Playing around !

Down below the coffee shop is the cellar. Perfect for keeping the home made tipples a bit stronger than coffee or tea :-)

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Playing around !

Postby Zosherooney » July 24th, 2015, 7:18 am

Whilst in ASDA yesterday I saw a bottle of Heston Blimminhecks gin with lemon and Earl grey for £23.99 :o :o So I bought a bottle of bog std. gin and I am going to have a go at making some myself. I also spotted some salty caramel vodka for a similar price so W'rose have supplied me with a salty caramel essence and I am going to give that a go as well. Christmas can't come soon enough !!!!! Sorry for mentioning the 'C' word so early in the year...... :? :?
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Re: Playing around !

Postby hickybank » July 24th, 2015, 8:24 am

Hi Zosh sounds interesting./
Here is a basic recipe, I would think you could add Lemon juice to taste or infuse with lemon slices, perhaps try half & half
Earl Grey-Infused Gin”
750 ml Gin (Bombay Dry or Tanqueray)
4 Earl Grey Tea Bags (good quality)

Place tea bag and gin in a glass container. Let sit at room temperature for 2 hours. Pour infusion into a clean bottle.

Terry
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Re: Playing around !

Postby hickybank » July 24th, 2015, 9:33 am

You mat also want to try this I will have a bash when Blackberries are ready
ngredients:

A litre bottle of gin or vodka, two thirds full
200g of sugar
Approximately 300g of blackberries
What to do:

1. Pour the sugar into the bottle of vodka, using a funnel

2. Shake well (with the lid on, obviously) until the sugar is well dissolved

3. Stuff the fruit into the top until the bottle is completely full up. This was around 300g of blackberries in this case, but just keep on going until the bottle is full. Shake again.

4. Store in cool dark place. Check on it every few days or once a week for the first month or so and give it a good shake.

5. Leave it for at least three months before drinking. Ideally, you could leave it about two years for the flavours to really infuse the vodka. But, I should say, the very best sloe gin I ever drank was 21 years old.
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Re: Playing around !

Postby StokeySue » July 24th, 2015, 10:24 am

I bought a bottle of Sipsmith Summer Cup

http://www.sipsmith.com/summer-cup

It's an alternative to Pimm's

I can understand people really liking it, but it contains Earl Grey, and as I don't like tea I find the tea just overpowers everything else and I'm liking it less and less... :(

Anyway - be warned, Earl Grey can overpower gin, start with less than you think
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Re: Playing around !

Postby Zosherooney » July 24th, 2015, 6:08 pm

Many thanks for your input peeps, I will start with one EG teabag first Sue.

Hicks, I have a batch of raspberry spirit on the go at the moment. We had so many this year, had to use them up somehow... ;) ;)
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Re: Playing around !

Postby Seatallan » July 25th, 2015, 8:34 am

Zosherooney wrote:I have a batch of raspberry spirit on the go at the moment.


One of my faves. I make blackberry brandy or vodka most years (along with sloe gin of course). I'm already eyeing up the blackberries for this year's batch. :D :cocktail:

Zosh, I might have a go at Earl Grey Gin myself- do let us know how it pans out.
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Re: Playing around !

Postby hickybank » July 25th, 2015, 9:42 am

Zosherooney wrote:Many thanks for your input peeps, I will start with one EG teabag first Sue.

Hicks, I have a batch of raspberry spirit on the go at the moment. We had so many this year, had to use them up somehow... ;) ;)


Zosh, I have an empty glass :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Playing around !

Postby Zosherooney » July 25th, 2015, 4:24 pm

The flavour (and memory of long summer days) in the R'berry vodka is wonderful at Ch******s when you have your buttocks warming by an open fire !!!!
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Re: Playing around !

Postby StokeySue » July 25th, 2015, 6:59 pm

I have some Schladerer Himbeergeist (German raspberry spirit, a kind of eau de vie)

It is lovely in winter too - a colourless spirit but really tastes of fresh raspberries

Also rather good in a raspberry trifle they make in Berlin
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Re: Playing around !

Postby MrsWWoof » July 26th, 2015, 4:18 pm

I have some strawberries and some vodka which I'm thinking of mixing together with some sugar to make a liqueur for later in the year. Question is, do I cut or mush the strawberries up or leave them whole?
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Re: Playing around !

