Sunday, 4 September 2011

Useless grapes

Useless for eating purposes that is, consisting as they do mostly of skin and pip - although they are quite tasty.

I turned them (and some vodka and sugar) into grape vodka last year, quite successfully, applying exactly the same technique as you use for sloe gin.  (see here.)  I started it in October, when they were more or less ripe, and it was ready for Christmas.  It didn't last long into the New Year.


  1. When you say you turned them, do you mean you trod them? It's a messy business, and not just because of getting the pips out from between your toes. I believe there is a recognised system of divination based on the position and number of pips between the toes. Piptomancy, or some such thing.

  2. Just back from a walk during which we passed a neighbour picking blackberries, which seem to be almost over already round here, that's a tad early isn't it?
    Anyway next to the blackberries were stacks (bushes anyway) of sloes (I am told they are sloes, not blueberries). Neighbour said he made some sloe gin once & kept it for about 10 years to mature. Now that's what I call sloe gin.

  3. How do you stop the birds eating them?

  4. Christopher - 'turned' in the sense of 'transformed'. Piptomancy sounds a very inexact science, compared to, say, bibliomancy, onychomancy or scapulomancy. Too many variables.

    Soaring - once?? Ten years??? Your neighbour is a model of ascetic forbearance. Or something.
    Blackberry brandy sounds like an idea ...

    Rog - I don't, they're welcome. But most of my birds are clunky great pigeons that would have trouble perching on a delicate vine stalk. (They can't even perch on a fence.)

  5. Did you take them off the stalk or prick them or just ram the bunches willy-nilly into the bottle of vodka? It sounds brilliant, I'll try it if the birds leave any grapes, which is a bit unlikely. I could always buy a bunch of grapes, anyway.

    We never seem to quite finish the sloe gin, Soaring, I've got some that's at least 10 years old. It keeps improving.

  6. I take them off the stalks. I don't bother to prick them, because they're much softer than sloes (which have to be pricked with a silver fork, according to some authorities). I extract many ladybirds and release them into the wild. I put everything into one of those big old-fashioned sweet jars and shake regularly for three months.
    I will bottle small quantities (<2MB) and email them to first-comers in January.

  7. Ascetic forbearance? Yes, that fits. I think the blackberries were probably to top up his phone - he finds modern technology challenging.
    When I say "once" I use it idiosynchronicalistactally in the sense of "once upon a time". It may have been twice, thrice or morice upon a time.

    I can't see you releasing ladybirds into the Oxford Road on a Saturday night at midnight. And getting the car out to take them to somewhere properly "wild" also seems unlikely.
    What do you shake to? Johnny Kidd & the Pirates? And what gap before the next 3 month shaking period? And what good does it do the jar contents anyway, sitting on a shelf watching you doing a Colin Firth & Geoffrey Rush impression?