Farmersgirl Kitchen

How to make Hedgerow Vodka

Hedgerow Vodka made with foraged fruits, vodka and sugar

Drinks | October 14, 2017 | By

Every year I pick blackberries from the hedgerow.  Some years I get a good crop of sloes but although I often look at the red rosehips and hawthorn berries, this is the first time I’ve used them in a recipe.  I first heard of Hedgerow Vodka from a member of a Facebook Group who goes by the delightful name of ‘Sunshine’.  I’m hoping this Hedgerow Vodka will bring a little warmth and sunshine to the dark days of mid-winter as we will surely need it. 

Sloes, brambles, hips and haws for Hedgerow Vodka

I really find foraging in the hedgerows quite irresistible, all those glowing berries and fruits.  We are fortunate to live on a farm with traditional hedgerows surrounding grass meadows and in the spring and summer they are bright with flowers and in autumn they are packed with fruit just waiting to be picked.  

Hedgerow Vodka made with foraged hedgerow fruits

Rosehips are the most difficult to gather in our hedgerow as the wild dog roses get cut back by the hedge cutter and only produce a few flowers and fruits.  We have a little row of blackthorn hedge which is the plant which produces sloes.  This year there was a good crop,  although it’s always a challenge to avoid the vicious spikes of the blackthorn to find the sloes nestling behind the leaves.

Make your own Hedgerow Vodka - an ideal gift

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How to make Hedgerow Vodka

Hedgerow Vodka
Combine the fruits of the hedgerow with vodka and sugar to create a delicious drink to warm the cold winter days.
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Ingredients
  1. 450 g of mixed blackberries, sloes, rosehips and hawthorn berries (I used approximately 150 g blackberries, 200 g sloes and about 50 g each of rosehips and haws)
  2. 225 g granulated sugar
  3. 1 litre vodka
Instructions
  1. Place the fruit and berries into a large jar with a lid which is watertight.
  2. Add the sugar and the vodka.
  3. Close the jar seal tightly and shake well.
  4. Store in a cool, dark cupboard and shake every other day for a week, then shake once a week for at least two months. Keep for up to a year for an even better drink, if you have the patience!
  5. Strain the vodka through muslin or a coffee filter into sterilised bottles.
Notes
  1. Sloes are usually best after the first frost, so pop them in the freezer overnight before making the Hedgerow Vodka. I used frozen blackberries and sloes.
  2. The seeds of rosehips is an irritant, so make sure they stay whole or split them and remove the seeds before placing in the jar.
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Make Hedgerow Vodka

I used frozen blackberries and sloes along with rosehips with their seeds removed and hawthorn berries.  You can change the proportions of the fruit creating slightly different flavours and to match what you can gather. 

How to make Hedgerow Vodka from foraged fruits, sugar and vodka

I used granulated sugar, but you can use caster (superfine) sugar but not icing (confectioners) sugar.  The granulated sugar dissolved easily within a few days. 

I had a bit of a moment at the supermarket when I bought the vodka.  You don’t need to buy expensive vodka to make this, so there I was at the checkout and all that was in my trolley was a bottle of cheap vodka and six individual ready-meals that I had bought as back up rations for my mother-in-law!  I’m surprised the checkout assistant didn’t call Alcoholics Anonymous.  At this point I should say, please drink responsibly, despite the fruit and sugar, this is still 40% proof vodka. 

A simple recipe for Hedgerow Vodka

and that’s all there is to it, all the flavours of the hedgerow preserved in a warming and delicious drink to bring a little warmth and sunshine into the cold winter days. 

Hedgerow Vodka - an ideal gift for Christmas

The Taste Test

Of course, I had to do a bit of a taste test, just for quality control purposes you understand.  The Hedgerow Vodka has a rich, round flavour, it has a bit of tannic dryness, like red wine, it would be really good as a base for a prosecco cocktail or served diluted with tonic or soda water.  Served on its own it would be a good as an after-dinner drink for serious sipping!  

Hedgerow Vodka would also make an ideal gift for Christmas or any other occasion put it in a pretty bottle and add a label.

Homemade and delicious Hedgerow Vodka

If you’d like to try some other homemade liqueurs here are some recipes from Top UK food writers: 

Cranberry Infused Gin – Supper in the Suburbs

Homemade Blackcurrant Cassis – Hedgecombers

Pomegranate & Vanilla Vodka – Ren Behan 

Rhubarb Gin – Foodie Quine

 

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Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    Jane
    October 14, 2017

    This recipe makes me deliriously happy Janice, a whole bunch of my favourite things 😍

    • Leave a Reply

      Janice Pattie
      October 14, 2017

      Thanks, Janie it makes me happy to use all the fruits of the hedgerows too and the vodka goes down a treat!

    • Leave a Reply

      Janice Pattie
      October 15, 2017

      You definitely could use supermarket fruit. In fact, you can use frozen fruit which makes it even more economical and doesn’t detract from the flavour at all.

  2. Leave a Reply

    Lucy
    October 15, 2017

    Love the look of this Janice it really does look delicious. I’ve never made flavoured vodka but really want to give it a try now.

    • Leave a Reply

      Janice Pattie
      October 15, 2017

      It really is very simple as you can see. You can use frozen fruit or fresh, let me know how you get on.

    • Leave a Reply

      Janice Pattie
      October 15, 2017

      Glad you like it Farah, it’s so easy to make and would certainly make an impression!

  3. Leave a Reply

    Choclette
    October 16, 2017

    Oh, sunshine in a bottle indeed. What fabulous photos, they make me want to dash out and do some foraging right away. We make a medicinal concentrated hawthorne using vodka but I’ve never made something delicious with them. What a fab idea. I usually find with sloes and the like that if you can keep it at least a year before straining, it makes an even better drink and the tannins disappear.

    • Leave a Reply

      Janice Pattie
      October 16, 2017

      I bet it does, I just couldn’t wait!

  4. Leave a Reply

    Karen S Booth
    October 16, 2017

    Lovely photos and a great recipe too, especially for the season! My Home-made Orange Liqueur always does well on the run up to the festive season too, well, it’s booze isn’t it!

    • Leave a Reply

      Janice Pattie
      October 16, 2017

      Thanks, Karen. Yes, any booze goes down well!

    • Leave a Reply

      Janice Pattie
      October 16, 2017

      I do have an advantage with the foraging! Thanks for your kind comments, hope you get enough next year to try the recipe.

    • Leave a Reply

      Janice Pattie
      October 17, 2017

      I guess not! Hurrah for frozen fruit!

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