Postby MrsWWoof » July 26th, 2015, 4:37 pm

Decided to just go for it so I now have a batch of Strawberry & Black Pepper Vodka infusing. When the strawberries have done their thing in the vodka I shall probably mix them with some more strawberries and make some Strawberry & Vodka Jam.
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Re: Playing around !

Postby Seatallan » July 26th, 2015, 5:51 pm

:chops: :chops: :chops:

I do similar with the sloes from sloe gin sometimes. I need to be in the right mood because of having to de-stone them but they do make wonderful boozy jam....
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Re: Playing around !

Postby MrsWWoof » July 26th, 2015, 6:59 pm

I happened to find a bag of dried rose petals in the cupboard earlier. Any thoughts on rose petal flavoured vodka?
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Re: Playing around !

Postby Seatallan » July 27th, 2015, 7:51 am

Definitely worth a try Teri :cocktail:

I make rose petal jam and rose petal scones and can't see why rose petal vodka wouldn't be equally good. Might be worth adding a wee drop of rose water to the mix too?
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Re: Playing around !

Postby hickybank » July 28th, 2015, 8:35 am

I make my own home made wine, at a loose end yesterday I went foraging to see what was about

I found a clump of Rosebay willow Herb, & thought why not, they were coming to an end but I was in a field with Cover in it so once again though why not.
I have combined the two , found no recipe so did my own thing.
Will be interesting to see what it turns out like, at the moment it is bubbling away well, fingers crossed.

Next up will be Elderberry,
I have Elder flower on the go now, also Blackberry. as I found some lurking in the freezer from last year.

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Re: Playing around !

Postby Seatallan » July 28th, 2015, 1:53 pm

Wow- that will be interesting! Despite being a bit of a die-hard forager I don't think I've ever seen a recipe involving Rosebay Willow Herb. Clover yes, but never Willow Herb...

I make Elderberry Chutney and Elderflower Jelly but I've not yet made Elderflower or Elderberry wine. My father made blinding Elderberry wine- I still remember how good it was. :luv: :cocktail:
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Re: Playing around !

Postby Zosherooney » July 28th, 2015, 6:01 pm

Yes Sea, I remember my Dad making a really good brew of EW as well, it tainted all my Mums sheets dark red in the airing cupboard..... she was furious but enjoyed the wine come the time to drink it... :o
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Re: Playing around !

Postby Seatallan » July 29th, 2015, 7:09 am

:lol: :lol:

My Dad's EW was well potent too. I can remember several Sunday lunches where we all wobbled over and fell asleep..... :D
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Re: Playing around !

Postby earthmaiden » July 29th, 2015, 7:36 am

I had no idea that Rose Bay Willowherb was edible! I have just come across this though .. http://www.hedgerowmedicine.com/?herb=R ... willowherb

What a wonderful use for it Zosh, if yours is anything like the jungle of it which filled part of my childhood garden then it sounds a great idea. If only we'd known ....! Does it have much flavour?
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Re: Playing around !

Postby hickybank » July 29th, 2015, 8:20 am

Wow I am making a wine that is a medicine so the more I drink the healthier I will get, what a win win situation :lol: :lol: :lol: .

For anyone tempted here is the what I did.

Rosebay willow herb & Clover wine
27/07/15
2 litre Clover,70 heads Rosebay willow herb,3 lb sugar,8oz rasins,12 fl oz Orange juice,Yeast & nutrient
1/2 tsp Pectolase 1 tsp Tartaric acid
Give flowers a good shake to remove as many insects as possible, strip flowers discard stems, remove green stems & leaves from Clover, add to willowherb & swill under running water.

Bring to biol 8 pints water, add Raisins & sugar to flowers pour over water & stir to dissolve sugar, leave to cool then add Orange juice Pectolase, Tataric acid & yeast & yeast nutrient, stir them cover & fit airlock.
Leave 5 days then rack off flowers,leave two days then rack again, leave to ferment out.

The SG was 1114, this will give a wine of 14% if it ferments out to complete dryness SG990, if fermentation stops before then you will get a sweeter wine with less alcohol.
When fermentation has finished add 1 crushed Camden tablet 1 tsp Potassium Sorbate & 1 tsp Bentonite (this clears the wine)
Terry
Last edited by hickybank on July 29th, 2015, 8:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Playing around !

