEN TIL NOV. 15TH to allow for maximum flavour.
Needless to say the stickies did nothing - I was too tempted to move on with my experiment! Today I filtered out the berries from my vodka, heated it gently in a large pan and added about 200g of sugar. I wanted quite a strongly flavoured drink this time round (my blackberry liqueurs were very jammy) but you could add more sugar per litre if you like - just keep tasting 'til you go yum!
When bottling, stand the bottle on a wad of kitchen towels and ladle into the bottles through a funnel if your pan has no spout. This should minimise drips.
This all yielded a little more than 1L of finished product, which means I got to use a very small and unusually-shaped bottle for the excess which might make an amusing Christmas present for someone. Come to that, small jars of jam or chutney or bottles of interesting drink would all make amusing Christmas presents, which should be another encouraging reason to get crafty!