​Elderberry and blackberry wine



This recipe is great heated, but not boiling, with a jar of honey, a few cloves, some grated nutmeg, ¼ pint of water and the juice and rind of a lemon. Add half a small bottle of brandy before serving. Drink whilst still warm.

We drink this every Christmas when family visit and we always run out!

You can also make this one with just elderberries or just blackberries.


  • 800g elderberries
  • 800g blackberries
  • 4.5l water (boiled)
  • 1.5 kg granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp pectic enzyme
  • 1 tsp of red wine yeast
  •  1 tsp yeast nutrient
  • 1 campden tablet (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon fermentation stopper (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Bentonite (optional)


Put all the berries into a large bucket and crush witha rolling pin. Add the sugar, pectic enzyme and cover with 4.5l boiled water. Stir well.

Once cool, make a note of your gravity.

Add your yeast and nutrient and cover loosely for 1 week before straining into a demijohn with an airlock.

When fermentation ends (bubbles passing through the airlock at less than one a minute) add a crushed campden tablet and fermentation stopper, if using, as per the instructions on the packet.

After 3 days clear the wine by adding bentonite, if using, as per the instructions on the packet.

Don’t forget to check your final gravity, if you haven’t already and want to know the percentage of alcohol in your brew.

Finally, syphon the wine into bottles and cork.

Age for a minimum of 6 months before drinking, but a year is better.

Sloe gin

FB_IMG_1493750822545September is one of my favorite times of the year, as I get to spend a lot of time outside foraging for fruit. I use this basic recipe for various flavoured liquors. You could also try blackberry whisky, crab apple vodka or rose-hip vodka using the same quantities.

  • 350g Sloes
  • 175g granulated Sugar
  • 700ml gin


Wash your fruit and pick out any leaves, twigs, or insects.

Put them into a Kilner jar and cover with the sugar.

Pour over the gin and put the lid on.

Shake the jar to mix in the sugar. Shake once a day, for a few days, until the sugar remains dissolved.

After 3 months decant into bottles through a funnel lined with a muslin cloth.

Whilst you can drink this straight away, it does benefit from ageing for a year or more, if you can wait that long.