Once in a while a pie maker gets a day off and does something that has nothing to do with pies, and this was such a pleasant Sunday afternoon diversion I thought I’d pop it in here for posterity.
My friend Linda, aka @goodshoeday, is one of East London’s leading experts on fruit vodka (well she tells me what to do) and has blogged about it here. I’ve always done a bit of sloe and damson gin, but Linda’s spurred me on toward a fireside cupboard of all sorts of interesting bottles and, after a conversation with Mat from The Wild Garlic and super-chef Mark Lloyd, I decided to give rose vodka a whirl.
My over-the back neighbour is in his nineties, still gardening, and he has a beautifully fragrant old fashioned rose in his garden that his mother planted which has, over the years, sprung up from snippets and trimmings in our garden and around the village. It flowers for just a couple of weeks and was perfect to capture.
I consulted with Linda about what proportions of sugar to vodka to use and after a bit of maths and light/syrupy discussion she suggested 25g of sugar to 5ooml of vodka. I decided that I’d use a nice bottle of vodka that my chum Jeremy Nicholl aka @Russian_Photos had brought over from Moscow because the flavour of the roses would be so delicate. None of your Moonshine for this project.
5oo ml of Putinka Vodka (or whatever vodka you have to hand if you don’t have a semi-tame Russian-resident smudge)
Petals from four unsprayed, fragrant roses
Add the ingredients together in a jar
At this point I was expecting to have to leave for a week but the colour leached out of the roses almost immediately and within an hour or so the roses were turning a bit brownish. So I swirled the jar to dissolve the remaining sugar and strained.
I popped the now-fragrant and pinkish vodka in the fridge for appearances sake but within the hour was into it – and can report that, if you like the taste of rose you’d love this. A lot.
P.S. Turned out that Linda had meant 250g of sugar but a zero got lost en route. Tasted fine though, so well done her and her intuitive typos. I guess it might possibly affect keeping qualities, but that’s not going to be a big problem…