Freelance journalist in Birmingham with a passion for the dynamic theatre, art, food and fashion scene in Britain's 'Second City'.
Published September 14th 2013
Easy tips to make your own fruity drink
Gin can be a little flavourless to many palates, so it's a great idea to infuse a little fruity flavour to it.
Using blueberries, here is a traditional vintage recipe from a quaint old English village called Finstall in the heart of the UK, near Birmingham, passed on to me by Granny B.
The vibrant colour of home-made blueberry-infused gin
It's not sweet, so will be ideal for those of you who like a slightly bitter edge to their drink with a hint of blueberry. It is also good to use as a base in a cocktail and mix with other fruit juices.
To start with you'll need these ingredients for every 1 litre of gin you make:
Two cups worth of blueberries (equal to 500ml) - this a "cup" in terms of a standard measuring cup. Half a cup of granulated sugar (125ml) 1 litre of cheap gin - this can be a supermarket own brand or similar. Don't go spending a lot on buying good quality gin as you will be infusing your own flavour with it to improve it.
Granny B's Helpful Hint: Remember, if you are making 2 litres, double the ingredients, for 3 litres triple it etc.
To start with, it's worth getting a demijohn, which is a very large glass container with a wide opening and a cork in the top. It means you can fit all the fruit and alcohol in it and you can also keep an eye on when the sugar is disintegrating and see clearly the change in colour of the liquid.
Granny B's Helpful Hint: If you don't have a demijohn, you can use a large bottle. You need something that has a tight lid or cork in the top.
A day or two before you start, wash and measure out the blueberries you need, then use a clean pin to prick a hole in each of them before freezing them. This will help the blueberries infuse slowly in the gin.
Clean and measure of the blueberries before pricking them and putting them in the freezer
On the day, measure out the sugar and gin and take the blueberries out of the freezer. Put the frozen blueberries into the container first, then pour the sugar on top of them.
Granny B's Helpful Hint: It makes it easier to pour the sugar in by rolling up a piece of paper into a cone shape and pouring it through the paper into the bottle, so it doesn't get stuck around the damp bottle-opening or sides.
Rolling up a piece of paper to pour in the sugar helps
After the sugar and blueberries are in the bottle, pour in the gin, put the cork in or lid on and shake well.
Leave the bottle somewhere in plain sight so you don't forget about it as you need to give the mixture a shake every day for the first three weeks.
After that, give the bottle a shake once to a couple of times a week for the next seven weeks. During this period you will notice the sugar disappear and the colour start to change to a purple/red colour.
Granny B's Helpful Hint: It will be 10 weeks in total, so if you are preparing this for Christmas, a present or another special occasion, you can count back 10 weeks on a calendar from your desired date.
The colour of the mixture will start to become more dark red as time passes