Cranberry gin! This is a great little invention of mine which I have wanted to share with you for a while. It takes inspiration from my mother’s Sloe Gin recipe and my sister’s Quince ‘Brandy’. I first made it a couple of years ago as an ‘experiment’; it was delicious but rather too sweet for me because I used the same proportions as for Sloe Gin, and cranberries are not nearly so bitter. This year I am making a few slightly different versions to try and ascertain what the optimum amount of sugar is – I’m afraid you will have to wait a good few months for the verdict though!
First freeze the cranberries – this bursts the skin so that you don’t have to prick them with a fork.
Allow the cranberries to defrost in the fridge and then put them into an empty 1 litre glass bottle along with the cloves – I’m afraid that there is no substitute for dropping them into the bottle one at a time.
Using a funnel, add the sugar and then top up with gin. When there is still a little space in the top, put the lid back on and tip the bottle up and down a few times to mix it. Top up with a little more gin; you want it to be very nearly full, but with enough air at the top that you can tip it up and mix it periodically.
Don’t forget to label the bottle with the proportions that you used!
For the first few weeks you will have to tip the bottle every day or two to help the sugar to dissolve. After that, you can put the bottle at the back of a cupboard and ignore it for a good few months.The longer you leave it the better – upwards of six months is best. I tend to make it early in the year – January to March – and then it is ready for next Christmas!
When you just can’t wait a moment longer, decant into pretty bottles using a funnel and coffee filter papers.