Postby ianinfrance » July 29th, 2015, 8:26 am

hickybank wrote:1 tsp Bentonite (this clears the wine)
That reminds me, it's time for me to decant my "walnut wine". It's been settling for about a fortnight, so the sludge should be fairly well compacted by now.
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Re: Playing around !

Postby hickybank » July 29th, 2015, 9:01 am

Bentonite does a great job, but it looks disgusting doesn't it Ian.
For those that don't know it, it is a Montmorillite clay, when the granules are mixed with warm water it turns into a grey sludge that looks awful, but as it sinks it picks up all the inclusions that make the wine cloudy & leaves you with a crystal clear wine
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Re: Playing around !

Postby Zosherooney » July 29th, 2015, 8:55 pm

Ian, I have one walnut on my 5 year old walnut tree! The others wilted and fell off ! I bet walnut wine tastes devine.

My grape vine is about 5 years old as well and this year it has a wonderful display of grapes, I shall be fighting the birds for them later in the year.

Hicks, you wine sounds spectacular too. I have a large glass waiting !!!
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Re: Playing around !

Postby hickybank » July 29th, 2015, 9:06 pm

Zosh if you have a vine have you tried Folly (vine pruning s wine)
If not & you fancy a go I will post the recipe

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Re: Playing around !

Postby hickybank » August 1st, 2015, 10:09 am

So here is the Rosebay willow herb after it's first racking, it has a lovely pink tinge to it so I expect a Ros'e type wine if it works out o/k

Image

And this is my Elderflower bottled, just have to be patient now, it has a beautiful bouquet

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Re: Playing around !

Postby MrsWWoof » August 2nd, 2015, 3:56 pm

Well we tried a quick snifter of the Strawberry & Black Peppercorn Vodka last night a week on from the ingredients being put together. A lovely strawberry colour with nice strwberry flavour and a warm background from the black peppercorns. I have addedmore strawberries today.

Just started off a batch of Cherry Vodka too :-)
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Re: Playing around !

Postby MrsWWoof » August 2nd, 2015, 6:07 pm

Just added some sugar to the cherry one to make it more of a liqueur type drink.
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Re: Playing around !

Postby Seatallan » August 3rd, 2015, 9:02 am

:cocktail: :cocktail: :chops:

Sounds lovely Teri, and both wines look divine Hicky. :D

Ian, very much like the sound of the walnut tipple too....
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Re: Playing around !

Postby ianinfrance » August 3rd, 2015, 9:39 am

hickybank wrote:Bentonite does a great job, but it looks disgusting doesn't it Ian.
Sorry, missed this reply. I buy it in fine granules, about the size and shape of those chocolate vermicelli one used to use to decorate biscuits and stuff. Like that it looks fine, but once it's made into a slurry, yes, it looks pretty awful. But it works extremely well, especially on solids containing protein, which egg white and dried blood aren't so good at settling.

Oddly enough I first discovered it about many years ago, in 1970 or '71 when I was doing up our garden in our "new" house. We had a friend called James was was a civil engineer, specialising in dams, and he was using Bentonite to create a waterproof membrane in a leaking earth dam near Halifax. We "helped" by clearing some of the peat that had been piled down below the main part of the dam to consolidate it (it merely made things worse, because peat acts as a sponge and sucks the water into itself). Several loads made a brilliant addition to London clay for a rhododendron and azalea bed.

>Seatallan,
I have been making a traditional Correzian recipe for many years, which is unusual amongst products of this type by needing very long maceration- just under 12 months. By that time, the green walnuts turn into a pretty gruesome brown sludge. So remembering what I'd learnt way back in my winemaking days, I decided that fining was the right way to go, and started using Bentonite to do it. Not having sophisticated equipment, what I do is to use my big balloon whisk to whisk the slurry into to the claggy wine and then fill bottles with it, After about 3 weeks to a month the bentonite has done its work, and the solids have left suspension and coagulated to form a reasonably solid mass below, so I just pour the wine off the top, and keep the deposit for a second settling. Because the wine has been in contact with the green walnuts for so long, it has absorbed a lot of tannins, and so I then leave it to age for a year once clarified. The wine throws out a lot of these tannins and improves considerably. When I'm feeling frisky, I then separate a second time, so the wine doesn't have to be poured carefully off the tannin co-polymers which have settled out on the side of the bottle.

