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Redcurrant Shrub

Redcurrant shrub

  • Servings: 1 litre
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:
* 300 ml strained redcurrant juice (see here for how to do the straining)
* 600 ml brandy or rum
* zest of 1 orange
* 1 tsp grated nutmeg
* 300 g granulated sugar
First stage of infusion with rum

First stage of infusion with rum

Mix together the juice, rum (or brandy), orange zest and nutmeg all together and pour into a wide-necked vessel. You’ll get a sort of jelly, which is why you’ll want the wide-necked jar. Leave it in a cool, dark place for seven to ten days to infuse the flavour.

After you’ve left it to infuse pour the mix into a pan, add the sugar and heat gently to about 60 degrees until the sugar is dissolved. Then strain through a jelly bag or muslin before pouring the resulting liquid into a sterilised bottle and sealing. Leave for a few months to mature, and make sure you drink within two years. We’ve not tried it yet but have a strong suspicion it’ll be a perfect winter drink.

The name shrub describes several things, but in this case it describes the fruit liquer that results. Apparently it was particularly popular during the 17th and 18th Century in England so there’s definitely precedence there. It also describes a cocktail which was popular during the Colonial era in America, made with some form of vinegared syrup and spirits or water.

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Posted by on June 24, 2014 in Blending, Experimental, Recipe

 

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Redcurrant Jelly

Redcurrent Jelly

  • Servings: 3-4 jars
  • Difficulty: moderately easy
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Ingredients:
* 1 kg redcurrants
* 400 ml water
* 450 g sugar
Redcurrant's on for the first simmer

Redcurrant’s on for the first simmer

As you probably know by now we occasionally branch out from just brewing into other preservation methods. As we discovered a redcurrant bush on a nearby abandoned allotment we’ve done just this. Redcurrant jelly holds a particular set of memories for me – mainly of my sister happily devouring whole jars of the stuff at one sitting (this may be a false memory), and we’ll be sending a jar her way once it’s settled.

The actual method to make the jelly is quite simple, although there is a lot of sitting and waiting. First wash the currants thoroughly before adding them to a pan with the water and simmering for around 45 minutes, until they’re nice and soft. Put them in a jelly bag and allow them to strain overnight (or for a few hours if you’re less patient).

Once the juice has strained through the next day, add it to a pan and set to a low boil. For every 600 ml of juice use 450 g of granulated sugar. Once the juice is boiling add the sugar and stir until it’s fully dissolved. Keep boiling for a while longer until the jelly reaches setting point (you can test this by putting a little of the mix and putting it on a cold saucer, let it cool for a minute and poke gently. If it wrinkles then setting point has been reached).

Once it’s ready put the jelly into sterilised jars and seal immediately.

Jars you can either buy from somewhere like Amazon, or just reuse jars you already have. In either case you should wash the jars thoroughly with hot soapy water before sterilising them in the oven at 140 C.

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2014 in Preserve, Recipe

 

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