Last trip and drop off

Just in time for Christmas I had received a Christmas card from the allotment committee. Along with an invoice for next year. I’ve not decided yet. It’s boxing day today, and I’ll decide in the New Year.

Tonight, it was dark and foggy on the way to the allotment. I had driven with my fog lights on most of the way, but it was patchy. The mist and fog had descended across all of the fields and the main house wasn’t visible from the path into the Abbey Gardens allotments.

Committee Xmas card

Strangely, inside the walled garden it was quite clear and you could see the stars above. Very clearly! Milky Way was easily visible, and there was a planet on the horizon…

I left the last of the gin and vodka bottles in the allotment shed. All wrapped up in Christmas paper. A bit of a Father Christmas drop. I hid a couple of bottles for Julie near her seating area. Then I had a quick look round.

My plot. My old plot was looking very neat. Someone had taken it on and had kept it neat. The rest of the allotments looked in good shape as well.

Elvis was nowhere to be seen but I didn’t have any tests at hand anyway. Hopefully the garden cat was somewhere warm. I turned on my torch to maximum brightness and let myself out of the allotment and drove home.

Last of the vodka tayberries

So, this of it. The last of the tayberry: made into vodka. I’ve just bottled it up and had a taste. Possibly this is the best vodka recipe so far. Better than the lemon version, by far.

Tayberry and honey vodka

It goes like this:

  • 1 litre of standard Russian vodka
  • 200 g tayberries
  • 200 g caster sugar

Cold infuse for about two weeks then strain & filter. Put the vodka back into the jar again:

  • 2 lemon peels
  • 4 cloves
  • 4 table spoons honey

Leave for 5 months this time before bottling it all up.

That’s it.

Tayberry vodka experiment

I spent Sunday bottling the vodka tayberry mixture I put in a couple weeks ago. I split it into two parts. First part I added vanilla. Second part I added lemon peel and cloves. This was because the tayberry mixture on its own tasted a little bit too much like cough medicine.

The vanilla made quite a bit of difference to the cough medicine taste, and because I used vanilla essence, this vodka was ready almost immediately. I strained it through cloth and bottled it straight away.

Tayberry lemon and cloves

So the recipe is like this. 1 L of vodka, 200 g of tayberries, 200 g of caster sugar. Leave that for two weeks and strain it through a cloth. Then there are two options.

  • First option would be to add vanilla extract. The ratio would be to add 4 teaspoons of vanilla to the recipe. This is ready immediately.
  • The second option is to add the juice of one lemon, the lemon peel of two lemons, and 4 cloves. This will need another few weeks before it is finished. That’s gone back into the garage to steep for a while longer.
Tayberry and vanilla vodka

I decided the lemon peel and clove recipe would be a good idea for the main tayberry gin idea this year. So I put together another 2 litres of tayberry and lemon & clove and stored that into the garage — ready in a few weeks.