Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Blood red tonic

I've had a rotten virus all week. I always get them this time of year when I should be out shovelling manure onto my beds before winter sets in. The gardening books never allow for chills and energy zapping bugs when they list the year's tasks do they? So instead I put on my witches hat and brewed myself a beat those bugs tonic.
Into a pot I threw a handful of frozen mixed fruits (from the supermarket), a handful of blackberries (from the allotment) and a handful of frozen elderberries (foraged). I added a couple of tablespoons of local honey (you can use sugar, add it to taste), some mixed spice then a good few glugs of orange juice (from concentrate). I let it brew away until the kitchen was filled with a sweet, spicy aroma. I then whizzed the lot up with my hand whizzer. You can sieve it to get rid of the seeds and pulp but I couldn't be bothered. I just poured and drank.
You can serve it warm with a splash of brandy or whisky, chilled with sparking water or wine. Make a large vat for a kid's halloween party with floating eyeball sweets frozen in ice cubes. Whizz it with milk for a healthy milkshake. Elderberries and blackberries have been used in herbal remedies long before the development of the chemical industries. Blackberries are high in vitamin C and elderberries are good for treating catarrh. So down spades and join me in a large glass with a generous splosh of whisky.


  1. It must have been full of vit C and anti-oxidants. I'm sure a splash of whiskey would help chase away any bugs.
    I thought you must be a fellow forager after the mushroom comments on my site.

  2. It started when I climbed a tree to harvest wild cherry plums with my son sleeping in his buggy at the bottom. I carted home about 2kg worth and made the most amazing jam I've ever tasted.


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