How to make Damson Gin

September = ripe damsons. Ripe damsons = awesome gin in time for Christmas!

I first had a go at this recipe in September 2010, and we cracked open the jar on Christmas Day. From what I can remember, it tasted rather nice.

What you will need:

  • Nice generous bowl of damsons (mine are straight off the tree so I didn’t buy a measured amount – there need to be enough to fill approximately a third of the jar you use)
  • 1.5L Kilner jar
  • 1 litre bottle of medium quality gin
  • Approx 220 grams white granulated sugar

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How to make it:

  • Wash the damsons, make sure all stalks are removed and any bad or bruised fruit is removed. Prick each damson a couple of times with a fork and add to the jar until it is around a third full.
  • Add the sugar – it should almost be level with the damsons.
  • Top up to the inside rim with the gin.
  • You should have enough gin left for a couple of doubles – toast your awesome homestead abilities.
  • Shake the jar every day to mix the ingredients until the sugar has completely dissolved. This worked the year I used a proper Kilner jar, but unfortunately the one pictured turned out to be crap and does not have a completely airtight seal (This means it probably won’t work properly – faulty jars must only be used by serious alcoholics only.) Therefore I have to stir this one.
  • Once the sugar has dissolved, move the jar to a cool, dark place and leave for between 3 months and a year. Important side note – I opened the 2010 jar every day during the sugar dissolving period, and then every week or so until it was ready. This was to let out excess air. Many years ago, my mother made a jar and abandoned it in the porch without periodically opening it. It exploded. Simply opening and shutting the jar will prevent visitors assuming you’re a raging alcoholic.

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The amount of sugar that needs to be used depends on your tastes. If you like quite a sharp taste, try using nearer 200 grams sugar to start. If making in September, test the grog in November sometime to see if you feel more sugar needs to be added to your taste. I find the amount of sugar pictured is plenty for me and I don’t add any extra.

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