The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


The great sloe gin challenge: The Results

Posted in Christmas, Liqueurs | 63 comments

The great sloe gin challenge: The Results

Picking sloes to make sloe gin is hugely popular in the UK.  Perhaps because it combines the hunter gatherer instinct and the delight of making your own tasty grog. Although traditionally it is drunk at Christmas, it’s the most popular drink to be proffered in a hip flask out here in the country. There is a lot of competition over who has the best brew, secret recipes are not aired and shared. To be offered a sip of ten year old sloe gin is an honour, not to be turned down. It’s two years since we completed this challenge and I must...

read more

Mixed soft fruit vodka liqueur recipe. Harlequin grog.

Posted in Liqueurs | 21 comments

Mixed soft fruit vodka liqueur recipe. Harlequin grog.

Tiny hands clapped with glee when we surveyed our potential black, red and white currant harvest back in the spring. The gooseberries looked promising too. “We can make loads of schnapps and finally our own red currant jelly. This year I’ll make some gooseberry sauce for Christmas and some gooseberry vodka with the dessert gooseberries.” “The gooseberry vodka didn’t last long. When you made it last year.” “I only had a couple of shot glasses. This year I’m going to hide it away.” The sawfly must have been...

read more

Blackcurrant vodka (schnapps)

Posted in Liqueurs | 18 comments

Blackcurrant vodka (schnapps)

My fruit cages have given me so much pleasure, both in the construction and the ogling the of fruit. But I’ve been under pressure recently and only had time to pick raspberries. “Tonight I must have half an hour to pick the currants (white/red/black) otherwise I’ll miss them.” So Danny volunteered to cook the vegetables and I sauntered down to the currant and gooseberry patch with a large trug. There was a reasonable harvest from the white currant bush. Just enough to make one bottle of white currant vodka. The dessert...

read more

Irene’s Strawberry vodka liqueur recipe

Posted in Liqueurs | 28 comments

Irene’s Strawberry vodka liqueur recipe

I’ve had a few emails asking for a recipe for strawberry liqueur. I haven’t made it myself but Irene shared her recipe in the comments on our post Two recipes: Wild Damson Gin and Sloe Gin recipes. This is the most visited post on our blog. The credit crunch has seen an upturn of visits too. And why not? There’s nothing like the distraction of homemade grog when times are getting tough. I spent a couple of hours analysing the jungle of srawberry liqueur recipes on the internet but always Irene’s recipe sounded best. I...

read more

A fruit a month (AFAM) event. April 2008.

Posted in Liqueurs | 7 comments

A fruit a month (AFAM) event. April 2008.

I had just finished my post for this evening – April flowers from the garden and was planning to drift upstairs to bed and the solace of clean sheets and a Min Pin or three, when Margot from Coffee & Vanilla invited me to the A Fruit a Month blogging event that she is hosting. Last day today. Blogging events are good news. They open up the blogging world, introduce people to new blogs and ideas and a whole lot more. It’s easy to slip into the rut of writing a post, chatting to virtual friends and rarely leaving home. I...

read more

Farmer’s marrow rum recipe update

Posted in Fun, Liqueurs | 22 comments

Farmer’s marrow rum recipe update

Marrows were half price in the supermarket last weekend. I hovered by the stand, wickedly tempted. It wasn’t the prospect of stuffed marrow that had this magic effect. We have completed stage one of our marrow rum experiment. It has finally been transferred to a demi john and is now skulking in the airing cupboard. It smells delicious, just like rum. Suddenly I joined those triumphant Neanderthals who discovered they had inadvertently made something delicious. When I appeared in The Rat Room with a very long plastic bucket and a marrow...

read more

Chilli Sherry revisited

Posted in Liqueurs | 14 comments

Chilli Sherry revisited

When I was ten I was given my first glass of sherry. My mother and stepfather threw a drinks party. “As you are now ten, you can come to the party,” my mother announced with a twinkle. She must have seen my apprehension and added brightly. “You can wear your best dress.” This dress was dark blue velvet with a lace collar and cuffs. Worn so rarely, it never lost its starchiness. The run up to the party was intense because my parents had never thrown a drinks party together. They decided to serve the drinks from a small...

read more

Superb sloe vodka recipe

Posted in Liqueurs | 126 comments

Superb sloe vodka recipe

We have found that most fruit recipes work equally well with gin or vodka. With a few exceptions. Raspberry gin is sublime and dessert gooseberry vodka is to kill for. Their cousins, Raspberry vodka and dessert gooseberry gin are companiable and gluggable but not the super stars of the cocktail cabinet. We traditionally always make sloe gin. Lots of it. This year I has so many sloes that I decided to give sloe vodka a whirl. A litre of vodka made two 750ml bottles of grog. One for the cellar and one for testing and tasting. I need to clear a...

read more


Copyright © 2006-2012 Cottage Smallholder      Our Privacy Policy      Advertise on Cottage Smallholder


FD