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Wild Plum Vodka Recipe

Wild Plum Vodka Recipe


At this time of year (if you’re reading it at the time of writing) you will be sure to notice that all around us there are wild fruits of various species beginning to hang heavy on fruit trees and bushes, as well as decorating most hedgerows in both urban and rural landscapes.

Most of us will not be averse to picking the odd blackberry, apple or raspberry, but one fruit that often causes some confusion is the plum! Wild and semi-wild plums grow all around us and whilst many of us may not recognise a ‘plum tree’ when there is no visible fruit – that soon changes once these spherical jewels appear in the late summer. There are many types of plum, which is why they can sometimes be a little difficult to identify accurately. A plethora of local names that often refer to the same species with different names adds to the confusion.

The plums I tend to see the most in built-up areas are Victoria Plums, Bullace or Greengage – and often a subspecies that won’t fall neatly into any one category. In the more rural areas the plum that tends to dominate the hedgerow is the Damson – a purple fruit, often with a white bloom covering part of its surface.

Regardless of the exact type of plum you happen to find – once a positive ID has been established they can all be used in a similar way.

Personally, I tend to eat the fruits straight from the tree or take them back to kitchen and use them to make crumbles – but for those who like to turn their foraged treats into something a little more potent the following recipe will go down a treat.
 

Plum Vodka Ingredients / kit list:

 
  • 1lb of fruit, I’ve used Damsons, but any type of plum will work.
  • 5 ozs of white sugar – this is if you prefer a slightly more ‘liqueur-like’ tipple and generally used if using gin instead of Vodka. Personally I often leave sugar out, but play around and see what you like best – we all have different tastes after all.
  • Bottle of Vodka (you could use gin instead).
  • Sterilised Kilner Jar

Plum Vodka Method:

First of all remove any plums that are damaged or look a little past their best – they won’t hurt but often result in a cloudy and rather dirty looking drink.

Wash all of the fruit – usually I avoid this as washing removes the naturally occurring yeasts, but as we’re not strictly ‘brewing’ here it doesn’t really matter. Some people recommend pricking the fruit with pins (much like with sloe gin) – i’ve done this in the past but often find that the small hole where the stalk once was is sufficient.

If you’ve decided to include a little sugar, now is the time to add it, covering the plums before adding the liquid.

Seal the ‘sterilised’ jar and leave in a dark place to allow the liquid to take on the flavours of the fruit. As the plums still have the stones in you may notice a slight almond flavour. This is due to hydrogen cyanide – but don’t worry, many fruits contain this within their pit (stone) and it’s not harmful in the tiny quantities that is found in each fruit and is no different to fruit purchased in the shop!

If you have added sugar you will need to gently shake the jar until in dissolves – maybe once a week or so, but try not to over shake the jar as it will damage the fruit and result in a cloudy drink.

Now is the time to be patient! Ideally leave the jar in a safe place for 2-3 months for best results, but if you are too impatient then you should notice the flavours within the first 4-6 weeks.
Once ready, strain the fruit from the alcohol and place into a sterilised bottle. The remaining fruit (once pips are removed) may be used in crumbles.
 
Do you have any recipes for summer fruits? If so, please share them here and they will be published below in the comments section.

COMMENTS

I will be trying this wild food recipe this year :) has anyone else tried this yet? Would it work with blackberries?

I've only recently started bushcraft, and so far I'm finding foraging one of my favourite subjects, although very tricky to master.

I found your website from reading one of a Kris's magazine articles and have since shopped with you in several occasions. Fantastic service all round. Thank you.
Stuart 17-08-2016 at 00:32
You can do this with most soft fruit but if you're using blackberries I recommend whisky!!!
Sarah 20-07-2017 at 17:16
We have a plum tree in the garden. I used this recipe to great effect last year. Waited till Christmas and everyone had a wee dram over the festive period. As I noted the almond taste from the stone would wondered what would happen if I only used plum stones (no fruit flesh) any ideas or thoughts? Thanks
Angus 15-08-2017 at 20:01
I am delivering a sermon at a wedding for a plum liquor maker and want to use making plum liquor as an illustration. You suggest that you can leave the sugar out and get a very different sort of a drink - is there anyway you can describe this to me - I want to be able to say that with the sugar you have something superior if possible....
Alex Pease 23-08-2017 at 20:37

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