Elton Trueblood (a real US Quaker and theologian, and surprisingly not a fan-fiction creation) wrote in 1951:
“A man has made at least a start on discovering the meaning of life when he plants trees under whose shade he knows he will never sit.”
This is the boozier, less profound version of that. Another way might be to say “ The best time to plant a tree (or start a spirit infusing) is twenty years ago. The second best time is today.” With these recipes you’re in for the long-haul, but can expect a great reward.
So having made our Blackberry Whisky the other day, and read the dire warnings of what happens to whisky when you try to combine it with any other fruit… we thought we’d give it a go regardless, and see what happened when we put a different soft fruit in there. It’s a common theme in society - some lessons you have to learn over and over; this might be one of those lessons (‘any fruit whisky other than Blackberry Whisky is as tasty as bilgewater’) that we should have listened to. But there’s only one way to find out for sure!
We decided to try adding muscovado sugar to the cherry and whisky mix here to create darker, richer flavours, but the process is otherwise basically the same.
As we only recently set this one going we can’t yet tell you whether or not it was worth it! But stay tuned for a follow up post in a few months time when we strain out the fruit and check that the experiment turned out okay!
Bog standard blended whisky
Rinse your cherries gently (and if you were lucky enough to pick them fresh, try to remove any squirmy creatures that might have hitched a ride… We had to buy ours as we don’t have any cherry trees nearby that we can pick from.)
Fill a clean one litre kilner jar two-thirds up with cherries.
Sprinkle sugar over until it covers the bottom half of the cherries.
Fill the rest of the jar up with whisky. It’ll bubble through the sugar and cherries so keep checking and topping up.
Close then shake the jar vigorously and put somewhere dark and coolish.
Every day (or twice a day) for the next few days, go over and shake it about again.
Do this until all the sugar has dissolved.
Now, you leave it for the next six months. (Plenty of time to start other projects going)
After six long months have passed, get a sieve and strain the deliciousness into a few clean glass bottles. Now is the perfect time to taste a bit….
Now, leave the bottles again, somewhere cool and dark for at least another six months - ideally you should let the whisky sit for another year before you open it again, so bear with us while we report back on what it tastes like!