However, last year one of our guests, who normally brought me a litre or two of his own walnut oil couldn't, as the fertilisation of the walnut trees had been zapped by cold wet weather at their flowering time, so he brought me some of his own walnut wine. We tasted it and, honestly, preferred it to our own. So this year that's what I've made. An added advantage is that it only takes 40 days to make though like the Correzian one I made in the past, it improves with some ageing. I'm due to fine and bottle it on the 17th of this month.
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Re: Playing around !

Postby Zosherooney » August 3rd, 2015, 8:51 pm

Hicks, sorry to take so long to get back to you..... yes please let me have the recipe, for the vine trimming wine, due to have a go at lessening the leafage in the next few days.
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Re: Playing around !

Postby hickybank » August 4th, 2015, 7:47 am

No probs Zosh, here you are

Vine leaves & tendrils 2.25 Kg
Sugar 1.5Kg
Citric acid 1 Tsp
Water 4.5 Ltr
Yeast & nutrient
Put leaves & tendrils in a bowl & pour on 4.5 Ltr boiling water, let it stand for 2 days turning occasionally to submerge leaves, keep bucket closely covered.
Pour off liquid & press out leaves & tendrils, wash & press again
Dissolve the sugar in the liquid add yeast & nutrient & pour into demijohn, ferment out & siphon off when clear.
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Re: Playing around !

Postby Zosherooney » August 4th, 2015, 10:36 am

Many thanks Hicks, off to do the trimmings now...

When can I drink it ??????? :cocktail: :cocktail:
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Re: Playing around !

Postby hickybank » August 5th, 2015, 8:42 am

Zosherooney wrote:Many thanks Hicks, off to do the trimmings now...

When can I drink it ??????? :cocktail: :cocktail:

Hi Zosh, you can try it after about 3 months but 6 is better

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Re: Playing around !

Postby Zosherooney » August 5th, 2015, 2:26 pm

Thanks Hicks, well it has nearly had one day in steeping mode and I have to buy sugar tomorrow and try to find yeast and nutriment, I do have brewers yeast but not nutriment. Seem to remember seeing citric acid in a cupboard somewhere as well.

Looks like it may be ready for Valentines then ????
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Re: Playing around !

Postby hickybank » August 5th, 2015, 2:53 pm

If you have problems they can all be bought on ebay as well
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Re: Playing around !

Postby MrsWWoof » August 7th, 2015, 2:43 pm

Another "playing around" session has got some mini tomatoes, black peppercorns and a dried red chilli macerating in vodka for a cocktail nibble and chilled tomato vodka shots in a few days time.
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Re: Playing around !

Postby Zosherooney » August 7th, 2015, 5:34 pm

Oooh ! now that sounds really interesting...... let me know how it pans out..... And if you need a sampler ?????? :lol: :lol:
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Re: Playing around !

Postby MrsWWoof » August 7th, 2015, 5:39 pm

I've done it before Zosh (many years ago) and they are delicious served with some nice mature cheddar and the flavoured vodka chilled inthe freezer before drinking.
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Re: Playing around !

Postby Zosherooney » August 12th, 2015, 7:15 am

Well the 2 3litre plastic bottles are sitting comfortably in the greenhouse fermenting away. I did not have any citric acid so read up about it and decided to use rhubarb juice instead. It seems to be working and the colour has improved from a muddy brown to a paler brown. We shall see how much longer it needs to ferment.
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Re: Playing around !

Postby hickybank » August 13th, 2015, 5:48 pm

If you are a little impatient & want a very quick wine, this recipe from our wine circle fits the bill

Very easy & tastes surprisingly good you can drink it within 6 weeks of starting it off
(Waitrose sell white grape juice)

THE COVENTRY WINE CIRCLE GRAPPLE
RECIPE FOR 1 GALLON
1 ltr Apple juice
1 ltr Grape juice
750g Sugar
1 tsp tartaric Acid
1 tsp Pectin Enzyme
1 tsp Bentonite
1 good wine yeast
-------------------------------
Add fruit juices & Sugar to demijohn, stir to dissolve
Add Acid & Pectin Yeast, then pour into demijohn, & fill to bottom of neck with water
After 2 days mix Bentonite with warm water & whisk to dissolve, leave for 30 mins than add to wine & stir,
When initial fermentation has died down fill to top of neck with water
Ferment till dry (no bubbles)
Grapple takes about 3 weeks to make & is drinkable in 6-8 weeks
All equipment can be obtained from Brewer Bill in Coventry market
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Re: Playing around !

