From June through to November, flowers and fruit flourish on our farm, keeping us busy with picking, pressing and bottling. From November through to Christmas is mostly markets and fairs, selling the liqueurs which we have been making throughout the year.
It’s always a lovely time, when we see customers who have been coming back year on year, meet new people, and get to tell people about our farm, it’s ethos and how best to serve the liqueurs and sloe gin. We also get to see just how much our customers enjoy the liqueurs; it’s satisfying to see people remark on how fruity and fresh they taste, and always a joy when our message gets across and the organic part of our liqueurs is appreciated.
We’ve had a bumper year for berries, our elderflower liqueur won a Great Taste Gold Star, and we’re experimenting with crabapples from the orchard to create a small batch of spiced crabapple gin.
Sloes, however, have been thin on the ground after an early frost this year. We’ve got plenty of sloe gin from last year, and enough sloe whisky (or did we drink it all?) to last us, but we are at the mercy of our weather. Because we don’t buy in any fruit, just using what grows on the farm, we won’t be making any new sloe gin this year, but instead have gathered armfuls of crabapples from the abundance in the orchard, and have created a delicious winter drink with star anise and other spices. And of course we’ll be making more mulled elderberry liqueur. We hope you can come and join us at one of our winter fairs, just check the What’s On page for details.
We’ve been really excited to find so many people using our liqueurs and sloe gin in their cocktails. As a boozy mixer, with amazing colours and flavours, you can’t beat the taste of fresh, homegrown fruit that makes our liqueurs so delicious.
We went along to the Thyme bar in Southrop recently, where as part of their ‘Thymes Table’ series of evenings with top chefs, they mixed up a storm with our raspberry liqueur, creating a seriously good martini for a welcome cocktail for an upcoming evening with chef Oliver Rowe.
This is the finished result, raspberry martini with vanilla infused spirit base and herb bitters. Startlingly good; fresh, fruity and light but with a hefty kick. Summer drinks just got interesting!
June has been a month of torrential rain punctured with bursts of glorious sunshine. The elderflower harvest has been a welly and suncream fest, day after day in an interchangeable manner, and quite apart from being soggy, we are sartorially confused. Finally, we’re nearly all done and the winery is brimming with the fresh scent of our first liqueur making process of the year. Mingling elderflower and syrup infusions, and the tang of organic lemons. If only we could bottle the smell as well.
Our elderflower liqueur is a delicate and refreshing drink. The fragrance of the organic flowers is captured perfectly by making it into a liqueur, and is a taste of summer throughout the year. It is a wonderful addition to champagne or sparkling wine, a gin and tonic or just with soda water. With a delicate panna cotta or over a sorbet or mixed with fresh berries, this liqueur is perfection.