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Elderberries, chili and Stolichnaya vodka

In the hedge grow a small wild elderberry. Only few berries this autumn, inspired me to do an elderberry vodka. I cleaned the berries, dumped them in a less than half full bottle of russian Stolichnaya vodka. Then I thought it might become rather insipid without a lot of sugar. But wouldn’t the health benefit be lost with a lot of sugar added? I imagine a little chili heat might balace the elderberries and vodka. In the garden I picked two spanish chilies, but in the end only added one. I want elderberry to taste, not to be overpowered by the chili. The chili is Guindilla, Anselmo in Spain send me seeds for it last winter – thanks a lot Anselmo!
The elder is not a named variety, just one of these small trees that willingly grows as a hedge weed in my neighborhood.

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sloe
Well ripe sloe.

Now the frost has gently carresed the blackthorn bushes, and we have picked some sloe from them. Often people pick earlier and deepfreeze the berries before use. I relie on nature to do the freezing for me, and believe the extra ripening on the bush gives a noble taste.

blackthorn
Blackthorn is very dense and thorned.

Despite thorns, it’s a pleasure to pick sloe. They have a gourgeous dark blue color, and can bear a beautifully purple-blue waxy bloom.

sloe in vodka

Home with the sloe we find a broad necked bottle, fill it with sloe and cover in neutral vodka. Now we just have to wait – at christmas we can enjoy a noble sloesnaps.