Postby Zosherooney » August 18th, 2015, 5:28 am

I constructed the Salty caramel vodka yesterday, It is wonderful !!!! Vodka, salty caramel essence from W'rose and sugar to your personal taste. Even Mr. Z said he liked it, not sure it will improve anymore - given time. Not sure it will last very long either !!!! :o
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Re: Playing around !

Postby Zosherooney » August 19th, 2015, 9:43 pm

Today I have steeped 3 Earls Grey T bags in a bottle of gin, decided to forget the lemon, a lot going on in there already...
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Re: Playing around !

Postby Zosherooney » August 24th, 2015, 12:17 pm

I have just hydrometered my two 3 litre bottles of grape vine snipping wine, one is 9.5 and the other is 10.0. Thankfully they have now finished fermenting as the fluffy gang were getting fed up of being 'hissed' at !!! ;) I shall let them sit a while then syphon off the clearest stuff and at some stage add egg white with a pinch of salt (to help it clear). Then I suppose it will need to be bottled up and laid to rest until Valentines day. I may just have to try some over Chri***as to make sure it has not gone off !!!!! :shock:

Many thanks Hicky for everything !!

Oh yes, we tried the Earl grey gin over the w/e (to cheer me up) it's rather moreish :cocktail:
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Re: Playing around !

Postby hickybank » August 24th, 2015, 12:38 pm

That sounds good Zosh 9.5-10 (the yellow section) produces a dry wine cannot say what alcohol level will be as you need the starting SG for that but I would expect around 11-12%

I started off 2 gallon of Blackberry this week as follows

Blackberry wine 2 (with concentrate)
3 lb Blackberries
2 1/2 lb Sugar
275 ml red grape concentrate
1 campden tablet
All purpose red wine yeast
1 tsp Yeast Nutrient
1/2 tsp Pectolase

Dissolve 3 lb Sugar in 7 pints water add fruit & stir
Add crushed campden tablet
When cool add concentrate, yeast & nutrient
Stir daily for 5 days strain & transfer to demijon
When fermentaion finishes rack into clean jar (looking for SG 990)
Add Bentonite rack again when clear & bottle

Alcohol level 12%
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Re: Playing around !

Postby hickybank » August 26th, 2015, 7:53 am

Here you go Zosh right up your street, this will put a smile back on your face, I love the look of the strawberry Vodka

Terry

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Re: Playing around !

Postby Zosherooney » August 26th, 2015, 5:29 pm

Mmmm, I finished off about 6 S'berries after lunch....... Now know what I should have done with them.

We have just been out for a quick walk and collected victoria plums, cherry plums and bullis all in HUGE profusion this season. The farmers maize is not ripe yet, will have to come back in a few weeks, the chickens adore it. :o
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Re: Playing around !

Postby cheshire-cheese » October 18th, 2015, 7:54 am

Just to pop back to the original post and hickybank's reply: I've not tried either, so it's only a hunch, but wouldn't infusing lemon zest be more fragrant than adding the juice?
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Re: Playing around !

Postby hickybank » October 18th, 2015, 9:21 am

cheshire-cheese wrote:Just to pop back to the original post and hickybank's reply: I've not tried either, so it's only a hunch, but wouldn't infusing lemon zest be more fragrant than adding the juice?


Hi cheshire cheese, in my original post it does say or infuse with lemon slices, I think this would work better than just the zest.
Her by the way is a Tia Maria recipe,I have not tried but will be making shortly

Tia Maria
3 teacups sugar
2 teacups boiling water
5 tablespoons camp coffee
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
26 fl ozs vodka or gin
Few drops orange juice


Dissolve sugar in boiling water, add all other ingredients
Makes 2 pints

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Terry
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A brain is as strong as it's weakest think
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Re: Playing around !

Postby MrsWWoof » October 18th, 2015, 1:05 pm

Could you use instant coffee instead of Camp coffee do you think? Am also wondering what the orange juice brings to the party?
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Re: Playing around !

Postby hickybank » October 18th, 2015, 2:50 pm

I The answer to both questions is I don't know having never made it, the recipe is taken from an old wine circle book of members recipes

Canp coffee is chicory based so tastes totally different to instant, & I think the orange is there for balance, I will only know the answers after I have tried it,
I will report back & if you try it please let me know what you use & how it turns out.
Cheers ]Terry
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A brain is as strong as it's weakest think
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