Damson Vodka or Gin

Preparing the damsons

Preparing the damsons

This is a great way to use up a glut of damsons, it transforms the gin or vodka into a heavenly tipple, capturing the essence of the damson.  Be warned though it is very easy to drink and very alcoholic!

For every 1 pint (570ml) damsons use 6oz (175g) sugar
gin or vodka

You will need a large screw top jar, we use the old fashioned sweet jars but you could use a large kilner jar too.

Prick the damsons with a fork or skewer and place in the jar.  It’s best to fill the jar with damsons for maximum flavour. You will need to measure them as they go in because for every pint (570ml)of damsons that you use you need to add 60z (175g) of sugar.  Fill the jar with either gin or vodka. You will need to shake the damsons gently to help the liquid seep to the bottom. Tightly fit the lid.  You now need to shake the jar daily until all of the sugar has dissolved (this can take two weeks of daily shaking). Put the jar in a dark place for six months and then decant into bottles.

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14 responses to “Damson Vodka or Gin

  1. The perfect and only sensible thing to do with damsons

  2. I’ve a bag of Damsons in the freezer. I now know what to do with them – Thank you!

  3. Hi Nicola,
    I have never tried to make it with frozen damsons, so please let me know how you get on. If it works OK then it’s a good tip as sometimes the damsons are ready to pick but I don’t have the time to do the vodka. If I could freeze them and then do the vodka at a more relaxed time that would be fantastic. Keep me posted.

  4. So how did you get on with the frozin damsons!!! 🙂

    • Hi Adrienne,
      I am not sure how Nicola got on with the frozen damsons as she didn’t report back. I am not sure they would work though as you have to pierce the damsons so that they release their juices into the gin/vodka. Are you going to give it a try? I have always made my vodka/ gin with fresh so can’t offer any advice on whether frozen damsons would work. Sorry to be of little help. Kath

  5. Yes it works as it does with sloes. Being frozen they burst when the gin is poured over and it help the berries release their flavour. Enjoy.

  6. By the way although gin is the popular alcohol for sloes try it with whisky. It has a slight medicinal flavour but delicious.

  7. I always use frozen damsons. I defrost them before I bottle them though; this makes them split and release their juice. My recipe is 600g damsons, 200g ordinary granulated sugar to a litre of gin or vodka – that’s a bit less sugar than most recipes but for me that results in a beautifully sharp, sour yet sweet drink. I strain through a pair of (clean!) nylon tights before bottling, and use the fruit to make jam. Nothing gets wasted! Three months is enough so it’s usually ready by Christmas.

  8. I made damson vodka with frozen damsons this year and I didn’t have time to defrost them. They were fine. The freezing process helps to break the skins so you don’t have to prick them all over. The damsons were in the vodka for three months and it came out just fine – the taste is amazing, it’s a very cool present for very little effort.

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