“Flavoured Gin”, I’ve paid for it in the past. I like it. It can’t be that difficult to make. My neighbours have an apple tree. I have roses. When I came up with this recipe, in fact, I was seriously considering popping up the neighbour’s tree and taking their criminally under-used apples.
The fact that the 30 year old neighbour “son” had been up until 4:30am belching out Dutch Hardcore Gabba versions of the Venga Bus and weed smoke that came through our shared chimney was adding to the case I had to myself for scrimped apples from next door.
“Flavoured Gin”, nice idea. There’s a shop where I live that I once mistook for a hipster joint. It’s not, it’s good. It also sells bloody amazing, pure, gin. Serious stuff. 50%. Gorgeous. Even more gorgeous I reasoned with the “left-over apples” and with the rose hip flavour.
By the way, the recipe is also great without the gin. Read on for the recipe!
- A lemon
- Gin – 1/4 pint
• Get as many apples as possible. (windfalls, definitely not green ones. Cox is you can but any others that you can see as you walk around. You can then either buy them from your supermarket or, if you’re lucky enough, from your local fruiterer or green grocer). Basically for a pint of flavoured gin, I’d go with three quarters of a point of fruit produce.
I’m sorry not to be exact here, but it also depends very much on the size of the apples you’re going with. Experiment, nothing bad can happen.
• Core them to lose the seeds – they contain tiny amounts of cyanide, hence the almondy flavour, so a lot of them will lead to stomach problems. Skin them. Chop roughly.
• Add skin and chunks to a medium sized pan, cover with slightly salted water (Very slightly salted, 1/2 a teaspoon). A half a lemon’s worth of juice, having first rolled the lemon to loosen it up. Let the apple sit for two hours. Yup, you want mush.
• Bring to rolling boil for five minutes. Simmer for two hours minimum. Sieve. Reserve all the liquid. Reduce this for about two hours (turn the apple mush into ice cream by adding cream and sugar!).
• Leave the juice to stand for an hour.
• Sieve again.
• The rosehips are simple. Remove any stems and tails.
• Remove the seeds and their little hairs. Cover in water. Boil for ten minutes. Boil them! Boil them hard!
• Simmer until soft.
• Simmer again for half an hour.
• Then hang the rosehips in a muslin bag (or old, clean t-shirt overnight with a bowl beneath.
• Now then, combine a table spoon of apple juice with the same of rosehip juice. Taste. Keep trying taste tests until you’re happy. Go with a stronger not weaker flavour. You will also note that the apples will – due to retaining their skins – have produced a tiny amount of pectin. This is good. This will give the gin a good consistency.
Add your juices to your shop-bought gin. Store for as long as you can bear.