Redcurrant Shrub and other things

Redcurrant shrub bottled

The LSH and I have been brambling, risking life and limb climbing through overgrown hedgerows in search of the elusive blackberry. They are everywhere but the best fruits are hidden in the depths of prickly bushes and vicious nettles. By the time we return with our hoard, we are stained with scarlet juices and bearing scars.

But what to do with them – I have enough jam to last til the next season. Blackberry curd is an option as is freezing them til my bramleys are ready to turn into crumble. However, worryingly, my thoughts are turning to gin…..(clearly this blog is turning me into a cake making lush!)

bramble gin

I already have some rather potent plum brandy from last year but I’m in a “booze producing” mood. Pip and Little Blue posted a raspberry gin recipe recently and I feel it’s wild cousin will lend itself to a similar treatment. So I’ve put some of them into a large jar with remains of a bottle of Gordens and some caster sugar.

But already maturing in the cupboard is the last member of my redcurrant preserve family. After jelly and curd comes something that the River Cottage Preserves book calls Shrub aka Redcurrant brandy.

If you are keen to get into preserve making I can heartily recommend this and you’ll find this recipe amongst many others. Follow the redcurrant curd recipe to get your redcurrant juice ( You can force this through a sieve if you want). For 300ml of juice, add 600ml of brandy and pour into a bottle or large jar. Leave for a week. Put the liquid into a pan with 300g of sugar and heat to about 60C when all the sugar should be dissolved. Pour back into a sterilised bottle. Now for the difficult bit – leave for a few months to mature and voila – a splash of warming summer fruits to see you through the cold winter months.


Rose kelly -gj

And finally an update on my rose jelly – the photo on the left is my Gertrude Jekyll rose in full bloom. It’s on it’s second flush and I’ve made some more rose jelly but just from this rose (pictured right). As you can see its come out a slightly more peachy tone than my earlier batch that also had a much darker bloom added to the mix. My white roses may be the next ones I try – it will be interesting to see what colour that goes.


4 thoughts on “Redcurrant Shrub and other things

  1. Beautiful roses! Great that you can turn them into jelly too. I like the sound of the blackberry gin and the redcurrant shrub. I was planning on making more sloe gin, hadn’t thought of blackberries.

  2. I am not much of a brandy drinker but this recipe of yours sounds so interesting i’m tempted to try. At maturity, what does it taste like? and how much should I drink at a sitting? I’m really curious! thanks for sharing.

    • I don’t think it tastes like brandy – more like alcoholic sweet redcurrant syrup. Although if you don’t like brandy you may be able to taste it more than I can. Mine hasn’t fully matured yet and I suspect it will get stronger with age if its anything like the plum brandy. It is quite strong so you should drink it like a spirit – with caution!!

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