I notice our gooseberry bush is bearing fruit… I’m sure we will just have them in a pie or a crumble or maybe a tart, but I came across a couple of recipes from Ambrose Heath for gooseberry wine (apparently known as English Champagne) and gooseberry cordial. I doubt we will have enough and if we did I’m not convinced that the end result would be worth it. I have tried making such things before without total success I admit.
Green gooseberry wine
Top and tail the gooseberries and bruise them in a bowl. Add a quart of water to each pound, and leave for three days stirring twice a day. Then strain again and add to every gallon three pounds of white sugar. Pour into a barrel when the sugar is dissolved and to every five gallons of the wine allow a bottle of brandy and a piece of isinglass. Bung the barrel and taste in six months time. If the sweetness has gone off, it is then ready; of not, bung it up again and keep longer, then bottle.
You must need a heck of a lot of gooseberries! And I’m not sure i could afford a bottle of brandy or more in making something I wasn’t sure would work or even taste nice!
Put a pint of fresh, ripe gooseberry juice into a jar with a quart of unsweetened gin and add half an inch of bruised cinnamon stick, four cloves, a strip of lemon rind and three-quarters of a pound of crushed sugar candy. Infuse, covered closely, for a month, shaking the jar now and then, and then filter and bottle.
A quart of gin – that’s two pints! I think the modern idea of a cordial is very different from Mr heath’s from 1953!