If you’ve made Damson Gin/Brandy/Vodka/Whisky by steeping damsons in spirit for a few months since late Summer, you may be wondering what to do with those alco-soaked fruits after you’ve strained them off and decanted your fruit liqueur (back, possibly) into bottles. You CAN leave them steeping on into eternity, of course, but it’s more common to take out the swollen, boozy plumlets once they’ve imbued the spirit with their rosy pink magic.
Here are some ideas
Carry on boozing
Start another batch of damson-infused spirit – just tip them into a fresh batch of gin/vodka/brandy/whisky. Homoeopathic, and probably a less punchy outcome than using freshly-picked, freshly-pricked damsons.
Tip gin-soaked damsons into a bottle or jar of tonic water, seal the top. Leave for a day or two in a cold place to create a ready-made DG&T – Damson Gin & Tonic.
Tip spirit-soaked damsons (or sloes) into a bottle or jar of cider, and seal the top, to make Damcider (Cidamson?), or, with sloes, Slider. Drink soon after starting!
Get cooking & baking
Use boozy damsons as you would fresh ones to make an adults-only crumble or fruit pie, or as a boozyfruit balance in a meat or game pie.
By themselves or as an added twist to another flavour, make jam! Watch out for the stones.
Add boozy damsons wherever dried fruit is called for in a recipe (e.g.Christmas cake or pudding).
Fold the fruit through a whipped cream and custard mixture to make a boozy fool.
How about Damson Gin Ice Cream?
Tired of same-old mince pies at Christmas? Try Damson Gin Pies!
My favourite – a box of damson gin chocolate liqueurs for Christmas. Destone and chop boozy damsons into little pieces. Melt chocolate in a basin over a pan of gently simmering water (even cheap supermarket own-brand bars work well here – about 30p/100g, made in France or Germany!). Bottom-fill ice cube trays with melted chocolate, drop 3-4 damson pieces into each cube, top up and cover with melted chocolate, leave to cool in the fridge. Tap out each cube and wrap in tin foil. Never knowingly undereaten.