What other fruit do you bottle? Exchange recipe ideas here (No sloes or damsons here please)

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Joined: 11 Oct 2005, 10:40
Location: Wiltshire


Post by SloeNEZ » 11 Oct 2005, 16:32

Hi All,

First post so take it easy. Having watched the entire River Cottage series and A cook on the wild side I've been bitten by the bug and now feel like hugh's own spawn. Nah seriously though I noticed that there were a lot elderberry trees around so thought I would look into making some concoction out of them, couldn't find any gin recipes for them but decided to bite the bullet and go ahead with the same ingredients as my blackberry and sloe gin.

Anybody else tried this? Been going now for about 6 weeks and to be honest wouldn't look outta place in a blood bank. Recipe as follows (same for all, except fruit used):

250-350g Sugar
400g-600g Fruit
750ml (cheap) Aldi Gin

Other drinks on the go are:

Sloe Gin/Vodka, Blackberry Gin, Blackberry & Elderberry Vodka, Edlderberry Gin/Vodka.

Being a bit tight all of them are brewing away in bottled water bottles as I gathered these would be good to use as they aren't tainted with any other flavours.


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Post by deadsloeandstop » 11 Oct 2005, 20:06

Glad to hear you found elderberries........although I can lay my hands on sloes galore, I haven't had any luck with elderberries. I wanted to make Pontack Sauce.....have you tried this?

It is as follows:

Pour 1 pint of boiling Claret over 1 pint of Eldrerberries. Pop in a casserole and place in a low temp oven overnight. Next day, decant/strain liquid into a pan, add tsp salt, balde of mace, 40 peppercorns, 12 cloves, finely chopped onion and a little ginger. Boil for 10 mins then bottle.

I understand it should be used after it has matured for 7 (yes, seven) years....as a condiment for strong meats!!!!

I know this is a bit off topic.....but if you have left over berries, you may want to give it a go......

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Joined: 11 Oct 2005, 10:40
Location: Wiltshire

Post by SloeNEZ » 11 Oct 2005, 22:53


you're a patient person if you can wait 7 years for things like that to happen, plus I'm one of those weird ones that only like chicken and fish so no good to me, but thanks for the info.

I must of looked a bit wierd wondering around with carrier bags full of berries (not that the locals would know what to do with them) and didn't want to go down the wine route, haven't got the kit for one. No idea what elderberry wine taste like, you?

Still gonna leave the stuff til xmas, pretty sure it won't be too bad :(

Just for the headsup on next year and knowing a few people on this forum know some exotic stuff, is there any other clear alcholic liquids that could be worth a try? And the all important question can you get it cheap from Lidl's/Aldi's?


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Post by skinner » 08 Jul 2006, 15:37

Hi all
Personally, elderberry wine is much to acid and dry for my liking, its ok if you add it to something, or use it for cooking.

I found this recipe for Pontack Sauce. And it only gives a one year wait, with a preference to waiting longer. I hope this is of help to you, and maybe you would be more willing to try it out, knowing that you dont have to wait so long :wink:

Pontack Sauce
1 pt. Claret
1 pt. Elderberries (destalked)
1 tspn salt
1 blade of mace
40 peppercorns
12 cloves
1 onion (finely chopped)
A little ginger

Boil the claret and pour over the elderberries in a large casserole dish. Cover and put in a VERY low oven overnight. The next day pour off the liquid into a saucepan and add the salt, the mace, the peppercorns, the cloves, the onion and the ginger. Boil for 10 minutes and bottle in sterile bottles with the spices.

Keep for at least 1 year, preferrably several years.

It has a fruity taste and goes very well with liver.

Good luck with the other stuff :D

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Location: Worcestershire

Post by Elizabeth » 08 Jul 2006, 21:13

I have found the best use of Elder is the flowers, makes super ointment to put on bites and stings and also for lady gardener's hands.

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Post by qahtan » 22 Nov 2006, 19:37

Elder flowers make gorgeous wine, and that is great with strawberries or gooseberries.

I make the berries into jelly, or just as a juice, I suppose one could add vodka to the juice. qahtan

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Post by ncsndrsn » 01 Sep 2007, 11:24

I made elderberry gin this year in the same way as sloe gin. It was not bad after a couple of days. But after a week I decided to decant it, because the taste as more of the flavour of the berries passed into the gin, the worse it tasted. It was the most beatiful dark red but tasted quite awful. The best way I can describe like a very cheap, harsh red wine to which sugar has been added. This confirms what I have often heard that, despite their profusion, it is difficult to find a use for elderberries.

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Post by spiky » 04 Sep 2007, 16:45

Hello folks, my first post. When I use elderberries in wine I usually mix them with blackberries at a ratio of 1oz of elderberries to 1lb of blackberries, yep they're that strong. If you need to crush them wear gloves and old clothes because they stain dreadfully. I must admit I fancy trying an elderflower vodka next year. :D

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Post by hooter » 08 Sep 2007, 17:54

We're having a bash with elderberry Brandy, I couldn't find a recipe anywhere so we have just substituted brandy and elderberries for gin and sloes javascript:emoticon(':roll:').

Just to try and see what happens javascript:emoticon(':shock:'). I have heard that elderberry brandy and rum are an excellent cold prevention given their high vitamin A content.

But maybe it is just if you drink enough of it you do not care if you have a cold! Happy brewing folks!

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Post by Goonberry » 17 Sep 2007, 23:11

I have used Elder Berries for winemaking in the past, but not for Gin recipies.
I gave up winemaking long ago as it involves too much bu**ering about & the end results always tasted the same, what ever the recipie!!
The only wine I made which was any good was Banana wine which was VERY strong.....That stuff has got a lot to answer for :oops: .

Making Sloe Gin is much easier & so much more enjoyable! It tastes a lot better aswell :D I can also still use my Demijohns!

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Post by tiff » 18 Sep 2007, 11:39

Aww dont say that goonberry! I've got just got all the kit together to start wine making as a complete beginner. Been out today and picked a bucket full of blackberries and also have elderberries in the freezer. Will be a while till I can taste it but feels great to make something from free ingredients (apart from sugar and yeast)

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Joined: 06 Oct 2008, 13:11

Re: Elderberrys

Post by northern_andy » 11 Oct 2008, 19:15

I'm afraid this one is non-alcoholic, but I'm assured it is good for your health! Elderberry cordial is good for keeping the colds away during the winter if you take it with hot water, and it tastes pretty darn good too.

The receipe is dead simple (courtesy of http://www.patch-work.demon.co.uk):

Elderberries (still on stalks)

Pick the fruit on a dry day and stew with the stalks in a large stainless steel saucepan, with just enough water to cover.

Strain through muslin squeezing to get all the juice.

To each pint of juice add 1 lb of white granulated sugar and 10 cloves.

Boil for 10 minutes.

Allow to cool and bottle in sterile bottles with good quality plastic screw-on tops making sure you distribute the cloves evenly amongst the bottles (they act as a preservative).

The cordial can be used immediately, and will keep well for a year or two.

I've just made three bottles of the stuff, and loving it! I'll let you know if it keeps me cold free

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