Last Sunday we went foraging in Birmingham for Rosehips. I’ll warn you now, wear gloves or suffer a thorny death!
Name: Rosehip (Dogrose)
Months: September, October, November
Edible Parts: Bletched Fruit
Non-Edible Parts: Everything else
The rosehip pictured also includes japanese rosehip (the big rounder looking ones). They should only be picked when plump and juicy, if they are not squishing when you pick them, they are not ready to be picked. I will be making Rosehip Syrup and Rosehip wine with these little wonders this year so that means a lot of foraging and a lot of thorns in my fingers.
If the rosehip recipe proves successful it will be posted in approximately 8 weeks time so stay tuned. The syrup recipe will be updated later on this week.
This turned out to be an Excellent wine. In fact it was so delicious the 30 odd bottles that we made were quickly whisked away by friends and relatives. For basically the cost of the sugar, you can have a brilliant, slightly sweet and flavourful and strong white wine.
This is the recipe we used:
Elderflower Wine – 1 Gal
500ml Picked Elderflowers pressed lightly. Remove green stems.
1.5kg Sugar. White granulated to avoid changing the flavour
250g washed raisins
1/2 Mug Strong Tea
3 Lemons Squeezed
1 tsp yeast
1 tsp yeast nutrient
4.5L hot water
- Sterilise your equipment
- Dissolve the sugar in the hot water
- Place the flowers, raisins and lemon juice in the primary bucket
- Add the sugar water
- Mix thoroughly
- Allow the mixture to cool until it reaches around 21C
- Add yeast, Tea and yeast nutrient
- Cover and place airlock
- Keep in a warm dry place
- After 8 weeks, test the mixture with a hydrometer. Add sugar according to taste if it’s ready to bottle.
- Add a crushed Campden tablet to clear according to the tablet instructions and allow to settle
- Rack Off and then bottle!
While we harvested these Sloe’s a little on the early side, they still make a great Sloe Gin recipe. If you have an alcohol cupboard with half a bottle of Gin in it not going anywhere fast, this is a great and delicious way of sprucing up the Gin ready for Christmas. This is a classic and well respected drink for the worldly gentleman (apparently).
We found these Sloe’s in a small tucked away little over grown area by a Canal. It was a pleasant surprise and instantly I thought of Sloe Gin. If you were to buy these bad boys you’d end up paying a pretty penny, so make sure you take advantage of this foraged treat as they are relatively easy to find in Birmingham and the UK.
Months: August, September, October
Edible Parts: Fruit
Non-Edible Parts: Everything Else
The fruit is bluish and powdery on the skin. It won’t taste nice as it is, and it’s best picked late on in the year when the fruit begins to Bletch. The plant is thorny so be careful when picking!
Sloe Gin Recipe
1/2 Bottle Gin
1/4 Bottle Sloes
1/8 Bottle Sugar
Easy! Prick the sloes and pop them carefully into the Gin bottle. Pour in the sugar and replace the cap. Store in a cool dark place and shake the bottle every so often – whenever you remember. The sugar will slowly dissolve and the Gin will turn a gorgeous red. Leave for roughly 6 months but can be sampled earlier if you need. This makes a beautiful fruity syrup liqueur.