The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


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...

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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...

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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...

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Farmer’s marrow rum recipe

Posted in Liqueurs | 76 comments

Farmer’s marrow rum recipe

I have discovered that stored in a cool location, marrows keep for weeks. Our marrowhas waited to be turned into something delicious since mid September. It had gradually changed in colour from dark green to a paler green with small dashes of orange. It was time to give it the Cinderella treatment. When Lindsey emailed me with a recipe for marrow rum that she had found in a 1954 cookbook. I could see a great future for our companion vegetable. Lindsey had tried to leave the recipe as a comment on the site and I discovered a few days later that...

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José Antonio Garcia’s recommended recipe for Pacharan

Posted in Liqueurs | 16 comments

José Antonio Garcia’s recommended recipe for Pacharan

José Antonio ventured onto the site a couple of weeks go. He had been picking sloes in Spain, was planning to make Pacharan and wanted to find the English name of the fruit. Sloes. Having read our post The Great Sloe Gin Challenge – Three variations of our sloe gin recipe he decided to make sloe gin but he left the recipe for Pacharan in the comments section. This is a drink from Navarra, a northern Spanish province. It’s a liqueur that combines sloes and Anisette. This comment has haunted me: .My own first “grown up”...

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Gilbert’s grape liqueur and grape wine update

Posted in Liqueurs | 13 comments

Gilbert’s grape liqueur and grape wine update

We fancied a nightcap last night. I tootled out to the barn and spied the large Le Parfait jar of grapes in grape liqueur. Perfect. Danny’s face lit up when I carried in the bounty. I poured out two sizeable glasses. We nearly knocked each other in our rush for the sink to spit it out.It was vile.D challenged me to pull it around, firmly believing that you cannot convert sulphuric acid into honey. Oh yeah? Last year we were given loads of grapes from a local vine. Having made some wine, I converted the remainder into Gilbert’s...

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Green Bullace gin recipe

Posted in Liqueurs | 29 comments

Green Bullace gin recipe

I worked for a few hours today. Saturday. Sometimes it’s worth doing some time at the weekend when the builders are not there. It’s peaceful and I can crack on. Two hours usually seems to drift into four hours and suddenly I see the sun getting lower in the sky. I shot home at 4.30 pm, desperate to catch a couple of hours in the garden before dark. As I passed Broad Green I noticed the footpath to the bullace hunting ground. I had checked the bullace situation a few weeks ago. Hedge trimmers had ripped along the hedgerows, chopping...

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Fermented sloe gin recipe: a new approach to making sloe gin

Posted in Liqueurs | 52 comments

Fermented sloe gin recipe: a new approach to making sloe gin

I don’t know whether you saw Colin Boswell’s comment on “The Great Sloe Gin Challenge – Three variations of our sloe gin recipe”. He outlined a method of making sloe gin by fermenting the sloes first and then adding the gin to the liquor. Having been brought up on traditional sloe gin recipes his comment was a revelation. I love sloe gin and like most other sloe gin makers am keen to make a great brew. I hate to admit it but it would be great to impress my liqueur making guru, Gilbert. This recipe gives me the...

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