The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Recipe for Bullace Vodka

a le parfait jar with bullaces but vodka gone

What once was a jar of bullace vodka, minus the vodka

A friend from Kent gave us a small bag of bullaces (a small type of plum that grows wild in English hedgerows) last October. We bunged them into a small Le Parfait jar, topping it up with sugar and vodka.

We found the forgotten jar last weekend, hidden behind some pickled plums. It was excellent. Unfortunately, as you can see from the photo, it didn’t last very long.

As with all fruit liqueurs, you can use gin or vodka as the base. We have a preference for gin in fruit liqueurs but this bullace vodka was superb. We will certainly make it again if we can find some bullaces in the hedgerows around the village. Generally they are not ripe until late September or early October.

There’s an old boy in our village who makes bullace brandy from an ancient secret recipe. I thought I might try to make some this year, using the proportions below. I made plum brandy a few years ago, but it took two years to mature before it was drinkable. It was still absolutely vile after one year. Three years on it was bliss.

 

Recipe for Bullace Vodka
Recipe Type: Liqueur
Author: Fiona Nevile
Ingredients
  • 1 pound / 450gm of washed bullaces
  • 6 ounces / 170gm of white granulated sugar
  • 75cl bottle of medium quality vodka – supermarket own brands are good
  • Sterilised 1 litre (at least) Le Parfait jar or wide necked bottle.
Instructions
  1. Wash bullaces well and discard any bruised fruit.
  2. Prick them several times with a fork.
  3. Place the fruit in either a large Kilner/Le Parfait jar or a wide necked 1 litre bottle.
  4. Using a funnel, add the sugar and top up with vodka to the rim.
  5. Shake every day until the sugar is dissolved.
  6. Then store in a cool, dark place until you can resist it no longer (leave for at least three months, we usually let it mature for a year).
  7. Some people strain the potion (through muslin/jelly bag) after 3 months and bottle it, leaving it mature for a further six months. We strain and bottle after a year.
  8. Don’t leave the straining process any longer than one year as the liqueur can be spoiled by leaving the fruit in too long.
Notes

Tips and tricks:

The fruit will swell a little in the alcohol, so don’t fill your bottle/jar more than half full with fruit before you add the sugar and alcohol.

Make more than you need the first year, so you can compare different vintages. This liqueur does improve over time.

Some people drain the grog through muslin after a couple of months, to clarify the liqueur and bottle. We don’t bother as one old soak tipped that, once the vodka is drunk, you can pour medium sherry on the fruit and start all over again! The latter is devilish and drinkable within three months.

Keep your fruit vodka away from the light as this will maintain the colour. Unless it is in a dark green or brown bottle.

Every couple of months take a tiny sip. At this time add more sugar if it is too sharp for your taste.

 


  Leave a reply

42 Comments

  1. Starky

    Has anyone ever made a cocktail using bullace vodka.I was thinking about a nice pre dinner drink perhaps?

  2. HI AGAIN JANIE, MADE A BIT OF A MISTAKE A MINUTE AGO, SO START AGAIN AM NEAR LODDON WHICH IS FAIRLY CLOSE TO BECCLES,NOT SURE ABOUT USING THIS SITE TO CONTACT ME, NEVER TOO SURE ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE SEEING MY EMAIL ADDRESS, THIS DOES NOT MEAN YOU,( SMILING.)WILL GIVE SOME THOUGHT AS TO WHAT IS POSSIBLE, STILL HAVE LOTS OF THE RED/GREEN BULLACE ON A FEW TREES, LET ME KNOW IF THERE IS SOME PLACE WHERE I CAN GET THEM TO YOU I DO HAVE A LADY FRIEND WHO LIVE IN BURY.ST.EDMUNDS SO MAYBE IT WOULD BE POSSIBLE TO MEET THERE , THERE IS A PUBLIC PARK CLOSE TO HER HOME THINK NAME IS NOWTON PARK, BUNNSY,

  3. Hi Bunnsy, thanks for this. It seems that there are several types of bullace. Where abouts in S. Norfolk are you? Is it possible to make contact off this site? We were at Saxlingham when we collected the bullace. Is this anywhere near you?

  4. HI JANIE, I HAVE PLENTY OF BULLACE TREES, YOU ARE MOST LIKELEY CORRECT IN THINKING THAT BULLACE AND WILD DAMSONS ARE THE SAME, HAVE JUST MADE LOTS OF JAM WITH MINE , BUT DO HAVE SOME RED/GREEN ONES STILL WITH FRUIT ON THEM, (FRUIT IS RED/GREEN NOT THE TREES HA HA )NEXT TIME YOU COME TO SOUTH NORFOLK AND IN THE RIGHT SEASON YOU CAN COLLECT AS MUCH FRUIT AT YOU LIKE

  5. Hello everyone. Have been following your blog with interest as I love making sloe gin and am keen to find new ideas. This year, whilst holidaying in South Norfolk, we picked some bullace, or thats what I have been told it was, though I thought they looked like damsons. Have made a bottle of the stuff and want to make more but can not find anywhere near us that grows bullace. We live in Suffolk, near Ipswich area. Any clues?

  6. JUST GREAT READING ABOUT ALL THE DRINKS PEOPLE ARE MAKING WITH BULLACE, NOT BEING MUCH OF A DRINKER, WELL NOT AS MUCH AS I USE TO BE, I JUST MADE 25 JARS OF BULLACE JAM FROM THE TREES IN MY GARDEN, NOW THE OTHER 3 TREES ARE FULL ON WHAT LOOK LIKE GREEN TURNING RED BULLACE THE GREEN ONES ARE ARE RIPE BEFOR TURNING RED, SO GOD KNOW WHAT I CAN DO WITH THEM, ANY SUGGESTIONS ?

  7. Having another hunt round the site and found this page. I’ve bottled several bullace liqueurs recently – a yellow bullace gin, a purple bullace gin, a green/red blushing bullace brandy, and a yellow/red dappled bullace whiskey. (These are descriptions rather than official names obviously.) We have so many bullace trees in the area, and this year’s crops were all amazing. I think I must have picked nearly ten or eleven pounds in total, and this was well after the peak of the harvest from what my friend was telling me. Looking forward to see how they all turn out.

  8. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Herb Robert

    Sorry I missed your comment. No the old geazer is not going to share 🙁

    Hi Margaret

    Best of luck with your allotment! I’d love to hear how you are getting on.

    Good luck with the tipples too. Always a good investment.

  9. Have been reading all your liqueur recipes (as well as the recipe for celery soup which is how I found your site.) Have printed them all off and hope to be producing our own tipples in the coming year. My daughter and I have taken on an allotment this year and will be growing our own fruit as well as veg, once we got the plot in shape. Will let you know how our efforts turn out. Really like your site.

  10. Herb Robert

    Get that brandy recipe off the old geeza! That sounds wonderful

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HTML tags are not allowed.

2,237,314 Spambots Blocked by Simple Comments


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


HG