We moved house last year and while we were packing all our stuff to move from one place to another I came across the remains of a bottle of Damson Liqueur made in 1985. The colour had faded and it has lost its lovely velvety plummy taste, but it reminded me that I have been infusing fruits & berries for some time. Back in 1985 I misspelt the word liqueur! and I used Gin as a spirit base (it was probably Gordon’s as that has been my long term, default gin) The juniper overtones work particularly well with the mini plums, as many people who make their own sloe gin know.
Recently I made some Damson Liqueur with home grown damsons for a customer who has fond memories of his mother making this. Traditionally the mini plums can be harvested in the autumn and will provide a delicious liqueur by Christmas time. If the liqueur is left for longer the liqueur continues to mature – improving in flavour as the fruit tones ‘round off’ giving a lovely smooth liqueur providing a warm & comforting fruity tipple.
When I make Damson Liqueur now I use a Scottish produced vodka from Strathleven distillers. It is ‘brewed’ from Scottish Barley Grain, five times distilled to produce an exceptionally fine, crystal clear spirit which doesn’t overpower the infused flavours, although it retains its distinctive ‘barley grain’ identity. Time honoured Whisky drinkers can generally detect this after the first sip.
The Scottish Vodka base also allows the natural colours from the fruits & berries to show through. I don’t like to use green or darker tinted glass bottles for that reason. If the liqueurs are stored in daylight, the natural colour will fade, so I recommend storing in a dark cupboard & consuming within 2 years of purchase. Fortunately if the liqueur does fade – this does not seem to affect the taste at all and there is a good period of time when the liqueurs actually improve with age.
As one of the young Chef’s at the Cook School Scotland pointed out. I had made the first batch of Damson Liqueur before she was born, however I like to think that I too have improved with age!
For more information on point of sales for Kirkton Liqueurs, or to order bespoke liqueurs please contact me through the website: www.kirktonliqueurs.com or Facebook: Kirkton Liqueurs twitter: Kirkton Liqueurs @JanetMartin3
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